Developmental Science
The Developmental Science 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.  

Educational Psychology
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.


Graduate Admission Requirements

Select an area of interest from the various offerings in the College of Education to determine the admission requirements and deadlines. 

Guide to Applying - Graduate Admissions

International Admissions

Frequently Asked Questions

For questions about the application process, or to check on the completion of your application, please contact:

Judy Foster, Coordinator of Graduate Admissions
Office of Student Services, College of Education
(301) 405-2359                  

After you apply for graduate admission you may check your application status by logging into the online graduate application using your user name and password.  Graduate faculty in the Academic Department you applied to will review your completed application for graduate admission.  Questions regarding application reviews and decision recommendations should be directed to the Department of Human Development and Quantitative Methodology (HDQM).  Please contact:

Jannitta Graham, Coordinator of Graduate Studies
Human Development and Quantitative Methodology
(301) 405-2827

Please contact the Office of Student Services,, or (301) 405-2364.

Academic advisement for graduate students is provided by the graduate faculty in the Department of Human Development and Quantitative Methodology (HDQM).   For advising information, please contact the Coordinator of Graduate Studies, Jannitta Graham at (301) 405-8432 or

The doctoral program provides students with core courses and research experience relevant to the social, cognitive, affective, linguistic and neurophysiological aspects of human development from birth through adulthood. Core courses include: History and Systems of Human Development, Language Development, Cognitive Development and Learning, Social Development and Socialization Processes, Psychophysiological Processes, and Research Methods; students also are required to master intermediate-level statistics. Students also receive close mentoring in developing their research capabilities and agendas through Research Apprenticeship experiences. As part of this apprenticeship experience, all Ph.D. students are required to complete a first-year research project. Students in the general program are welcome to participate in the colloquium series offered by the Developmental Science and Educational Psychology specializations. The required comprehensive examination consists of a portfolio of the student's research reviewed by three faculty members.

For general information about the Developmental Science area, contact Dr. Melanie Killen,

Academic deadlines are provided by the Office of the Registrar for the academic year. 

Students should check with their Department or Program for any deadlines it may have.

Please contact:
Jannitta Graham, Coordinator of Graduate Studies
Human Development and Quantitative Methodology
(301) 405-2827

Patricia Alexander, Professor
3304F Benjamin Building
(301) 405-2821 |

Donald Bolger, Associate Professor
3304N Benjamin Building
(301) 405-9103 |

Lucas Butler, Assistant Professor
3304P Benjamin Building
(301) 314-1815 |

Natasha Cabrera, Professor
3304E Benjamin Building
(301) 405-2827 |

Kevin Dunbar, Professor
3304K Benjamin Building
(301) 405-7233 |

Nathan Fox, Distinguished University Professor
3404D Benjamin Building
(301) 405-2816 |

Brenda Jones-Harden, Professor
1117 Benjamin Building
(301) 405-2580 |

Melanie Killen, Professor
3304B Benjamin Building
(301) 405-3176 |

Elisa Klein, Associate Professor
1117F Benjamin Building
(301) 405-3122 |

Kelly Mix, Professor and Chair
3304M Benjamin Building
(301) 405-5914 |

Richard Prather, Assistant Professor
3304S Benjamin Building
(301) 405-2806 |

Geetha Ramani, Associate Professor
3304R Benjamin Building
(301) 405-8777 |

Kenneth Rubin, Professor
1108 Benjamin Building
(301) 405-0458 |

Min Wang, Professor
3304C Benjamin Building
(301) 405-8798 |

Kathryn Wentzel, Professor
3304A Benjamin Building
(301) 405-2810 |

Allan Wigfield, Professor
3304Q Benjamin Building
(301) 405-2809 |

Graduate students in the College of Education are responsible for meeting University and the Graduate School policy, and for meeting Program requirements.   The Graduate Catalog  is the official listing of Policies governing graduate education at the University of Maryland.  The schedule adjustment policy is available from the Office of the Registrar and provides information on adding and dropping courses, penalties, and refund schedules.


The Graduate Student Life Handbook provides information on academics, campus resources, finances, health, job opportunities, and information on how to get involved as a graduate student.

Human Development Doctoral Degree Handbook


Graduate students are required to submit various forms at specific points in the program and as part of the degree clearance process.

Graduate Studies Forms