The purposes of the Human Development graduate programs are to contribute to basic knowledge about human development and learning and apply this knowledge in various settings. The general areas of human development covered in courses and research include infant and early childhood development, child development, and adolescent development. Specific faculty areas of expertise and research include achievement motivation, cognitive development, developmental neuroscience, earhcy childhood policy, language development, literacy development, peer relationships, teacher-student relationships, moral development, social development, temperament, parenting, prejudice and discrimination, and the role of culture on many aspects of development.
Graduate programs in Human Development lead to the Master of Education, Master of Arts, and Doctor of Philosophy degrees. The research-oriented M. A. (with thesis) and the Ph.D. degree programs in human development are designed to develop students' scientific knowledge of human development and ability to carry out original research projects. The M.Ed. and M.A. without thesis programs are designed to develop competencies in identifying implications of the scientific knowledge of human development for specific situations and contexts, particularly elementary and secondary schools.
Human Development offers two specialization areas of study at the doctoral level, Educational Psychology and Developmental Sciences. The graduate programs and specializations prepare graduates for faculty positions at universities or research positions at institutions where research in developmental science and educational psychology is conducted. Graduates of our program have obtained positions as university professors, research scientists, program analysts, and other research-oriented occupations including research-oriented professionals in private, policy, or advocacy organizations.
The Ph.D. degree requires 72 hours of credit which includes 12 dissertation credits. Courses in biological, social, and cognitive development and in intermediate statistics and research methods are required. Students also receive credit for research experiences. Slight modifications of these requirements characterize the Specializations in Educational Psychology and Developmental Sciences. Students are also required to complete a comprehensive examination portfolio prior to advancement to candidacy.
Each university in the Unites States of America sets its own admission standards so there isn't the same criteria for all the students and the university can decide which applicants meet those standards. The fee for each application is between $35 to $100.
After the selections of the universities you want to attend, the best of all would be to contact each university for an application form and more admission information for the international students. Moreover, for a graduate or postgraduate program it's necessary to verify the admission requirements. Some programs require that you send your application directly to their department.
Admissions decisions are based on students's academic record and different test scores, such as TOEFL, the SAT or ACT (for undergraduate programs) and GRE or GMAT (for graduate programs). Admission decision is based on your academic results and motivation.
The College of Education and Graduate School require a minimum GPA of 3.0 (on a 4.0 scale) at the undergraduate level. At the master’s level, a minimum GPA of 3.5 is required by the College of Education. The general Graduate Record Exam (GRE) is required by the Department. Three letters of recommendation including evidence of academic potential from university faculty references are required. In addition, students must write a statement of purpose which indicates a match between student research interests and faculty expertise. Students should indicate their research interests, describe any relevant research experience,and how their experience and interests can be met by our program.
Students requesting consideration for Financial Aid, in addition to completing the financial aid form found in the Graduate Admissions application, must submit their application by the priority deadline. All students who submit their application by December 15 will automatically be reviewed for any departmental aid. University fellowships, NIH traineeships, and Departmental assistantships are awarded on a competitive basis -- more students are admitted than can be awarded funding. In recent years, only students with undergraduate GPA’s of 3.6, GRE scores above the 70th percentile, and strong letters of recommendation from academic references have been successful in obtaining Recruitment Fellowships sponsored by the Graduate School and graduate assistantships in the Department.
First priority for Departmental assistantships goes to students already admitted to the Department who have been assured financial assistance for the full course of their study. Almost all awards of fellowships and assistantships are based on previous academic performance, with little attention to need. In addition, some faculty have external grants which provide support for graduate students. Students who do not receive a fellowship or assistantship from the Department may contact the University Financial Aid office at 301-314-9000 for information about other sources of financial support.