Completing a Human Development Master of Arts degree will help you acquire the foundational knowledge and research skills you will need to be competitive for admission to top-tier doctoral programs in Human Development and Psychology or obtain employment in a variety of academic and professional settings. Your classes will be taught by nationally and internationally renowned faculty-researchers in educational psychology, developmental science, and quantitative methodology. Specially assigned faculty advisors will assist you in your program design, mentor your laboratory experiences, and provide career guidance. You will have weekly opportunities to attend departmental seminars, colloquia, laboratory team meetings, and other academic gatherings in which fellow graduate students, departmental faculty, and visiting professors interact and learn from one another.

Admissions Deadlines
December 8, 2021 (Fall only, domestic)
December 1, 2021 (Fall only, international)

UMD Graduate
School General

1) Statement of Purpose:

“The goal of this essay is to get to know you as an individual and as a potential graduate student.” We recommend that this statement follow these guidelines, and include:

  • Your preparation and motivation for graduate study, including the academic, research, work, and/or personal experiences that prepare you for this graduate program.
  • Your research interests and how these interests fit with this graduate program, including identification of one or more potential faculty mentors because of the program’s strong research mentorship model.
  • How you will contribute to the social, intellectual, or cultural diversity within a scholarly community and demonstrate your persistence to undergo a rigorous academic program.  

2) Transcript(s)
3) TOEFL/IELTS/PTE (international graduate students)


1) Letters of Recommendation (3): Recommendation letters may come from professors, school administrators, supervisors, and/or any other person who can effectively comment on your potential for success in a research-based MA program in Human Development with a focus on Developmental Science and Educational Psychology. We recommend that letters of recommendation be from those that know you/your work well and comment on what you have done so far.

2) Open Response: Attach the open response to your statement of purpose in your application in one document. In 200-300 words, describe your quantitative and/or analytical skills, knowledge and prior experience. These may include college and/or AP level mathematics and statistics courses, experience with mathematical and/or statistical software packages, quantitative experience in past research activities and/or work experience. The research-based MA program in Human Development is mathematically and statistically rigorous to facilitate students’ learning and use of advanced quantitative methodologies. Therefore, evidence of applicants’ quantitative proficiency is required.

3) Writing Sample: Submit an article, report, or manuscript in which you were the primary author (e.g., peer-reviewed journal publication or conference presentation paper in which you were the primary author, or alternatively, a master’s or undergraduate thesis, or school report/literature review). We encourage you to submit something you have already written; though, you may write something new.

Program-Specific Optional:
  • Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores are not considered as a criterion for admission into the program. GRE scores that are submitted are made available to potential faculty advisors.
  • All applicants are recommended to seek advice from a faculty mentor or academic advisor for how to construct a strong admissions application.
  • All applicants are strongly encouraged to contact a potential faculty member(s) in the department regarding their availability, fit, and interest in serving as a mentor in the graduate training program. Applicants may state that this contact was made in their application.

Students are required to submit all required documents before submitting their application:  Purpose Statement,  recommendation letters, transcripts, GRE scores (optional) and TOEFL/IELTS/PTE for international graduate studentsDue to COVID-19, the Educational Testing Service is temporarily offering the GRE General Test online. Should students wish for their GRE scores to be considered, please visit the GRE testing site directly.

The Graduate School Application portal,, can be used to apply to UMD and review the status of your application. Graduate faculty in the Academic Department you applied to will review your completed application for graduate admission.

Before applying to the program, it is recommended students reach out to the prospective faculty member with whom they would like to work. Faculty members are listed within the Associated Faculty tab.

Students are required to submit all required documents before submitting their application: CV and Purpose Statement, (3) recommendation letters, transcripts, GRE scores and TOEFL/IELTS/PTE for international graduate students. Due to COVID-19, the Educational Testing Service is temporarily offering the GRE General Test online.

The Graduate School's guide to International Admissions provides an overview on the application, review, and enrollment process for international students.

The Graduate School's list of Frequently Asked Questions is a helpful resource as you navigate the admissions process.

For other 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                  

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) 405-8432

For undergraduate advising, Human Development minor inquiries should be sent to, Human Development major inquiries should be sent to, and for any general inquiries please contact You can also contact the Office of Student Services by calling (301) 405-2364.

For graduate advising in HDQM, please contact the graduate coordinator, Jannitta Graham at It is recommended but not required that students contact the faculty member with whom they are interested in working with before applying to the program. Faculty are listed within the Associated Faculty tab.


Jannitta Graham, Coordinator of Graduate Studies
Human Development and Quantitative Methodology
(301) 405-8432