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Human Development Studies (M.Ed.)


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Program Overview

The Human Development Studies (HDS) program critically explores and synthesizes the dynamic relationships among individuals, environments, and human systems. Using a systems theory lens and linking research with practice, students will examine different developmental domains as well as design strategies and interventions to promote healthy development among individuals, groups, and organizations.

From personal relationships to group dynamics to entire organizational structures — the principles of effective human development can be applied in many ways. In this innovative program, you’ll develop your skills to drive and manage change working with diverse populations in a wide range of settings and set yourself apart as an effective organizational leader focused on equity and systemic change.

Dietitian/Nutritionist and Organizational specializations are available in HDS.

Program at a Glance

Master of Education (M.Ed.) in Human Development Studies

Department of Human and Organization Development

Program Director for Dietitian/Nutritionist Specialization: Bradley T. Erford
Program Director for Organizational Specialization: Nicole Cobb
For More Information: HDS Info
Admission Term: Summer for Dietitian/Nutritionist, Fall for Organizational 
Credit Hours: 30
Priority Application Deadline: December 31*

* We will continue to accept applications after this date for the Organizational Specialization, but applications will be evaluated for admission and scholarships on a space-and-funds-available basis. Applications for the Dietitian/Nutritionist Specialization must be received by February 15.

Our Commitment

Our Commitment to Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion

The program interweaves social justice and diversity topics into classes and co-curricular activities throughout the course progression. Our training programs engage with social justice advocacy at individual, group, institutional, and societal levels to address issues that inhibit growth and development.

Careers in Human Development Studies

There are several possible career paths for our Human Development Studies alumni:

HDS Dietitian/Nutritionist graduates may enter positions in public, private, and non-profit hospitals, organizations, agencies, and communities.

Human Development Studies Organizational graduates may enter positions in public, private, and non-profit organizations, agencies, and communities.

The job outlook for dietitian/nutritionist specialists is expected to grow 11% through 2026. For organizational specialists, 10% through 2026.

One major factor for growth is the constant need for workplace training, education, and change management.

Program Curriculum

HDS is a rigorous and integrated program that will help you acquire a strong theoretical grounding in human development, relational paradigms, and change strategies.

Each specialization has a 30-credit-hour curriculum. Find out more about the Dietitian/Nutritionist  Specialization or the Organizational Specialization

To qualify for graduation, degree candidate must:

  • Meet all curriculum requirements
  • Carry a minimum 3.0 grade point average
  • Be free of debt to Vanderbilt University
Program Curriculum