PhD in Applied Developmental Psychology

The PhD in Applied Developmental Psychology (ADP) program trains students to become world-class research scientists studying human development. ADP faculty and students engage in applied research using a variety of methods and approaches, including in-depth observation, longitudinal modeling, and experimental designs.  ​

Quick Facts

  • Program Duration: 5 years on average
  • Time Commitment: Full-time program of study  
  • Term of Enrollment: Fall term
  • Application Deadline: December 1
  • Course Requirements: 90 credits
  • Application Requirements: GRE exam is not required

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Program Details

Our PhD program in Applied Developmental Psychology prepares you for research careers answering meaningful practice and policy questions relevant to improving the lives of children, youth, and families.

You will study the following subjects in depth:

  • The influence of individual, interpersonal, and contextual factors on learning and well-being outcomes for children and youth in school and out-of-school settings  
  • How human development and context interact to generate dynamic patterns of child and youth behavior  
  • The effectiveness of interventions to promote learning and wellbeing outcomes for children and youth 

Students complete coursework in a diverse set of topics to learn academic writing skills, real-world applied research design, data analytic tools that match the complexities of the context under study, and authentic assessment strategies.


Ashley Shafer student testimonial

Degree Requirements

The degree requirements can be found in the official PhD in Applied Developmental Psychology Handbook


There are no specific prerequisite requirements. However, prior research and/or professional experience working with children and families in community or school settings preferred. Our most successful students have a few post-baccalaureate years of child- and youth-serving work experience to develop first-hand knowledge of child development in context.

Affiliated Faculty

Career Pathways

Our graduates go on to have successful research careers in a variety of settings including institutions of higher education and research centers.