PhD in Applied Developmental Psychology

The PhD in Applied Developmental Psychology (ADP) trains students to become world-class research scientists studying human development.

Our ADP faculty and students engage in applied research using a variety of methods and approaches, including in-depth observation, longitudinal modeling, and experimental designs.  ​

This 90-credit program can be completed in approximately five years. Students have the opportunity to learn and grow as researchers through the close mentoring relationships developed with our faculty.

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Program Facts

Degree Type

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


90 credits



Time Commitment



5 years on average

Enrollment Term


Admissions Deadline

December 1

Admissions Requirements

No GRE Exam is required

Program Overview

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.


Degree Requirements

The degree requirements can be found in our PhD in Applied Developmental Psychology Handbook (PDF)


There are no specific prerequisite requirements. However, prior research and/or professional experience working with children and families in community or school settings is 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.

Career Pathways

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