The Human Development Program focuses on studies of developmental changes in social behaviors, social cognitions, and social relationships and how such changes are related to, caused by, or predictive of features of cognitive, emotional, motivational, neuropsychological, and psychopathological development. Specializations within the department include the following.

Educational Psychology: The faculty in the Educational Psychology Specialization focus on the processes involved in learning across the lifespan. Themes include cognitive development focusing on language, mathematics, and reading. There are significant strengths in language learning, bi-lingualism, and cognitive neuroscience of reading.

Developmental Science: The faculty in the Developmental Science Specialization focus on the processes involved in social and cognitive development across the lifespan. Themes include the importance of early experience on brain and behavior, the importance of peer relationships, moral reasoning, research on families and the influence of socio-economic status on children’s development.

Patricia AlexanderPatricia Alexander
3304F Benjamin Building
(301) 405-2821

Donald .J. BolgerDonald Bolger
Associate Professor
3304N Benjamin Building
(301) 405-9103

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


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

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


Nathan Fox

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

KillenMelanie Killen
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

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

Geetha Ramani

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

Ken Rubin

Kenneth Rubin
1108 Benjamin Building
(301) 405-0458

Min Wang

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

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

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

There are two areas for specialization within the Human Development program: Developmental Science or Educational Psychology.

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.

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.

Please refer to the EDHD Doctoral Handbookfor more information on program requirements.

Take advantage of research opportunities offered through the labs and centers affiliated with the Department of Human Development and Quantitative Methodology (HDQM) at the University of Maryland, College Park.

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

Graduate Policy
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.

Handbooks and Guidelines
The program handbooks provide information about the Masters and Doctoral programs. The handbooks cover topics such as overviews of the programs, milestones, and course requirements.
EDHD Masters Handbook
EDHD Doctoral Handbook
The guidelines provide information on the steps to take for the Independent Empirical Research Project and Doctoral Comprehensive Knowledge Portfolio.
EDHD Independent Empirical Research Project Guidelines
EDHD Doctoral Portfolio Guidelines

Graduate students must submit various forms at specific points as required by the Human Development program and as part of the Graduate School process.

The Graduate School offers university-level forms, and the College of Education offers college-level forms. To determine the form required by the Human Development program, please refer to the Graduate Student Handbooks.

Templates and Formatting Guidelines for Thesis and Dissertation 
Dissertations are to be submitted to the Graduate School in electronic format after final approval of the dissertation by the Dissertation Examining Committee.  The University of Maryland Electronic Thesis and Dissertation (ETD) website or the University of Maryland Thesis and Dissertation Style Guide include details of this process.

Dissertations submitted to the University through the ETD process will also be deposited in the UM Library's online electronic archive, DRUM (Digital Repository at the University of Maryland). This is a free public archive of academic work by University faculty and graduate students.

Study Fellowships and Awards
A variety of fellowships and awards are available to prospective and current graduate students. Opportunities to apply for these awards are announced through the University, the College of Education, and the Department.

For 2020 fall enrollment, the preferred application deadlines are November 27, 2019 (domestic) and November 15, 2019 (international).

Developmental Science

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.

Educational Psychology:

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.

Master of Education in Human Development Off-Campus program:
Please view the Program Handbook for more information.  The program plans to begin accepting applications for a fall 2021 cohort.  Check back for updates and contact Lauren Trakhman, Program Director, at or Ms. Jannitta Graham, HDQM Graduate Coordinator, at for further assistance.

General Overview:

Program Code:     EDHD
Degree: M.A., M.Ed. and Ph.D.
School:  Education
General Requirements: Statement of Purpose
  TOEFL/IELTS/PTE (international graduate students)
Program-Specific Requirements: Letters of Recommendation (3)
  Graduate Record Examination (GRE)
Application Deadlines: November 27 (Fall domestic) (preferred)**
  March 3 (Fall domestic) (final)
  November 15 (Fall international) (preferred)
  February 4 (Fall international) (final)
  August 30 (Spring domestic/international) (preferred)
  September 27 (Spring domestic/international) (final)

Master's Cohort/Human Development (MCHD) off-campus program:
Please note that the department is not currently accepting off-campus applications for a Fall 2020 cohort. Please check back for future updates and/or contact Dr. Lauren Trakhman, HDQM Director of Outreach, at, or Ms. Jannitta Graham, HDQM Graduate Coordinator, at for further information.

*Please note: EDHD requires all applicants to submit official transcripts (hard copies) to: University of Maryland, College Park, Enrollment Services Operation/Graduate Admissions, Room 0130 Mitchell Building, College Park, MD 20742

**In order to be considered for possible funding opportunities, please submit by the preferred deadline of November 27th.


Please refer to the Guide to Applying for instructions on how to apply for graduate admission. If you have questions or concerns, we ask you to first review our list of Frequently Asked Questions. International Admissions offers additional information for international students. 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 username 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) 405-8432

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