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Human Development Doctoral

EdD Deadlines

We welcome applications on a rolling basis. The next priority application deadline is November 1, 2024.

PhD Deadline

Applications for PhD will open Fall 2024.

Full and Partial Assistantships

Online Learning Options

Part-Time and Full-Time Options

Program Overview

If you have master’s level training in education, human development, psychology or sociology, or perhaps a professional master’s degree in areas, such as counseling, social work, creative arts therapy, or library science, a doctoral degree in human development allows you to apply your diverse background in ways you had not imagined. Our graduates have careers as professors in higher education, researchers in areas related to human development such as public health, social work or education, leadership in agencies, independent consultants, and program evaluators.

We invite you to check out our human development doctoral programs, and see how you can benefit from the expertise and support of faculty involved in cutting-edge research and interdisciplinary projects, while pursuing your specific interests.

Key Program Features

  • Minimum Credits: 90 graduate credits; some of which can be transferred from previous programs (up to 30 credits for PhDs; up to 36 credits for EdDs).
  • Cutting-Edge Curriculum: Includes emerging knowledge concerning conditions that foster healthy development of youth; current knowledge in our understanding of the diversity of factors that promote wellness in older populations; the interplay between mind, body, and society in determining developmental trajectories; the deleterious effects of chronic stress; “engaged scholarship” that supports the development of thriving communities; and advanced qualitative and quantitative methods.
  • Customizable: Students can choose electives in their specific areas of interest, tailor projects in most courses, and most importantly, select their dissertation topic.
  • Exciting Research Apprenticeship Opportunities: Research apprenticeship opportunities are available in a wide array of university settings.  Students have the opportunity to become a part of a research team led by a human development faculty member or may explore opportunities for apprenticeships at the University of Rochester Medical Center or other units across the University.
  • Dynamic Faculty: Program faculty have a rich diversity of expertise in areas, such as community engagement, minority youth development, gerontology, Applied Behavior Analysis, social determinants of healthy development, self-determination theory, college student development, developmental theory integration, and inclusive learning environments.
  • Flexible: Programs can be completed on a full-time or part-time basis, starting in any semester; minimum one year full-time residency requirement for PhD students only.


  • Prior master’s degree in human development, psychology, sociology, public health, education, gerontology, counseling, creative arts therapy, social work, or a related field. Students with highly successful undergraduate records, including some research experience, may be considered for direct admission into the doctoral program.

Scholarships, Tuition, & Financial Aid


PhD in Education with Concentration in Human Development

Prepares graduates for academic positions in universities and other higher education settings, as well as research positions in government agencies or other educational organizations. Coursework for the PhD in education (with specialization in human development in educational contexts).

EdD with Specialization in Human Development

Prepares and supports experienced practitioners for leadership positions in their field, as well as selected higher education faculty positions; can be completed on a part-time basis while maintaining full-time employment. Coursework for the EdD in counseling & human development (with specialization in human development)

Customize Your Degree

Our degrees are designed to meet your interests and career aspirations. Whether you want to add an advanced certificate or specialize in a distinct area of emphasis, we can help craft the best option for you.

EdD Deadlines

We welcome applications on a rolling basis. The next priority application deadline is November 1, 2024.

PhD Deadline

Applications for PhD will open Fall 2024.

Career Opportunities

Graduates of our EdD and PhD programs in human development will be prepared to succeed in an array of roles and careers, including:

  • Working as a faculty member in master’s- and doctoral-level human development programs.
  • For those coming to the program with a social work background, opportunity to work as a faculty member in social work exists at some institutions.
  • Working as a research associate in fields related to human development, such as public health, psychology, and sociology.
  • Working as a leader in community agencies.
  • Working as a private contractor, consultant, or program evaluator.

Our doctoral programs have provided a vehicle for international students interested in becoming experts in emerging knowledge in the field of human development.

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Core Program Faculty

View research interests and reach out to faculty below.

Samantha Daley
Instructional practices for students with learning disabilities

Joyce Duckles
Family studies; community intervention 

David McAdam
Challenging behaviors 

Martin Lynch
Self-determination theory 

Silvia Sörensen
Social gerontology; caregiving; health disparities; interventions 

Contact Admissions

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Receive a $70 application fee waiver when you complete the form below.


Take a Course Before You Apply

Take a course before you apply to one of our programs for a discounted price. Inquire with admissions to learn about credits that also apply toward degree requirements.

Related Degrees

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