Human Development (HD)
How do children’s cognitive, social, emotional, linguistic, moral, and neurophysiological skills develop? What are the factors that facilitate or inhibit these processes? What is the role of fathers in child development and how does parenting vary across ethnic and racial backgrounds? When does prejudice emerge in childhood and how can adults foster an awareness of social inequalities in childhood? When does social anxiety emerge and what contributes to social withdrawal?
The Human Development program seeks answers to questions like these and many more. Further questions are geared to educational success and academic development, including the essential issue of what motivates children to achieve in math skills, reading competency, scientific knowledge, and literacy.
HDQM faculty are leaders in the fields of human development and measurement, statistics, and evaluation, producing transformative scholarship that informs and confronts the essential issues of today’s society.
We offer degrees at the undergraduate, master’s and doctoral levels. Our program is committed to fighting racism, and advancing social justice and equity. We welcome students from all backgrounds, perspectives, and identities.
For detailed information about faculty, graduate students, admissions, courses, and policies, please visit the HD program website.
Within the division of Human Development, the Developmental Sciences specialization is designed to train students in the areas of social, cognitive, emotional, and biological aspects of human development. This specialization involves intensive research apprenticeships with faculty mentors, coursework in core courses and advanced seminars, and exposure to leaders in Developmental Science through the colloquia and professional development weekly seminar organized by the Center for Children, Relationships, and Culture, which is housed in the Department of Human Development and Quantitative Methodology.
The goal of the program is to train students for research careers in academic or applied areas of child development; graduates have obtained positions as university professors and research scientists. The program encourages engagement in collaborative research with faculty and students in a wide range of developmental science areas. In addition to coursework, students enroll in a one-credit weekly colloquia series and professional development seminar which hosts invited speakers from the Washington, D.C. metropolitan universities, institutes, and research "think tanks," as well as provides for professional development sessions on various topics such as conference preparations, dissertation projects, grant writing, and career options.
Specific topics investigated include peer relationships, parent-child relationships, attachment, emotional development, developmental neuroscience, social-cognitive development, moral judgment, motivation, social goals, intergroup attitudes and relationships, prejudice, linguistic development, play, cognitive development, parent-child discourse, father involvement, early childhood policy, civic engagement, and cultural influences on development.
The Developmental Science area is connected to the campus-wide Graduate Field Committee in Developmental Science, which sponsors key note talks from prominent developmental scientists, hosts a range of professional development activities, and funds graduate student organized one-day workshops on a developmental science topic.
The Developmental Science area in the Department of Human Development and Quantitative Methodology uses a mentorship model for graduate training. Students interested in the Developmental Science specialization must contact a faculty member with whom they would like to work during their graduate training. This is essential information for the graduate application and should be clearly designate in the Statement of Purpose as part of the application process.
The Educational Psychology Specialization is a nationally-ranked and internationally-recognized program of study in the Department of Human Development and Quantitative Methodology.
The goal of the Educational Psychology specialization is to train students in the processes involved in learning across the life span and competent functioning in educational settings. Based on a mentorship model, students work closely with faculty on research and scholarship. Specific topics of research include cognitive development, as it relates to language, mathematics, and reading, social and academic aspects of motivation and self-regulation, and parent, teacher and peer relationships as they relate to school success. Students take courses and advanced seminars on cognition, motivation, learning, language, social influences on learning, and cognitive neuroscience. Advanced training in quantitative methods is also a specific focus of the specialization.
Educational psychology faculty and students meet bi-weekly as part of a research seminar series that focuses on the discussion of ongoing student and faculty research. The seminar also includes professional development topics such as how to publish and present research, grant writing, job search advice, and networking skills.
While completing their Ph.D., graduate students are also able to pursue concentrations in quantitative methodology, as well as in interdisciplinary areas such as neuroscience and cognitive science and language science.
Students interested in the Educational Psychology specialization must contact a faculty member with whom they would like to work during their graduate training. This is essential information for the graduate application and should be clearly designate in the Statement of Purpose as part of the application process.