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Ph.D. Program Components

Major program components include coursework, research activities, and teaching experience.

Curriculum and program requirements, University Catalogs

Required academic preparation includes: the history of developmental psychology; core knowledge in cognitive, social and biological development processes; ethical conduct of research; and statistical methods. In addition to coursework, each student spends approximately 20 hours per week on research activities throughout the program. A year-long teaching apprenticeship provides supervised experience in teaching.

Developmental Psychopathology and Clinical Science (DPCS) Special Training Track

A special training track is available to supplement work in developmental psychology. Students must apply to this track at the time of application to the Ph.D. program.

ICD and the Department of Psychology cooperate in providing this track focused on the study of psychopathology in the context of development. Students receive specialized training in clinical psychology, gaining a unifying framework for theory, research, assessment, and intervention concerned with the behavioral and emotional problems of children and adolescents. The goal of this track is to train leaders in the science and profession of clinical child psychology. Students in the DPCS track complete all requirements for the Ph.D. in child psychology. In addition, they receive APA-approved clinical training through the clinical psychology doctoral program, and complete coursework in clinical psychology, practicums, and a year-long internship. Completion of the joint track takes six years (including internship).

Students are admitted to the Ph.D. program in child psychology and, by agreement of faculty in both departments, to the joint training track. Approximately 3-4 new students are accepted each year.

Financial Aid and Funding Graduate School

The admission application form is used for both admission and financial aid decisions. All students admitted to the Ph.D. program receive financial aid from the department or other sources. Sources of support administered by the department are traineeships (National Institute of Mental Health training grant), research assistantships (individual faculty research grants), and teaching assistantships. The department nominates promising students for CEHD Graduate Student Fellowships. Underrepresented students are eligible for the Diversity of Views & Experiences (DOVE) fellowship.

Typically, students’ financial support is via graduate assistantships (RA/TA) and/or fellowships, traineeships, or scholarships. Student funding is guaranteed for 5 years conditional on availability of funds, satisfactory academic progress, and satisfactory TA/RA performance. Stipends and conditions vary for different forms of support; however, appointments typically include payment of University tuition and health coverage.

Applicants are strongly encouraged to seek their own fellowship support from external agencies like the National Science Foundation.

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Hear From Students

Featured Doctoral Students

Michelle Brown works to improve outcomes for victimized children and families

Amanda Hodel researches the neurobiology of child development

Camelia Hostinar studies how parents can help when things get scary.

Theresa Lafavor researches how children succeed in chaotic situations.

Lee Raby investigates how genes and environment interact in parent-child relationships.

Featured Alumni

Assistant Professor Janette Herbers conducts research to understand developmental processes of resilience in children who experience risks such as trauma, poverty, and homelessness.

Professor Brett Laurson explores adolescent relationships with parents and peers.

Michael Leimbach designs effective training for clients around the world.

Assistant Professor Rebecca Shlafer partnered with Sesame Street Workshop to lead the dissemination of new resources for children and families impacted by incarceration in Minnesota.

Assistant Professor Nim Tottenham examines the development of brain systems involved in human emotional development to understand how these systems are influenced by early adverse environments.

Kathryn Tout, co-director for Early Childhood Development and senior research scientist at Child Trends, directs research on programs and policies that support early childhood development.

Professor Carolyn Zahn-Waxler explores why some children seek to relieve others’ suffering.