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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.

Elevate your career.

Prepare for thought-leadership roles in a broad variety of workplace settings as you deepen your expertise in developmental psychology.

Gain contemporary skills.

Our globally relevant curriculum explores today’s most pressing issues through a multicultural lens, and examines their impact on human development across the lifespan.

Claim your niche.

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.

Learn from leaders.

Each of our PhD in Developmental Psychology faculty members is a scholar-practitioner with a doctoral degree and demonstrated experience in their respective fields.

Program Savings

Receive up to a $4,000 grant if you reside in the U.S. and start this program on September 27, 2021. Contact one of our Enrollment Specialists to learn more.

Get Started Now

General Program and Specializations

Choose the Path is Right for You:

TRACK I: Choose this track if you have a master's degree in developmental psychology or psychology.

TRACK II: Choose this track if you have a GPA of 3.0 on bachelor’s degree or master's degree in another discipline.

General Program

Gain a broad understanding of developmental psychology and how you can apply its principles across the life span.

Track I Track II

Administration and Leadership

Focus on the latest theories and research in developmental psychology and gain knowledge and skills in the areas of organizational behavior, leadership development, and consulting.

Track I Track II

Child and Adolescent Development

Learn to apply the latest theories and research on child development, abnormal psychology, behavior analysis, and health issues affecting children and adolescents.

Track I Track II

Health and Human Development

Explore the psychology of health and human behavior, and learn to apply current research to healthcare, social services, and other workplace settings.

Track I Track II

International Perspectives

Discover how cultures and crises impact human development, and apply this knowledge toward understanding and addressing the physical and mental health of global populations.

Track I Track II


Build foundational knowledge in developmental psychology and ethics while honing advanced skills in research methodology and analysis. Sharpen your quantitative and qualitative research skills and learn to critically review the latest research in human development.

Track I Track II


Choose any five courses from among the PhD in Developmental Psychology program offerings to align your expertise with your personal and professional goals.

Track I Track II


In our Teaching specialization, you will learn to apply developmental theories and the latest research in human development to the science of learning and instruction.

Track I Track II

Admission Requirements

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.


Four 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 Sarkar

    Program 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

Learning Outcomes

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.

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FAQ About Walden’s Online PhD in Developmental Psychology Program


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