Impact scholarship and your career with a PhD in Developmental Psychology.
Prepare to investigate, apply, and teach innovative concepts in human development as a researcher, faculty member, administrator, or consultant. Walden’s doctoral program in developmental psychology includes coursework in sound psychology research methods, and how to view contemporary issues impacting mental health and human development across the life span through the lens of your results.
Prepare for thought-leadership roles in a broad variety of workplace settings as you deepen your expertise in developmental psychology.
Our globally relevant curriculum explores today’s most pressing issues through a multicultural lens, and examines their impact on human development across the lifespan.
Align your studies to your personal and professional goals: Choose the General Program or one of seven specializations and master your knowledge in an area of human development that interests you most.
Each of our PhD in Developmental Psychology faculty members is a scholar-practitioner with a doctoral degree and demonstrated experience in their respective fields.
General Admission Requirements
Completed online application and transcripts. Please note that the materials you are required to submit may vary depending on the academic program to which you apply. More information for international applicants.
ResidenciesFour academic residencies
support your progress at key points in your doctoral journey. Residencies also strengthen your scholarly and professional connections.
Earn Your Master of Philosophy Degree Along the Way
Walden understands the rigors involved with preparing for your doctorate. To signify how far you’ve come on your journey, you will be eligible to be awarded a Master of Philosophy (MPhil) degree upon completion of program requirements, prior to completion of your dissertation.
Walden is one of a few universities that offer this advanced research master’s degree. Highlight your academic achievement and show employers and others that you possess comprehensive knowledge in your field of study.
Solidify Your Professional Identity
Blending relevant theories with practical skills, Walden’s doctoral program in developmental psychology equips you to impact the field as an expert developmental psychologist. Learn to apply your knowledge of human behavior, informed by foundational and original research, toward promoting positive social change in the lives of individuals, families, and communities in a variety of settings.
Meet Your Program Director
Sreeroopa SarkarProgram Director
Dr. Sreeroopa Sarkar has contributed her expertise to Walden’s postgraduate psychology programs for more than 14 years. A published researcher in the areas of mental health in school settings, mental health and gender, and human development, she regularly presents at national and international conferences.Read Sreeroopa's Bio
As a graduate of Walden’s PhD in Developmental Psychology program, you will be prepared to:
- Synthesize developmental psychology theory and research in the physical, cognitive, emotional, health, social, and cultural aspects of human life span development.
- Evaluate how key issues and seminal works within the field apply to human development across the life span—including physical, cognitive, emotional, social, and cultural aspects.
- Produce independent scholarly research utilizing basic and advanced research methods.
- Apply theory and research to the practice of developmental psychology.
- Demonstrate the ability to apply results of evidence-based developmental psychology research in various institutions and organizations concerned with issues impacting human development.
- Describe experiences and perspectives of diverse populations (including, but not limited to, race, culture, socioeconomics, age, gender, sexual orientation, and disability) from a developmental psychology perspective.
- Apply relevant ethical codes (e.g., APA) in developmental psychology research, practice, and professional settings.
- Discuss how social and political issues, policies, and events impact the field of developmental psychology.
- Engage in professional activities related to developmental psychology that promote positive social change.
What’s the Career Impact of Earning a PhD in Developmental Psychology?
Across the country and around the world, people of all ages face unprecedented challenges that require sophisticated expertise to address. With a PhD in Developmental Psychology, you can help shape the future of the field—and its application to society’s most pressing issues.
According to the Bureau of Labor statistics, job prospects in the field of psychology are best for those who hold a doctoral degree in an applied specialty.1 Together with the fact that employment opportunities in postsecondary education are expected to grow by 9% between now and 20292—outpacing average growth for all other occupations—a doctorate in developmental psychology can open new career opportunities.
A PhD in Developmental Psychology can prepare you to pursue career options such as:
- College professor
- Nonprofit program administrator
- Early childhood education consultant
- Policy researcher
A PhD in Developmental Psychology can prepare you to work in settings such as:
- Educational services
- Healthcare and social assistance
- Nursing and residential care facilities
- Professional, scientific, and technical services
Career options may require additional experience, training, or other factors beyond the successful completion of this degree program.
FAQ About Walden’s Online PhD in Developmental Psychology Program
When it comes to finding the best online academic institution, reputation is key. Walden University has been leading adult learning and developing distance education programs for more than 50 years. Accreditation is an important factor to consider as well. Accreditation helps assure prospective students that the university meets and maintains accepted standards set forth by an independent accrediting body recognized by the Department of Education. Walden University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. Lastly, working professionals need to be supported in their journey, from enrollment through graduation, so that they can be successful. Walden University provides support in the areas of academia, financial aid, technology, career services, research, scholarly writing, and more.
The decision to study on campus or online is a personal one that often comes down to convenience. Since online learning doesn’t require traveling to class, many working professionals prefer online graduate programs so they can better balance work and family obligations. Plus, online doctoral programs feature the hallmarks of traditional programs, including rigorous coursework, class discussions (albeit asynchronous), a wide range of specializations, writing assessments, dissertations, and more. Walden University’s online developmental psychology PhD program features dedicated support teams, leading faculty experts, and a diverse student body that often brings international perspectives to the classroom.
From psychopathology to the developmental needs of an aging population, the curriculum in a developmental psychology doctoral degree program can strengthen your understanding of the interaction between the cognitive, physical, emotional, social, health, and cultural aspects of development. A general curriculum provides a broad foundation in developmental psychology and how you can apply its principles across the human life span. Some programs, such as the one offered by Walden University, also allow you to choose from various specializations so you can focus your studies on topics you’re most passionate about. Specializations include Administration and Leadership, Child and Adolescent Development, Health and Human Development, International Perspectives in Developmental Psychology, Research, and Teaching, as well as a Self-Designed specialization.
Designed to prepare you for the doctoral journey, academic residencies are face-to-face or virtual learning experiences that align with your online coursework to enhance your skill development, scholarship, and professional practice. Required for most PhD programs—including Walden’s PhD in Developmental Psychology—residencies also provide students with the opportunity to collaborate and network with other students, staff, and faculty members.
Walden’s PhD in Developmental Psychology program offers a General Program and seven specializations so that you can grow your knowledge in the area that interests you most. When deciding how to focus your studies, here are some things to consider:
- Give thought to your aspirations, passions, and career goals, and look for a specialization that aligns with them.
- Think about research topics you might wish to consider for your doctoral study. The information you gain in your specialization courses can be leveraged as you complete your research.
- Keep in mind that if you don’t find the perfect fit for your choice of specialization, Walden’s General Program allows you to gain a broad understanding of developmental psychology and how you can apply its principles throughout your career. Or, you can opt for the Self-Designed specialization and customize your program of study by choosing courses from among the other program specializations.
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