School: Social Sciences and Humanities
Degree Type: Bachelors Degree
Format: In-Person | Online
Student Type: Undergraduate Accelerated and Online

Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Psychology and Human Development Degree

Warner Pacific University’s accelerated Bachelor of Science in Psychology and Human Development degree examines and analyzes the nature-versus-nurture argument and equips students with a versatile, research-based foundation for a range of career paths. 

Held on-ground one night per week or online and geared toward working professionals who have completed some college, this accelerated psychology degree opens up opportunities for positions in family, community, and human services and prepares students to pursue a graduate degree in the field.

Program Objectives

 A specialty area within the field of psychology, human development focuses on the external forces that influence an individual as they grow and mature from infancy through adulthood, their impact on cognitive, motivational, and psychosocial functioning, and how these aspects materialize through normal and maladaptive behaviors. Beyond a strict psychology context, studying human development increases one’s understanding of social factors on group dynamics in the workplace and how gender roles, discrimination, and prejudice affect a community and an individual’s role in society. 

In exploring the cultural, biological, and psychological factors shaping human growth, this field looks at the influence these internal and external focuses have on language, the formation of families, and the emergence of personal identity. Furthermore, the overlap between human development and traditional psychology creates a more comprehensive picture of the psychological disorders affecting children and adolescents and influences diagnostic and treatment processes.

Human development professionals, whether they go into psychology or practice in nonprofit or corporate environments, become essential for enriching not only the lives of individuals but also improving communities and the schools and families within them.

Emphasizing personal integrity within the context of Christian moral principles, WPU’s accelerated bachelor’s degree in Psychology and Human Development strives to enhance communication and interpersonal skills while introducing technical concepts integral to psychology, sociology, and counseling: 

  • Students acquire a general understanding of human development concepts, theories, models, and vocabulary.
  • Students examine human development from a historical perspective while also evaluating social science research via the scientific method, research designs, and questioning.
  • The curriculum emphasizes issues of lifespan human development and the influence they exert on the self, social structures, and social practices.
  • Coursework looks at ethical challenges within human development and the intersections of national origin, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, disability, and cultural relations.
  • Research, analytical thinking, abstract reasoning, assessment skills, and psychology methods are emphasized throughout the degree program. 

Psychology and Human Development Curriculum

Students beginning the accelerated Bachelor of Science in Psychology and Human Development are expected to have completed 48 to 60 credits of college-level coursework prior to starting the program. The degree requires 14 courses totaling to 43 credit hours and is typically completed within two years.

By the end of the program, all students are expected to have acquired a holistic perspective of human development and its influence on modern-day social systems and to have acquired the technical research skills necessary for pursuing a graduate degree in psychology. Within this framework, coursework integrates hands-on learning and contextual networking to give students a stronger understanding of the theoretical and real-world factors affecting group dynamics.

Covering this spectrum and reflecting the degree’s broad applications, the curriculum integrates leadership, diversity, and conflict resolution topics with cultural studies, research design, applied statistics, early childhood and adolescent development, adult development, and counseling theories.

Cohort Study Curriculum
Requirements for the cohort: 43 semester credits; 33 credits in residence; 40 credits upper-division
Requirements for the major: 34 semester credits; 28 credits in residence; 34 credits upper division
All courses are three credits and five weeks unless noted otherwise.
Major Requirements
PSY 420A | Learning Theory | 3 credits
PSY 330A | Lifespan Human Development | 3 credits
PSY/HD 300A | Foundations of Psychology & Human Development | 3 credits
PSY 314A | Abnormal Psychology | 3 credits
PSY 441A | Stress, Crisis, Trauma and Self-Care | 3 credits
PSY 430A | Counseling Theory | 4 credits
SOC 320A | Human Sexualities | 3 credits
SOC 340A | Race and Ethnic Relations | 3 credits
SS 300A | Leadership & Diversity | 3 credits
SS 380A | Conflict Resolution | 3 credits
SS 391A | Research Design and Applied Statistics | 3 credits
Core Requirements
HUM 310A | Exploring the Human Condition (Prerequisite: EN 111A, 112A) | 3 credits
ILR 300A | Adv Information Literacy & Research (Prerequisite: EN 111A) | 3 credits
REL 320A | Spirituality, Character and Service (Prerequisite: EN 111A, 112A) | 3 credits

Graduates of the program should demonstrate a holistic knowledge of human development within social systems along with technical research skills.


16 credits, Courses are five weeks in length.
PSY 300A | Foundations of Psychology & Human Development | 3 credits
PSY 314A | Abnormal Psychology | 3 credits
PSY 420A | Learning Theory | 3 credits
PSY 430A | Counseling Theory | 4 credits
PSY 441A | Stress, Crisis, Trauma and Self-Care | 3 credits

Accelerated Degree Formats

WPU has helped adults realize their goal of earning a bachelor’s degree and advancing in the workforce for the past 25 years. In evolving our Professional & Graduate Studies (PGS) programs to continually meet the needs of working adult students, the accelerated BS in Psychology and Human Development is available in on-campus and online formats. For both:

  • all courses last five weeks, unless noted;
  • our faculty members, leaders in their fields, enhance the curriculum with their professional experience;
  • courses begin on a monthly basis, so students don’t have to wait a full semester to start their degree; and
  • WPU uses our Learning Communities cohort model to facilitate connections between students and their instructors and improve professional opportunities. 

On-Campus Accelerated BS in Psychology and Human Development Degree

On-ground courses for the BS in Psychology and Human Development degree are held one night per week, from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m., at our main and local campuses in Portland and Vancouver. Course location never changes during the five-week period, allowing you to complete your degree close to home or your workplace and around existing obligations.  

Online Accelerated BS in Psychology and Human Development Degree

For students unable to attend class one night a week or outside the Portland and Vancouver areas, all accelerated BS in Psychology and Human Development courses can be completed online. 

All courses use an asynchronous format. However, participation is key for success. Assignments and lectures are scheduled weekly, requiring students to log in five out of seven days per week. Additionally, all courses involve forum discussions, in which students must contribute at least three substantive posts two days per week. 

Careers in Psychology and Human Development

The coursework for this accelerated psychology degree prepares students for careers in ministry, human services, and the social sciences and offers a foundation for beginning a graduate degree.

With a bachelor’s degree, students are equipped for positions as school counselors, behavioral therapists, caseworkers, human resources managers, or training and development staff or in educational research. After earning a graduate degree, students gain the educational and clinical qualifications to become a developmental psychologist.

Beyond the traditional path, industrial-organizational psychologists, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), are needed to apply the principles of developmental psychology to human resources, administrative, management, marketing, and sales strategies to improve training, development, and employee retention programs.

Specifically within the corporate sphere, human resource managers, who plan, coordinate, and direct an organization’s employee retention and administrative efforts, are expected to experience 7% greater demand between 2018 and 2028, according to the BLS. As well, training and development managers are predicted to see 8% more positions over the same period.

For individuals using this degree as a springboard to a graduate program, the BLS predicts that psychologists will experience 14% more demand within this timeframe

Requirements for the BS in Psychology and Human Development Degree

Interested in finishing your bachelor’s degree at WPU? To begin the accelerated BS in Psychology and Human Development program, you must:

  • have completed 48 to 60 semester credits at a regionally accredited college or university or through CLEP exams, or ACE evaluations for military experience and job training; 
  • fill out an application and submit the application fee;
  • supply transcripts from all higher education institutions attended to date and high school transcripts if you have earned fewer than six semester credits;
  • have at least two years of full-time work experience; and
  • have earned a cumulative 2.0 GPA for all previously completed college-level coursework. 

Students whose native language is not English must also show proof of English proficiency by earning a minimum score of 70 for the TOEFL or a 6 for the IELTS.

Learn More About WPU’s Accelerated Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology and Human Development

If your existing career involves helping others, expand your skill set with WPU’s accelerated Bachelor of Science in Psychology and Human development. To learn more about the program, contact PGS Admissions by email or by phone at 800-804-1510, or request additional information today.

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