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What is Health and Human Development?

Diverse fields of study that share one
common goal: enriching the lives of others.

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Frequently Asked Questions about First-Year Seminars

Can I take only a thematic course?

No, students in HHD are required to take both PSU 14 and one of our thematic courses to fulfill their First-Year Seminar. There are only two exceptions to this:

  1. Penn State NCAA student-athletes, who only need to complete, BBH 102S, a 3 credit First-Year Seminar tailored to the unique needs of student-athletes; and,
  2. Students who complete the Leading Edge Academic Program (LEAP) or Aurora Program in the summer, who have their summer experience count for their First-Year Seminar.

Do I have to take the thematic course of my intended major?

No, you can choose from any of the thematic courses. While the First-Year Seminar of your intended major may give you a glimpse of what’s ahead, you may also be interested in the topic another department is offering or want to learn about some other programs in the College of Health and Human Development. All PSU 14 classes include a brief introduction to all majors in the College of Health and Human Development.

Why do the department-offered courses vary in their credits?

College of Health and Human Development departments and faculty members have some flexibility in how they want to provide their thematic courses and introduce first-year students to their field. Some departments have a version of a full introductory class to the major that is tailored to first-year students. Others provide courses that highlight special topics or current events. This adds to the options that students in the college can choose from when starting their Penn State experience.

How will these First-Year Seminar courses count towards my major?

First-Year Seminars are a required part of any Penn State curriculum and are part of what are called “University Requirements.” Students’ First-Year Seminar credits may also f it into your Penn State academic plan in other ways, which students can discuss with their academic adviser.