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Human Development and Social Relations

Faculty: Ms. Baptiste, Ms. Cunningham, Mr. Gregg (Director)


Human development and social relations (HDSR) is an interdisciplinary major, drawing upon psychology, sociology, anthropology, and
education, which:

  • is oriented toward contemporary social problems and the ethical application of knowledge;
  • stresses multiple perspectives and methodologies for understanding complex human and social phenomena;
  • provides opportunities for the development of cultural competencies;
  • is comparative, examining national and international variations in social problems and policies;
  • is informed by social science theory and emphasizes the use of empirical methods of research and analysis.

Requirements for the Major in HDSR

The major in HDSR is open only to students who matriculated Fall 2011 or earlier.

Number of Units
Ten units are required, not including the SIP.

Required Courses
HDSR 390 Junior Seminar
HDSR 490 Senior Seminar
PSYC 101 General Psychology
PSYC 210 Developmental Psychology
PSYC 370 Abnormal Psychology
ANSO 103 Introduction to Society and Culture
ANSO 212 Quantitative Analysis and Statistical Reasoning*
ANSO 245 Qualitative Research Methods
2 Social Relations Courses chosen from
ANSO 110 M edicine and Society
ANSO 205 Urban Sociology
ANSO 220 The Family
ANSO 235 Prisons and Public Policy
ANSO 236 Race and Racism
ANSO/PSYC 238 Culture and Psychology of Arab-Muslim Societies
ANSO 240 Language, Culture, and Society
ANSO/PSYC 250 Social Psychology
ANSO 257 Immigrants and Exiles
ANSO 266 Culture, Religion, and Nationality
ANSO 270 Communities and Schools Philadelphia Center Urban Program experience***
ANSO/PSYC 279/ECON 255 Organizational Behavior
ANSO 330 Class Status, and Power
HDSR 210 Contemporary Issues in Public Health
HLSC 295 Topic: Epidemiology and Global Health

*MATH 105 Quantitative Reasoning and Statistical Analysis or MATH 260

***Only for students selected to participate.

HDSR promotes understanding of the dynamic interplay between human beings and their socio-cultural environments. The core courses help students comprehend the stages of human development over the life course; the processes by which thought and behavior are shaped by individual, group, institutional, societal, and cultural influences; and prevalent psychological and social problems.

Service-learning courses, study abroad, and off-campus work experience provide opportunities to develop relationships across social boundaries, challenging social stereotypes and enlivening students to new issues. To provide opportunities for the development of applied skills, HDSR strongly encourages full use of internship opportunities. The senior individualized project and senior seminar help students to integrate theory with application and more fully to understand the complementarity of multiple perspectives.

While many HDSR majors pursue careers in a wide range of applied professions requiring bachelor's or master's degrees, others enter doctoral study in traditional academic, interdisciplinary, or applied fields in the social sciences in preparation for careers as teachers and researchers.


Students may not major in human development and social relations (HDSR) and minor in psychology.

Human Development and Social Relations courses

HDSR 210 Contemporary Issues in Public Health This introductory survey will explore contemporary issues, theories, and methods in public health. Students will work with community-based organizations or schools in Kalamazoo on projects that illuminate the determinants and consequences of several contemporary "epidemics." We will use the social medicine framework to examine how race, gender, age, environment, and class shape modern illnesses.

HDSR 390 HDSR Junior Seminar
Students will examine theoretical foundations of social intervention and prevention programs from historical and current perspectives, drawing from the disciplines of psychology, sociology, anthropology, and public health. This seminar will prepare students for their senior individualized project (SIP), and for on-going work involving the application of knowledge to practical human problems. Prerequisite: Junior HDSR major, or permission of the director.

HDSR 490 HDSR Senior Seminar This class is designed to extend and integrate the multidisciplinary perspectives learned in the HDSR major. Using a problem-based approach, we apply sociological, psychological, and anthropological approaches to analyses of social issues. The Senior Seminar also serves to prepare students for comprehensive examinations taken at the end of winter quarter. Prerequisite: Senior HDSR major.

HDSR 593 Senior Individualized Project Each program or department sets its own requirements for Senior Individualized Projects done in that department, including the range of acceptable projects, the required background of students doing projects, the format of the SIP, and the expected scope and depth of projects. See the Kalamazoo Curriculum > Curriculum Details and Policies section of the Academic Catalog for more details. Prerequisite: Permission of department and SIP supervisor required.