Frequently Asked Questions

Go to questions about:

Binghamton University downtown center location

What is the Binghamton University Downtown Center and where is it located?

The Binghamton University Downtown Center/UDC is home to the Department of Human Development, which is part of the University's College of Community and Public Affairs. It is located at 67 Washington Street in Binghamton, New York.

As an HDEV major, where will my classes be?

You will take classes on Binghamton's Vestal campus during your freshman year and the first semester of your sophomore year while you are completing introductory courses and those that fulfill SUNY's General Education requirements.

Human development courses  begin the second semester of your sophomore year and are offered, for the most part, at the Binghamton University Downtown Center in downtown Binghamton. This is where you will study for the remainder of your sophomore, junior and senior years. Note that some courses are cross-listed (hosted by more than one department) and may be offered on the Vestal campus.

Will I live on the Vestal campus?

As an incoming freshman, you are required to live on the Vestal campus in one of our residential communities. Be sure to check out our residential community committed to public service. As a sophomore, junior and senior, you may choose to live on campus or off campus. You may wish to continue living on campus during your sophomore year since you will be completing introductory courses and courses to fulfill your General Education requirements throughout the first semester of your sophomore year and these courses are offered on the Vestal campus. Many juniors and seniors move off campus and live near the Binghamton University Downtown Center. Our Off Campus College maintains a list of off-campus housing.

How will I travel between the Vestal campus and the UDC and how long does it take?

The University's Off Campus College Transport/OCCT operates buses that run between the Vestal campus and the UDC (among other locations). These buses are free and available to students, faculty and staff; just show your Binghamton University ID card. It takes approximately 10 minutes to travel between the two locations, which are 4.5 miles apart. Buses run every 20 minutes and depart from bus stations located on each campus.

Binghamton students, faculty and staff may also ride BC Transit buses free of charge by showing their University ID card. Get more information on our transportation webpage.

How do students feel about traveling between the two campuses?

Students feel safe on both OCCT and BC Transit buses and don't mind the short (approximately 10 minute) ride between the two campuses. They tell us they enjoy being in the heart of Binghamton, which enables them to take advantage of the many activities in and around the downtown campus.

Is the downtown area safe? What safety measures are in place at the Binghamton University Downtown Center?

Student safety is a priority at the UDC. The area surrounding the center is generally safe. It is usually teeming with student life, since students make up a majority of the downtown population.

A security guard is on duty at the Binghamton University Downtown Center 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and the Binghamton Police Department is a block away. A highly visible emergency phone is located in the UDC's parking lot. This phone will automatically connect the user with the New York State University Police at Binghamton.

Curriculum and faculty

What courses do I take as a freshman human development major?

You will begin working on your core human development (HDEV) courses once you are a second-semester sophomore. Prior to that (as a freshman and during the first semester of your sophomore year), you will be working on courses to fulfill your General Education requirements  as well as completing introductory courses.

Required introductory courses are:

  • A 100 or 200 level course in psychology
  • A 100 or 200 level course in sociology
  • A 100 or 200 level course in any of these social sciences: anthropology, political science, history, geography or economics

During this time you may also wish to take The Study of Human Change (HDEV 100). This is also a good time to explore additional areas of interest. Remember, you need 124 credits to graduate, so it is okay to take a class just because, especially when you are a freshman!

What is the course curriculum?

The major course requirements for HDEV students are:

Additional information about the course curriculum and requirements is presented in the University Bulletin (be sure to select "College of Community and Public Affairs" in the "Undergraduate Fields of Study by Department" box), and on our major requirements/curriculum, course schedule, registering for courses and course descriptions webpages.

I'm interested in a career in psychology or counseling. How do I decide whether a major in human development or psychology is right for me? 

Binghamton's College of Community and Public Affairs offers a bachelor of science in human development, while our Harpur College of Arts and Sciences offers a bachelor of arts in psychology. While both programs are outstanding, they will prepare you for different areas of contribution and for further study and careers. Learn more about these majors and read tips on how to choose which major is right for you

Can I transfer into HDEV from another major?

Whether you are considering transferring from another major at Binghamton University or from another institution, the Human Development Department offers a flexible transfer credit policy that allows maximization of transfer credit. Learn more about our transfer credit policy. We also encourage you to speak with an HDEV academic advisor for additional information.

Can I double major with a program outside human development?

Our flexible curriculum makes it possible to double major (or to add a minor, see next question). If you are interested in two majors, it is possible to complete both degrees as a double major/degree student. We strongly encourage students to pursue their interest in obtaining a double major/degree across school lines, especially with our Harpur College of Arts and Sciences.

What about adding a minor to my HDEV major?

HDEV students often choose to add a minor; many select from minors offered by Harpur College of Arts and Sciences. A minor in global studies offered through the University's Office of International Programs is another popular choice; as is the minor in immigration studies offered within the Human Development Department.

What is the average class size of HDEV courses?

Our classroom sizes run, on average, about 40-50 students, not including HDEV 100 and HDEV 200, which are larger (about 150 students and 80 students, respectively). These sizes are much smaller than average introductory-level courses, which can be upwards of 300 students. The smaller class sizes provide students and faculty with a great opportunity to get to know one another.

When do classes meet and for how long?

Class blocks are usually three hours; classes typically meet once a week. This schedule allows students to take classes on the Vestal campus and get involved with outside activities since it frees up much of the week.

How will I get to know my classmates and instructors?

Smaller class sizes give HDEV students and faculty the chance to get to know one another on a closer level. As you move through the program with the same cohort of students, you will quickly recognize familiar faces in the classroom. In addition, since HDEV courses involve a great deal of discussion and interaction, you will truly get to know your classmates.

What teaching style can I expect?

Every faculty member teaches a bit differently; however, most human development classes follow a similar format. Classes usually rely heavily on class discussion in which you will be encouraged to share your opinions and speak your mind. Classes also involve individual and group presentations as well as papers and tests. The main focus of many classes is for you to engage in the material and develop your own views and perspectives about a given topic. These classes are less concentrated on memorizing facts and information, and more on expanding your reading, writing and critical-thinking skills. These are attributes that are applicable to the real world and are necessary and beneficial in professional settings.

What areas of research are HDEV faculty involved in and how does that affect teaching?

Many of our faculty members teach classes in areas of their own personal interest and research; this comes through in the passionate ways in which they convey the material. Areas of interest HDEV faculty members teach as well as conduct research in include: gender inequalities, HIV and AIDS, racial inequalities, child development, adolescent development, death and dying, sexuality, education and the education system, government policies, mental health and immigration. Explore our faculty webpage for additional information.

Internships and study-abroad opportunities

Will I have the chance to complete an internship?

You are required to take part in an internship as part of the Practicum in Human Development (HDEV 475) course, the final course you will take before graduating. An HDEV advisor, our peer advisors and the course instructor will work with you to make sure you find a practicum site that is relevant to your interests. Often, students who do not know what they want to do after graduation discover their passion through this experience. Some students have been hired following graduation by the organization with which they did their practicum. In addition to the required practicum, you may choose to complete an internship or other service-learning experience .

NOTE: Internship opportunities are regularly advertised through the HDEV listserv. As an HDEV student, you will automatically be placed on this listserv. 

Are study abroad options available?

There are several learning opportunities that allow you to experience studying abroad. Be sure to consult with an HDEV academic advisor about your options since you want to be sure you have the time you need to prepare and complete your coursework, so you can make the most of your study-abroad experience.

Advising and other resources

When do I meet with an academic advisor?

You should and can meet with an HDEV academic advisor  as soon as you arrive on campus. Your advisor will be available throughout your time in the HDEV program, and you are free to speak to your advisor whenever you have questions about degree planning, course registration, internships and any other issue. In addition, your advisor is a great resource for information about other programs on campus.

What other resources are available?

  • HDEV peer advisors  are upperclassmen who have completed the majority of the HDEV major and have valuable information regarding classes and what the HDEV student experience is really like. They are always available and willing to help!
  • Department faculty are always willing to help students, so feel free to attend their office hours.
  • The Writing Center offers free, skilled, peer tutoring on all aspects of writing and holds weekly tutoring hours at the University Downtown Center.
  • Binghamton University Libraries staff are an invaluable resource, offering assistance finding references for papers and more. Library staff are available at the Information Commons in the University Downtown Center.
  • CCPA's professional development services coordinator is located right in the UDC and specializes in fields that HDEV students (and those pursuing degrees throughout CCPA) are well suited for.
  • Fleishman Career and Professional Development Center staff provide resources and assistance to help students explore careers, find internship locations, apply to graduate school and more.

Can I transfer to another program?

If at any time you feel that human development is not the major for you, you are free to complete an intra-university transfer/IUT to another program at Binghamton University. Information about the IUT (which is the same form for a double degree), is presented on the Undergraduate Admissions webpage for current, returning and non-degree students.

 After you graduate

What are some professional career opportunities with a degree in human development?

There are many career opportunities available to students who hold a degree in human development. Students may choose to pursue fields related to public service such as social work, public policy, student affairs, counseling, guidance counseling, teaching, therapy (emotional, physical, occupational, family), law, medicine, business, marketing and more. We encourage you to speak to your HDEV academic advisor about your career options and visit our after you graduate webpage.

What is the average salary of a graduating HDEV student?

Human development prepares students for various career paths, so there is not one set salary you can expect to receive. With a degree in human development, you are acquiring the skills to understand and work with people in many different contexts. This enables you to enter into a wide array of fields and earn a broad range of salaries. 

What graduate schools do students who major in HDEV tend to get accepted into and in what programs of study?

Human development graduates have been accepted into master's degree and doctoral programs in the fields of social work, public administration or policy, psychology, education and law. Recent graduates are currently pursuing graduate degrees here at Binghamton University, at SUNY Albany and at the University of Chicago, just to name a few. Learn more on our after you graduate webpage.

Last Updated: 9/6/16