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Department of Behavioral Sciences

Find out about our undergraduate majors and minors, Couple and Family Therapy graduate program and more.

Jalyn Smith

The professors in my major not only cared about the students’ academic success, but also about us as individuals. When classes became difficult, they would remind us of all the people we are going to help and the lives we are going to change.

Jalyn A. Smith, Social Work, ’22

A PNW student stands outdoors

It’s nice to be in a more intimate, smaller setting. It makes me feel like I’m actually a student, not a number.

Mya Bell, Human Development and Family Studies, ‘24

Michelle Watkins

The faculty in the department took the time to build a rapport with students and displayed a genuine concern about the quality of education we received. I am proud to have chosen HDFS as a major.

Michelle Watkins, Human Development and Family Services

Elise Garcia headshot

I chose sociology because I believe that, to effect change anywhere, it is crucial to understand the societal/human aspect of issues. The root cause of many social problems begins with the people in our communities and how their behavior can impact the society at large.

– Elise Garcia, ’23, Sociology Minor


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Take the Next Step

Apply Today

Start your journey to success at PNW– see how to apply!

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Invest in Your Future

Student Resources

Take advantage of resources including scholarships and student organizations.

Hubert Izienicki

Meet Behavioral Studies

Our Faculty

Our faculty are accomplished in teaching, research, publication and practice.


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Our Social Work program is accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE). Our Couple and Family Therapy graduate program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Marriage and Family Therapy Education (COAMFTE).

News and Announcements

Sharyl Riley

Chancellor Medallion Recipient: Meet 2023 PNW graduate Sharyl Riley

Sharyl Riley, ’23, earned a bachelor of science degree in Computer Information Technology with a concentration in Cybersecurity from the College of Technology and a minor in Criminal Justice from the College of Humanities, Education and Social Sciences at Purdue University Northwest (PNW). 

PNW graduates in the procession at spring 2023 commencement. A mortar board decorated with PNW is visible, as is the Nils K. Nelson Bioscience Innovation Building in the background.

Purdue University Northwest Graduates Encouraged to Remember Civics at Spring Commencement

Purdue University Northwest graduates were urged to uphold the values and freedoms afforded to them as U.S. residents and exhibit service to others as exemplary, participatory civilians in a democracy, during PNW’s spring 2023 commencement Saturday, May 6.

Social work graduate Caitlyn Kalisik

PNW Graduate LaPorte Police Department’s First Social Worker

The Northwest Indiana Times shares how Purdue University Northwest graduate Caitlyn Kalisik is helping officers deal with mental health and drug abuse issues encountered during calls for assistance.

Upcoming Events

Jun 12

Summer 2023 Session II Classes Begin

Summer 2023 Session II classes begin including the eight-week session and second four-week session.

Jun 18

Deadline to Submit Summer 2023 Application to Graduate

Summer 2023 candidates for graduation must apply to graduate in myPNW.

Aug 21

Fall 2023 Classes Begin

We’re excited to kick off another semester of learning and PNW Pride. Power Onward! Fall 2023 Classes begin Monday, August 21, 2023.

Aug 21

Fall 2023 Late Registration Begins

Fall 2023 Late Registration runs Monday, August 21, through Friday, August 25, 2023. Be sure to register beforehand if possible.