PhD in Developmental Psychology Online


Gain advanced skills to understand and address 21st-century issues impacting human growth and development.

 

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Gain advanced skills to understand and address 21st-century issues impacting human growth and development.

 

REQUEST INFORMATION

Why Choose Walden?

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 $5,000 Grant if you start this program on February 27, 2023. Contact one of our Enrollment Specialists to learn more.

Program Details

Learning Tracks

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 Specialization

Curriculum

Minimum Degree Requirements

  • Doctoral Writing Assessment
  • Foundation course (3 cr.)
  • Core courses (25 cr.)
  • Research courses (10 cr.)
  • Specialization courses (15 cr.)
  • Completion of Doctoral Dissertation
    • Dissertation Support courses (7 cr.)
    • Dissertation Writing Courses (5 cr. per term for a minimum of four terms; taken continuously until completion)
  • Four 4-day PhD residencies

View the COMPLETE CURRICULUM PLAN.

Walden students have up to 8 years to complete their doctoral program unless they petition for an extension.

In general, students are continuously registered in the dissertation/doctoral study course until they complete their capstone project and it is approved. This usually takes longer than the minimum required terms in the dissertation/doctoral study course shell.

Please refer to Walden’s catalog for more information about degree requirements.

For a personalized estimate of the number of your transfer credits that Walden would accept, call an Enrollment Specialist at 844-398-6088.

Curriculum

Minimum Degree Requirements

  • Doctoral Writing Assessment
  • Foundation course (3 cr.)
  • Core courses (40 cr.)
  • Research courses (25 cr.)
  • Specialization courses (15 cr.)
  • Completion of Doctoral Dissertation
    • Dissertation Support courses (7 cr.)
    • Dissertation Writing Courses (5 cr. per term for a minimum of four terms; taken continuously until completion)
  • Four 4-day PhD residencies

View the COMPLETE CURRICULUM PLAN.

Walden students have up to 8 years to complete their doctoral program unless they petition for an extension.

In general, students are continuously registered in the dissertation/doctoral study course until they complete their capstone project and it is approved. This usually takes longer than the minimum required terms in the dissertation/doctoral study course shell.

Please refer to Walden’s catalog for more information about degree requirements.

For a personalized estimate of the number of your transfer credits that Walden would accept, call an Enrollment Specialist at 844-398-6088.

Residencies

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.

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.

Your Doctoral Journey

At Walden, we’ll guide you every step of the way with a comprehensive suite of support resources designed to help you confidently pursue the finish line, including our Doctoral Degree CoachTM. Are you ready to reach a higher level in your field?

A smiling woman wearing a graduation gown.

 

A Personalized Guide to Completing Your Doctorate

Earning your online PhD in Developmental Psychology requires commitment, perseverance, and hard work. You can do it, and Walden is here to help—with our Doctoral Degree Coach™.

  • Map and Track Milestones: Break your research down into manageable, sequential steps. See where you are, what’s ahead, and what you’ve already accomplished—all in one place.
  • Meet Weekly Targets: No more guesswork. Set prompts based on your to-do list and receive reminders and updates directly to your inbox.
  • Connect With Faculty: Stay on the same page and keep your progress on track. With shared access to your dashboard, your chair can easily guide you through your checklists, goals, and timelines.
  • Access Helpful Resources: Quickly find support from the right person at the right time. Our comprehensive resource guide points you in the right direction—no more frustrating searches.

Tuition and Fees

Curriculum Requirements Cost Total *
Tuition-Coursework 60 quarter credits  $610 per quarter hour for coursework credits $36,600^
Tuition-Doctoral Study/Project  20–125 quarter credits $610 per quarter hour for dissertation credits $12,200–$76,250*
Technology Fee   $170 per quarter $1,870–$5,440*
Residency Fee Four Residencies $1,420 each (virtual) 
$1,520 each (in-person: travel, lodging and other expenses are additional)
$5,680–$6,080
Estimated Range:     2.75-Year 8-Year
      $56,350 $124,370 *+
      (assuming completion in a 2.75-year timeframe) (assuming completion in an 8-year timeframe)

These are ranges of what a student can expect in terms of time and tuition cost to complete a degree. It does not include other fees, nor is it adjusted for tuition increases over time. Walden faculty has concluded that generally students who do not complete their program in eight years are unlikely to complete and only allow students to exceed that time frame when a student petitions for an extension and provides good reason for the delay and assurances that obstacles to completion can be overcome. Time is calculated using the time allowed for each semester or unit that the student completes. Students are encouraged to work continuously during the program so as not to extend the time needed to complete the degree as work can become stale and students lose focus. Students who earn two grades of “Unsatisfactory,” who repeatedly drop a course before a semester or unit has been completed, or are unable to complete in the eight year time frame, should expect that they may be dismissed from the program. Walden believes that it is in the best interest of a student who is unable to complete the degree in the stated ranges to strongly consider withdrawal or obtaining a lesser degree.

Time to completion and cost are not estimates of individual experience and will vary based on individual factors applicable to the student. Factors may be programmatic or academic such as tuition and fee increases and/or the student’s transfer credits accepted by Walden; program or specialization changes; unsuccessful course completion; credit load per term; writing, research and editing skills; use of external data for their doctoral study/dissertation; and/or individual progress in the program. Other factors may include personal issues such as the student’s employment obligations; care giving responsibilities or health issues; part-time vs. full-time enrollment; leaves of absence; and/or other personal circumstances.

Tuition and fees are subject to change. Books and materials are not included. Students may incur additional costs for remedial writing assistance, if necessary.

^This assumes students successfully complete their coursework on the first attempt.

Based on a 2.75-year minimum completion requirement and an 8-year maximum timeframe as outlined in Walden academic policy.

*Tuition and fees will be higher if students petition to extend the 8-year maximum timeframe or choose to take more expensive elective courses.

+Tuition and time to complete may be reduced if transfer credits are accepted, or if you receive grants, scholarships or other tuition discounts. For a personalized estimate of the number of your transfer credits that Walden would accept, call an Enrollment Specialist at 844-642-0198.

Curriculum Requirements Cost Total *
Tuition-Coursework 90 quarter credits  $610 per quarter hour for coursework credits $54,900^
Tuition-Doctoral Study/Project  20–115 quarter credits $610 per quarter hour for dissertation credits $12,200–$70,150*
Technology Fee   $170 per quarter $2,210–$5,440*
Residency Fee Four Residencies $1,420 each (virtual)
$1,520 each (in-person: travel, lodging and other expenses are additional)
$5,680–$6,080
Estimated Range:     3.25-Year 8-Year
      $74,990 $136,570*+
      (assuming completion in a 3.25-year timeframe) (assuming completion in an 8-year timeframe)

These are ranges of what a student can expect in terms of time and tuition cost to complete a degree. It does not include other fees, nor is it adjusted for tuition increases over time. Walden faculty has concluded that generally students who do not complete their program in eight years are unlikely to complete and only allow students to exceed that time frame when a student petitions for an extension and provides good reason for the delay and assurances that obstacles to completion can be overcome. Time is calculated using the time allowed for each semester or unit that the student completes. Students are encouraged to work continuously during the program so as not to extend the time needed to complete the degree as work can become stale and students lose focus. Students who earn two grades of “Unsatisfactory,” who repeatedly drop a course before a semester or unit has been completed, or are unable to complete in the eight year time frame, should expect that they may be dismissed from the program. Walden believes that it is in the best interest of a student who is unable to complete the degree in the stated ranges to strongly consider withdrawal or obtaining a lesser degree.

Time to completion and cost are not estimates of individual experience and will vary based on individual factors applicable to the student. Factors may be programmatic or academic such as tuition and fee increases and/or the student’s transfer credits accepted by Walden; program or specialization changes; unsuccessful course completion; credit load per term; writing, research and editing skills; use of external data for their doctoral study/dissertation; and/or individual progress in the program. Other factors may include personal issues such as the student’s employment obligations; care giving responsibilities or health issues; part-time vs. full-time enrollment; leaves of absence; and/or other personal circumstances.

Tuition and fees are subject to change. Books and materials are not included. Students may incur additional costs for remedial writing assistance, if necessary.

^This assumes students successfully complete their coursework on the first attempt.

Based on a 3-year minimum completion requirement and an 8-year maximum timeframe as outlined in Walden academic policy.

*Tuition and fees will be higher if students petition to extend the 8-year maximum timeframe or choose to take more expensive elective courses.

+Tuition and time to complete may be reduced if transfer credits are accepted, or if you receive grants, scholarships or other tuition discounts. For a personalized estimate of the number of your transfer credits that Walden would accept, call an Enrollment Specialist at 844-642-0198.

Paying for Your Education

Our Enrollment Specialists can help you outline a plan and find resources for funding your education.

Program Savings

Receive up to a $5,000 Grant if you start this program on February 27, 2023. Contact one of our Enrollment Specialists to learn more.

Specializations

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.

Program Outcomes

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.

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.

 

Resources

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FAQ About Walden’s Online PhD in Developmental Psychology

How do you choose the best online university for your PhD in Developmental Psychology?

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 planning and development, research, scholarly writing, and more.

Should you study developmental psychology online or on campus?

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.

What will you study in a developmental psychology doctoral program?

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.

What is an academic residency, and why is it important to my PhD in Developmental Psychology program?

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.

What is the best way to choose a PhD in Developmental Psychology specialization?

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.

1Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Psychologists. National job growth estimates may not reflect local and/or short-term economic or job conditions, do not guarantee actual job growth, and are subject to change.

2Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Postsecondary Teachers. National job growth estimates may not reflect local and/or short-term economic or job conditions, do not guarantee actual job growth, and are subject to change. 

Note on Licensure:The PhD in Developmental Psychology is not a licensure program and does not prepare an individual to become a licensed psychology or counseling professional.