The Human Development PhD program promotes the capacity of all humans to develop their full potential and to continue to develop throughout the lifespan. Graduates apply learning from the inner sciences (wisdom traditions, psychology, human development, somatics, spirituality) to transform the self and societies for healing and empowerment.  Learners become catalyzing agents in the transformation of personal, social, and societal systems towards justice, equality for all.

Our PhD offers a Masters of Arts degree in the path to the doctorate. See “Human Development, MA (pathway masters for PhD students)” in the Fielding course catalog.  

Electives can be taken in other disciplines and domains of practice including Human and Organizational Development (HOD) as well as other courses in the School of Leadership Studies (SLS).

Required Courses

The following courses forge a strong foundation for your advanced studies while challenging you to consider alternative and complementary perspectives and contexts beyond your current profession.

Electives: Define Your Own Scholar-Practitioner Identity

Our electives offer the flexibility to find your own Scholar-Practitioner identity. See the Fielding catalog for a full list of electives.

Below are some examples of HD Scholar-Practitioner identities and some related courses. Students choose their own path through the program and select electives. The following are possible choices of courses to match identities. In addition, our concentrations provide additional paths  for students.

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The Scholar-Academic

HOD 857 Adult Development

HOD 851 Creative Longevity and Wisdom

HOD 815 Transformative Phenomenology


The Scholar-Counselor-Healer

HOD 816 Post Traumatic Growth

HOD 852 Spiritual Psychology

HOD 845 Somatics in Human and Organization Development


The Scholar-Activist-Advocate

HOD 814 Gendered Identities

HOD 837 Ethnography and Crossing Borders

HOD 844 Leadership for Social and Ecological Sustainability


The Scholar-Coach

HOD 815 Transformative Learning

HOD 847 Theoretical Foundations of Evidence Based Coaching

HOD 848 Organizational & Leadership Coaching

HOD 849 Evidenced Based Coaching Practice


The Scholar-Catalyst-Thought Leader

HOD 815 Transformative Learning

HOD 840 Inclusive Leadership: Transforming Self and Systems

HOD 857 Adult Development

The Scholar - _______ <Fill in the Blank>

Craft your own scholar-practitioner identity electives!

Other showcased electives:  HOE 856 Writing Phenomenology; HOD 826 Social Change; HOD883QA Advanced Qualitative Research