Ph.D. in Applied Developmental Psychology


The Applied Developmental Psychology program reflects the intersection of developmental psychology and applied science by considering questions of developmental import within the social context of children’s everyday lives. Graduates of the program will have the knowledge and skill to conduct research and work in settings focused on child, family, and school well-being, particularly in inner-city, lower-income, and cultural minority and cross-cultural contexts.

The program has three concentrations, with flexibility within and across concentrations to construct a program experience that combines broad exposure to foundational courses and to specialized courses and experiences tailored to individual students’ career goals and interests:

The Early Development/Early Intervention concentration focuses on genetic, biological and environmental factors that impede or promote development in the early years and on established and innovative intervention approaches for infants and young children at risk.

The Socioemotional Development of Children concentration focuses on the interactions between individual, peer, and parenting/family factors in the social-emotional development of children in different socio-cultural contexts.

The Educational Contexts of Development concentration focuses on the cognitive, social, and motivational factors that affect children’s learning within the contexts of schools, families, cultures, and neighborhoods.

The ADP Graduate Program Co-Directors are Dr. Susan Sonnenschein and Dr. David Schultz. For more information about the program please contact Dr. Sonnenschein at