BS in Education & Human Development

All undergraduate students entering BU Wheelock College of Education & Human Development enroll in the undergraduate major, the Bachelor of Science (BS) in Education & Human Development. This program combines coursework and field-based experiences in education, human development, psychology, and the social sciences, and opens doors to future opportunities such as undergraduate research, teacher licensure, and diverse careers.

Note: As a student majoring in the BS in Education & Human Development, you’ll take core and signature courses (years 1&2) and then choose one of five specialization pathways for additional coursework and field-based experiences (years 3&4). Students seeking teacher licensure can select to go into one of our accelerated master’s programs to earn a master’s degree and initial license.

Program structure

YEARS 1&2: Students fulfill the requirements of the major at BU Wheelock and explore BU’s 17 schools and colleges to fulfill HUB requirements

Core Courses

  • Exploring Professions that Change Lives: Introduces students to professions serving children and families and includes field-based experiences in and around the city of Boston.
  • Intro to Human Development: Explores human development through the lifespan (prenatal development through death) and examines cross-cultural differences and similarities.
  • Social Science Research for Community Impact: Introduces quantitative, qualitative, and mixed-methods approaches to conducting research.
  • Anti-Oppressive Practice: Education & Applied Psychology: Builds cultural competence and promotes respectful and effective interactions with children, parents, and colleagues.
  • Theme-based Approaches to Studying Complex Issues in Education and Human Development: Explores a single topic pertinent to education and human development, such as racism or immigration, and its effect on children and families.
  • Introduction to Design as Educational Inquiry.  Introduces various approaches to design-centered inquiry in educational, workplace and community settings, including the political and ethical underpinnings of these approaches and their implications for educational and social change. 
  • Life Design 1 & 2: Developing your Personal Brand: Teaches identifying and developing the unique skills and competencies needed to enter the world of work.
  • Child Policy: Examines public policies that affect children’s well-being and studies the needs and vulnerabilities of economically disadvantaged children and/or racially or ethnically marginalized children.

Signature Courses

  • Introduction to the Deaf World
  • Positive Youth Development
  • Introduction to Justice Based Education
  • (un)Learning as a Cultural Process

YEARS 3&4: Students select one of our professional specialization pathways 

Professional Specialization Pathways

    The BS in Education & Human Development emphasizes:

    • High-impact, thematic teaching approaches
    • The study of complex real-world challenges such as climate change, systemic racism, or global interconnectedness
    • Discovery and understanding of one’s role in advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion
    • Rotating field-based experiences to explore professional opportunities in settings such as schools, hospitals, mental health agencies, legal systems, and justice-based community organizations
    • Research for community impact at a Boston-based health organization, neighborhood, museum, or other community
    • Creating systemic, positive change through innovation and research
    • Professional training and preparation across psychology, education, and human development

      Other Academic Opportunities

      Students pursuing the BS in Education & Human Development have many other opportunities available to them, including:

      • Selecting a 5th year master’s degree program by choosing one of our teacher preparation programs at the elementary or secondary level that leads to licensure in early childhood, elementary, special education, bilingual education, deaf education, language and literacy education, or World Languages
      • Pursuing a program that leads to a career in Child Life, Youth Justice & Advocacy, Counseling Psychology, or Educational Leadership and Policy Studies.
      • Participating in the Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP), which provides awards to students to conduct research projects under faculty guidance
      • Contributing to grant-funded labs at BU Wheelock, such as the Social Adjustment & Bullying Prevention Lab, the Social Learning Lab, and the Language Acquisition & Visual Attention Lab

      Request information on the BS in Education & Human Development

      Do you think the BS in Education & Human Development is the right program for you? For more information, please contact the Student Services Office at 617-353-3177 or

      Apply to BU Wheelock College of Education & Human Development

      The undergraduate admissions process is managed by the Undergraduate Admissions Office. To get started on your application to Boston University, visit the BU Admissions website.

      Background Checks

      Students who are admitted into BU Wheelock routinely participate in field experiences as a part of their respective program curriculum and requirements. Most field sites require criminal background checks to determine students’ eligibility for participation. History of a criminal background may disqualify students from participating in these required experiences, which in turn may impede the successful completion of one’s degree program