Counseling and Educational Psychology

Ph.D. in Learning and Developmental Sciences-Specialization in Human Development

The study of human development has practical implications for everything from preschool curriculum development to geriatric care. Students study human development to understand how individuals develop biologically, cognitively, socially, and emotionally and the impact this has throughout their entire lifespan. They also conduct independent research, develop teaching skills, and prepare for a career as a faculty member, institutional researcher, or education consultant. This program includes a strong grounding in all of the concepts and theories of human development, plus the opportunity to become an expert in one or more aspects of the human development of specific interest.

Degree Requirements

Major Requirements (36 cr.)

Students must take three courses in development so that each major period of the lifespan is studied (9 cr. total)

Childhood (3 cr.)
  • P515 Child Development (3 cr.)
  • P623 Child Development (3 cr.)
    (recommended course.)
Adolescence (3 cr.):
  • P516 Adolescent Development (3 cr.)
Adulthood (3 cr.):
Select one course from the following:
  • P513 Gerontology: Multidisciplinary Perspective (3 cr.)
  • P517 Adult Development and Aging (3 cr.)
  • P650 Topical Seminar in Educational Psychology: Emerging Adulthood (3 cr.)
Required Courses:
  • P590 Independent Study in Educational Psychology (3 cr.)
  • P601 Educational and Historical Foundations of Psychology (3 cr.)
  • P624 The Biology of Behavior: Implications for Educational & Clinical Practice (3 cr.)
  • P685 Proseminar in Human Development (1 cr. per semester) (6 cr.)
The remaining credits from the 36 total may be chosen from:
  • P513 Gerontology: Multidisciplinary Perspective (3 cr.)
    (If not taken for the Adulthood requirement.)
  • P517 Adult Development and Aging (3 cr.)
    (If not taken for the Adulthood requirement.)
  • P518 Social Aspects of Aging (3 cr.)
  • P622 Social Development (3 cr.)
  • P625 Family Processes (3 cr.)
  • P650 Topical Seminar in Educational Psychology: Emerging Adulthood (3 cr.)
    (If not taken for Adulthood requirement.)
  • P652 Family Transitions (3 cr.)
  • P683 Developmental Epidemiology (3 cr.)
  • PSY-P657 Topical Seminar:  Development and Psychopathology (3 cr.)


Inquiry Requirements (15 cr.)

  • Y502 Intermediate Statistics Applied to Education (3 cr.)
    (Must be taken concurrently with Y500.)
  • Y521 Methodological Approaches to Educational Inquiry (3 cr.)
  • Y527 Educational Assessment and Psychological Assessment (3 cr.)
  • Y604 Multivariate Analysis in Educational Research (3 cr.)
    (Must be taken concurrently with Y500.)
  • Y645 Covariance Structure Analysis (3 cr.)

We also highly recommend:

  • Y637 Categorical Data Analysis (3 cr.)
  • Y639 Multilevel Modeling (3 cr.)
  • Y655 Longitudinal Data Analysis (3 cr.)

Minor Requirements (12 cr. minimum)

The minor must have integrity in its own right and must complement the major. The minor field must demonstrate wholeness within itself and contribute to the student's overall doctoral program. Minors are normally formulated within a single program area. However, an interdisciplinary or individualized minor is also possible. Interdisciplinary or individualized minors require a written description of the minor's underlying theme along with a rationale for each course's contribution to that theme through the Minor Justification form. This form should be submitted and approved by the Graduate Studies Office before enrolling in the minor courses.  Major area courses may not be used in the minor.


Electives or Second Minor Requirements (12 cr. minimum)

If you receive a job appointment to be an Associate Instructor, then you must take (counts as an elective on the program of studies):

  • P650 Topical Seminar in Educational Psychology: College Teaching (each year of teaching) (2 cr.)


Early Inquiry Experience

To satisfy the program requirements, the student must carry out an independent research project as an early inquiry experience. The resulting research report must be read and approved by the major members of the program of studies committee. This project must be completed before advancing to candidacy and is expected to be completed in the first three years. A master’s thesis can be considered but must meet the same approval process.

Dissertation Requirements (15 cr.)

  • P795 Dissertation Proposal Preparation (3 cr.)
  • P799 Doctoral Thesis in Educational Psychology (12 cr.)

Academic Bulletins

PDF Version

Click here for the PDF version.

Contact Us

Contact information for:

Additional program information can be found at the Office of Graduate Studies.