Doctoral Degree

Developmental and Learning Sciences
Approved by the DLS Faculty, September 2017


The PhD Degree in Developmental and Learning Sciences (DLS) provides individuals with theoretical grounding and research experience in psychological science in education. Students gain foundational knowledge in the three core areas [a) cognition, learning, and instruction, b) development, and c) educational neuroscience] and expertise in one core area. Students also acquire rigorous methodological training, and participate in research throughout the program.



EDPS 850 or 851: Child Psychology or Psychology of Adolescence (3) or equivalent upper-level undergraduate or graduate-level development course


Core Courses (21 hours)

EDPS 854: Human Cognition and Instruction (3)
EDPS 922: Mind, Brain, and Education (3)
EDPS 960: Advanced Cognitive Psychology in Education (3)
EDPS 961: Cognitive Development (3)
EDPS 962: Personality and Social Development (3)
EDPS 966: Psychology of Learning (3)
EDPS 967: Motivation (3)


Additional Coursework in Developmental and Learning Sciences
(at least 6 hours)

 At least two of the following:
EDPS 855: Teaching Learners to Learn (3)
EDPS 869: Developmental Psychopathology (3)
EDPS 989: Psychology of Reading and Writing (3)
EDPS 921: Creativity and Talent Development (3)
EDPS 991: Applied Social Psychology (3)
EDPS 991: Lifespan Developmental Psychology (3)
*Other appropriate courses approved by the supervisory committee 


Methods (at least 21 hours)

At least 21 hours from the following, including at least:
   (a) 6 hours in measurement/evaluation (with at least 3 hours at 900-level; EDPS 870, EDPS 970)
   (b) 6 hours in research design/methodology (EDPS 900a, EDPS 936),
   (c) 9 hours in statistics (EDPS 941, EDPS 942, EDPS 971, EDPS 991 Multilevel Modeling, EDPS 991 Multivariate Analysis, EDPS 991 Longitudinal Models). 


Research (30-40 hours)

EP 899: Masters thesis (6-10) or equivalent
EP 995: Doctoral Seminar (12), leading to publishable manuscript
EP 999: Dissertation (12-18)


Additional requirements (0-12 hours)

  • Program of Studies (first half of program)
    Courses outside department (at least 6 hours, can be covered in Additional Coursework)
    Coverage of ethics and human diversity (can be covered in other courses)
    Substantial and appropriately supervised experience in teaching and in application, which may be associated with practicum hours and/or assistantship responsibilities (as approved by advisor)
    Comprehensive Exams


    Total (including work carried over from masters) must be at least 90 hours.