Developmental Psychology PhD Program
The Graduate Training Track in Developmental Psychology prepares developmental scientists whose training and research is aimed at understanding and supporting the healthy development of children, youth, and families. Through research training, coursework, and teaching, students gain the professional skills they need for non-clinical academic or professional careers.
We emphasize research, training, scholarship, and teaching. Students select a faculty research mentor and a supporting faculty advisor who help ensure that students take advantage of the broad set of training and research opportunities that are open to them. As part of students’ ongoing research training, they will complete:
- A critical review paper (i.e., First Year Paper)
- A Master’s thesis
- A Written Qualifying Exam (i.e., mock grant proposal)
- An Oral Qualifying Exam
- The PhD dissertation
En route to earning the PhD degree in Psychology, students in the Developmental Psychology Training Track complete a Master's degree in our program (24 hours), or enter with a Master’s in Developmental Psychology or in a closely related field from an accredited institution. An additional 36 credit hours are required beyond the Master's degree for the doctoral degree, for a total of 60 credit hours. Course work includes:
- Advanced Statistics (482) and Multivariate Statistics (491)
- Research Methods (420)
- One of two Neuroscience courses (435 or 552)
- Cognitive Development (475) and Social Development (473)
- Four Developmental Topics Courses
- One Social or Clinical Topics Course
- Four Research/Readings Courses (599, 598, 597, 599)
- Three Electives
- Two Minor Area Courses
More information on the requirements of the program can be found in the Developmental Training Track Policies and Procedures Manual.
We seek strong students who are driven by a curiosity about developmental phenomena. Successful applicants typically have a GPA of 3.5 or higher, GRE scores of 600 or higher, and strong letters of reference from faculty who know them well.
Considerable attention is also given to applicants' ability to articulate their research interests and career plans in their personal statements. A match between student and faculty is a key determining factor for admission
as well. Therefore, applicants are encouraged to describe how their interests coincide with the interest of particular faculty member/members they wish to work with.
We matriculate two to three students each year out of approximately 40 to 50 applicants. Students are funded through Merit Awards from the Graduate School, fellowships, and faculty grants.
More information about our current students can be found here.
Students who complete the PhD training track in Developmental Psychology will:
- Acquire broad understanding of psychological concepts, and advanced knowledge of the cognitive, social, emotional, cultural, physical, neurological and spiritual factors that promote the learning and development of children and youth.
- Become versed in various data gathering methods, the ethical conduct of research, and the use of sophisticated statistical techniques.
- Conduct original research that contributes new knowledge and can ultimately support the healthy development of children, youth, and families.
- Learn about available research funding opportunities, and obtain experience with grant writing.
- Produce high quality oral and written presentations, including posters at conferences, and publications in peer-reviewed journals.