Jul 15, 2024  
2023-2024 Catalog 
2023-2024 Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Psychology: Human Development — Elementary, BAE

Location(s): WWU - Bellingham

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Department of Psychology, College of Humanities and Social Sciences

60 credits


Psychology’s attempt to understand the human condition takes many approaches. Some psychologists study brain chemistry and its relation to behavior, while others study the behavior of individuals in groups. Still others are engaged in providing counseling or psychotherapy to people who are mentally ill or who are having difficulty in coping with the demands of life. With a faculty of over 40 individuals, all of whom hold a doctoral degree; the Department offers a program of study that provides a solid foundation in the general concepts and methods of Psychology, as well as courses and programs for students in many of the more specialized areas.

The human development program is designed to provide students in the elementary education program with an in-depth understanding of theory, research, and application in developmental psychology, and a sound background in general psychology. The program is designed to allow students flexibility in selecting psychology courses with the assistance of their advisor.

This major satisfies the academic major requirement for teacher certification with an endorsement in elementary education and must be accompanied by the professional preparation program in elementary education. See the Early Childhood, Elementary, and Multilingual Education  section of this catalog for program admission, completion, and teacher certification requirements.

Why Consider a Psychology: Human Development - Elementary Major?

Many of the major issues facing children and schools today – school readiness, achievement motivation, testing, classroom behavior, stereotyping, bullying, family, and neighborhood stressors – are issues of human psychology. Psychology, as the scientific study of mind and behavior, helps provide answers to these problems, as well as contributes to the scientific understanding of how children best think and learn.

 Contact Information

Department Chair
James Graham
Academic Instruction Center 440

Undergraduate Advisor
Tina Du Rocher Schudlich
Academic Instruction Center 476

Elementary Education
Professional Program

Miller Hall 300

Teacher Education Admission
Miller Hall 254F

 Sample Careers

Elementary Teacher

 Major/Career Resources


How to Declare (Admission and Declaration Process):

The Department of Psychology is deeply committed to diverse and equitable student access to a quality education and seeks to maximize students’ admission to the psychology major, while limiting wait times and maintaining a reasonable time to degree. However, the psychology major is highly impacted, with the number of fully qualified students interested in declaring the major exceeding the available seats. We strongly encourage all students who meet the minimum requirements to apply, and students who have previously not been accepted into the major are welcome to reapply. Application review will focus not only on academic achievement, but also on students’ commitment to furthering the values of the Psychology Department. To declare a major in Psychology: Human Development, a student must meet the following minimum requirements*:

  • Completion of the major application
  • Completion (including currently enrolled WWU courses) of at least 90 credits including:
    • PSY 101 and PSY 203 completed; 
    • two other courses from PSY 210, PSY 220, PSY 230, PSY 240 and PSY 250, completed or currently enrolled. Transfer credit accepted as indicated on the Transfer Equivalency Report; and
    • at least five PSY credits taken at Western, completed or currently enrolled.
  • Achieved a Western GPA (based on at least 12 credits) or psychology GPA (based on an average of all completed PSY 210-250 and PSY 203 coursework) of 2.70 or higher. In the absence of a Western GPA, a GPA of 2.70 or higher cumulative GPA from an equivalent four-year institution (based on at least 12 credits) or a completed Associates degree may substitute for the Western GPA.

*Meeting the above requirements does not guarantee admission to the Psychology: HD major.

For students who have met the minimum requirements, admission to the major will be determined each quarter on a space-available basis. After completing the above, submit an online application via the Department of Psychology website at chss.wwu.edu/psychology/declare-major. Applications will be available beginning the first week of each quarter. Application deadlines and notification dates are posted annually on the Department of Psychology Website. Candidates are selected based on a variety of factors, including GPA and written responses to application questions, and will be notified of major application status well in advance of Phase I registration for the subsequent quarter. Number of admissions and GPA information from recent quarters will be posted on the Department of Psychology website.

Other Departmental Information

The Department of Psychology employs all University academic policies, including but not limited to Insufficient Progress Toward Degree and Registration Holds: catalog.wwu.edu/content.php?catoid=16&navoid=3961#Insufficient_Progress_Toward_Degree_and_Registration_Holds

Grade Requirements

A grade of C (2.0) or better is required for courses in the elementary education professional program and all courses required for the endorsement.


Additional Requirements

Elementary Education Professional Program Requirements

Department of Early Childhood, Elementary, and Multilingual Education, Woodring College of Education

100 credits


This program centers an anti-bias, anti-racist, social justice philosophy and leads to a recommendation to the state of Washington for a teaching certificate with an Elementary Education endorsement. Students seeking a bachelor’s degree with teacher certification and an endorsement in elementary education must complete the GURs, an approved academic major, and the professional education course work listed below.

Admission and Declaration Process

See the Early Childhood, Elementary, and Multilingual Education  section of this catalog for program admission, completion, and teacher certification requirements.

Grade Requirements

Students must earn a grade of C (2.0) or better in the elementary education professional program and in all courses required for the endorsement.

Professional Field Experiences & Methods Courses (38 credits)

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