Our developmental psychology PhD program prepares students for careers that combine research and teaching at the college or university level. Our program provides students with the theoretical perspectives and methodological skills needed for advanced scholarly work. Developmental students obtain extensive research training, take courses, and gain teaching experience in psychology.
Our training program specifically focuses on normal and atypical development during the first two decades of life. The small size of the developmental psychology program gives students a cohesive and supportive environment that ensures they receive individualized attention. We employ a mentored junior colleague model of graduate training where students are regarded as integral members of the program.
Interested in applying?
Please note that the Developmental Psychology program application has reopened and will be due March 31, 2023. We are specifically looking for applicants with interests in the development of social group cognition and/or moral reasoning to work with incoming faculty member Dr. Isobel Heck. Apply now!
The core developmental faculty is composed of:
In addition, the following faculty members from other areas also mentor or co-mentor developmental psychology doctoral students:
- Loisa Bennetto, (Clinical Program Faculty)
- Thomas O'Connor, (PhD, URMC Department of Psychiatry)
- Sheree Toth, (Clinical Program Faculty and Mt. Hope Family Center)
For a complete list of department faculty, see our directory.
We encourage our students to develop their own identities as researchers and scholars. Thus, the training experience facilitates mastery of the scientific skills in the substantive knowledge area of the program faculty while allowing students to develop a research program that reflects their own interests. We foster this process by intensive collaborative exchanges with faculty.
Students have extensive interaction with program faculty while having access to numerous training opportunities. Our students have access to a wide number of research experiences in all three departmental programs (developmental, clinical, and social psychology). Student can also do research with affiliated groups like the Mt. Hope Family Center the Children’s Institute, and departments in the University of Rochester Medical Center.
Research training is also facilitated by professional seminars and presentation series both within our program, through the monthly Developmental Psychology Presentation Series, and across programs and disciplines in the University. These training mechanisms provide a forum for presenting research and for facilitating students’ professional development, which are critical to becoming a well-rounded research scientist and academician.
Many of our students pursue the Advanced Certificate in Quantitative Methods, as students in the developmental program have the opportunity to acquire outstanding data analysis skills through advanced course work and research experience.
Department and Program Requirements
All psychology PhD students are required to take quantitative methods, complete one course in the other two disciplines, and act as a teaching assistant for at least one semester. In addition, there are specific course and program requirement. For more details see the Psychology Graduate Handbook (PDF).