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Since graduating the first group of HDSR majors in 1978, this innovative, interdisciplinary program has been a firm foundation for hundreds of HDSR graduates — a foundation which has served them well as they entered the work force, furthered their education, and lived meaningful personal lives.

An HDSR major is excellent preparation for a broad range of careers; its focus on understanding and working effectively with people and organizations is vital for most professions. HDSR graduates have pursued careers and further study in such fields as:

  • social work
  • medicine
  • law
  • education
  • non-profit management
  • human development
  • government and public policy
  • clinical psychology
  • ministry

Words from our alumni

"HDSR is not just interdisciplinary, but integrative in that we utilize the knowledge from different fields and organize it to create completely new ways of thinking, analyzing and knowing. It has equipped me to rethink common social assumptions and transform society by imagining and creating it differently."
— Taryn Kinkaid, Class of 2008

"I am able to think systemically and understand change processes. I have individual, team, and cultural lenses on the world."
— Kim Marshall, Class of 1983
    Holy Names College Leadership Development Coach

"HDSR prepared me in many ways for my position as marketing director. HDSR also helped me within a team environment with my coworkers."
— Tara Nahrup, Class of 2001
    Marketing Director

"To be effective, social justice work requires critical thinking skills and the ability to understand systems, organizations and persons in context — skills that HDSR classes are specifically designed to help students develop. I wouldn't trade my HDSR education for anything."
— Zach Warren, Class of 2003
    Master of Divinity 2007, Harvard Divinity School

"HDSR gave me a solid educational base on which to pursue further academic studies. During my 10 year reunion, most of us realized how special Earlham College is. It is a place that fosters learning, growth, and there are many other passionate and like-minded people around you. Take advantage of that."
— Melanie Brooks, Class of 1995
    English Language Fellow, U.S. Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs
    Izmir, Turkey

"I remember learning about the goals of the Problem Analysis during a class. My professor explained that one of the benefits of having to do this type of synthesis of information in a concise and explanatory manner is that, if we were to ever have to do a similar task in our future jobs, it would be with many more stakes and in a much shorter time period.

'I did not believe you!' I thought, 'I cannot see myself EVER having to do that...what kind of project would that even be? I'm not going to work for a corporation!'

Well, I am not working for a corporation at all, and here I find myself in just that position. In the last six weeks I have written a new vocational program for autistic students. I feel very lucky that I walked into this with experience in organizing information and making a case for a topic I care about."

— Lillian Peterson
Class of 1995

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