EdM in Applied Human Development

The Applied Human Development program is designed to introduce practitioners and future researchers to the application of developmental theory to education, construed in its broadest sense. The program seeks to emphasize the foundations of life-span learning and education across interrelated developmental domains (e.g., cognitive, affective, moral, physical, social, etc.), while considering issues of cultural and social diversity.

The promotion of human development and competence is a mission of educators, and the program orientation is pragmatic as well as conceptual. Students develop an understanding of the basic dimensions of human development: a life-span perspective and a specific focus on youth; the convergent impact of constancy and change; life stages; traditional and changing life roles; the impact of gender, culture, race, and socioeconomics; cognitive, psychomotor, and psychosocial development.

The Applied Human Development Program bridges the divisions of the Wheelock College of Education & Human Development and the traditional divide between basic and applied research. Students draw on a wide range of courses and opportunities offered across the Wheelock College of Education & Human Development and the broader Boston University community. Indeed, the study of Applied Human Development is directly related to issues of health and wellness, child advocacy, mental health, religion and spirituality, as well as social and psychological well-being, both from a domestic and an international perspective.


The EdM in Applied Human Development offers two specializations: Positive Youth Development and Physical Education & Coaching. Both specializations can be completed in two full-time semesters (36 credits) and each aims to provide students with broad instruction in developmental issues, while allowing space for specialization based on the student’s particular interests (see below for detailed information).

  1. Positive Youth Development: The Positive Youth Development specialization provides a firm grounding in the major considerations for working in and for a variety of organizations that serve youth and emerging adult populations. Students who choose this specialization will have the flexibility to craft a pathway that matches their strengths and particular career interests and will position them for success in this vital sector.
  2. Physical Education & Coaching: The Physical Education & Coaching specialization includes three options:
      • Physical Education teaching licensure
      • Physical Education non-licensure
      • Coaching

    This specialization provides an opportunity for students to explore issues related to the health and wellness of today’s youth, with an emphasis on physical activity and movement. Students are prepared to assume leadership roles in their communities and to become competent, credible, and reflective practitioners. This specialization is appropriate for those who are interested in physical education licensure, physical activity/movement, and growing the field of coach training and development.

Note: Incoming physical and health education students seeking licensure are not required to hold an undergraduate degree in health or physical education. However, if they have not already done so prior to beginning their EdM program, students are required to complete the university-level coursework in the history and foundations of kinesiology prior to graduation. Additionally, students seeking licensure must provide documentation of current CPR and First-Aid certification prior to graduation.

Within each specialization, ample opportunity exists for structuring the program to specific needs and areas of focus. All students learn diverse theories of human development and examine the distinctive issues involved in developmental research. Students are also encouraged to arrange field experiences under faculty supervision that apply developmental theory. In addition, other course offerings at Wheelock College of Education & Human Development and across the campus may enrich or support specialized study. Upon acceptance to the program, you will be assigned an academic advisor who will work with you to design a course of study tailored to your particular interests.


Most students are expected to complete the Applied Human Development program on a full-time basis; however, many courses are offered at times that allow for completion of the degree part-time, while continuing full-time employment. Students are required to complete a total of 36 credits. The requirements are as follows:

Required Courses for All Specializations

Human Development
  • CE 705 Lifespan Development and
  • PE 506 Motor Development (4 cr) or
  • DS 504 Adolescent Development (3 cr)
Research Requirement
  • RS 600 Perspectives on Inquiry (4 cr)
Social, Cross-Cultural, and Policy Foundations
  • CE 741 Cross-Cultural Perspectives (4 cr) or
  • SE 650 Children at Risk (4 cr) or
  • HE 720 Selected Problems in Health Education (4 cr)

Specialization Courses

*The specific number of courses chosen will vary. Students will work with their advisor to determine which courses are appropriate for completion of the specialization and to obtain the 36 credits necessary for the degree.

  • CE 630 Positive Psychology (4 cr)
  • CE 650 Counseling Skills & Techniques in Sport and Exercise Psychology (4 cr)
  • CE 710 Child and Adolescent Psychopathology (3 cr)
  • CT 524 Institute on Values in Physical Education and Sport (4 cr)
  • EC 605 Topics in Child Development & Education (4 cr)
  • ED 502/503 Professional Teaching Seminar: Analyzing Foundations of Teaching (2 cr)
  • HE 522 Community Health (4 cr)
  • HE 720 Selected Problems in Health Education (4 cr)
  • HE 722 Curriculum Development for Health, Movement, and Wellness (4 cr)
  • HE 724 Sexuality, Culture, and Human Development (2 cr)
  • PE 501 Methods of Coaching (4 cr)
  • PE 502 Movement and PA in Schools (2 cr)
  • PE 504 Workshop on Coaching Strategies (4 cr)
  • PE 506 Motor Development: Considerations for Planning Movement (4 cr)
  • PE 513 Practical Applications for Physical Education and Health Education (4 cr)
  • PE 529 Psychology of Coaching Teams (4 cr)
  • PE 591/2 Coaching Practicum 1 & 2 (2 cr/2 cr)
  • PE 705 Analysis of Teaching and Coaching Movement (4 cr)
  • PE 710 Sport Theory & Social Systems (4 cr)
  • PE 580/581/582/583 Physical Education Student Teaching (8 cr)
  • SE 502 Behavioral and Emotional Problems: Characteristics and Methods (4 cr)
  • SE 510 Special Education: Curriculum & Instruction (2 cr)
  • SE 650 Children at Risk (4 cr)
  • SE 760 Special Education: Cognition, Learning, and Behavior (2 cr)
  • AP 900 Independent Study (var cr)