Degrees & Programs

Human Development

Explore how biological, cognitive, social and emotional development affects learning at every stage of life. The Human Development track of the Ph.D. in Learning and Developmental Sciences offers you a multidisciplinary perspective on individual development and relationship processes. Apply online today!

Programs Offered:

We explicitly recognize that individuals are dynamic beings in dynamic environments. Studying development in context is an important component of our program, leading to research that contributes to the understanding of human behavior while addressing the practical concerns of educators, parents, and others interested in the developing person.

Our faculty are guided in these endeavors by the following objectives:

  • To give students a strong grounding in concepts, theories and empirical studies of individuals' biological, cognitive, social, and emotional development across the life span
  • To help students build an expertise in one or more specific aspects of human development
  • To involve students in faculty-guided and independent research experiences that promote the development of strong research skills
  • To help students attain other experiences (e.g., teaching, program development) that help them meet their particular career objectives
  • To allow flexibility in course work and other program requirements in order to meet the specific needs and interests of individual students
  • To help students place their specific interests within the larger contexts of human development, with an emphasis on implications of developmental processes for educational programs and practice
Our Faculty

Faculty areas of research in human development include: child, adolescent, and adult development; and both cognitive and social development. Some of our research programs focus on basic processes of development, (such as family processes, parenting, scaffolding, peers, social status; social networks, the development of aggression, violence, emotional and academic self-regulation, play interests, expertise, metacognition, children’s thinking, gerontology, physical activity and aging, and creativity and aging). Faculty also focus on applied programs of research such as child care and development, family/school connections, adolescent deviancy and risky behaviors, and geriatric education for health care professionals. A wide range of research methods are used by faculty and included as part of the training program, including laboratory based experimental studies, longitudinal naturalistic studies in homes and schools, and secondary data analysis. 




Our students complete their Ph.D. and enter the job market with at least 2 years of teaching experience, presentations at national conferences such as the Society for Research in Child Development, and publications in refereed journals. They are competitive for a variety of positions in academic institutions, private or non-profit institutions such as research foundations, and government agencies. Our graduates are working as professors of human development in departments of educational psychology, human development and family studies, and psychology (for example, at Vanderbilt University, Auburn University, Hofstra University, the University of Massachusetts, the University of Missouri, and the University of North Carolina at Charlotte), and as directors of research (for example, at High Scope Foundation and the Alliance for School Choice), and for departments of education (for example, the Indiana State Department of Education).


For detailed program information, please contact:

Department of Counseling and Educational Psychology
201 North Rose Avenue, Suite 4000
Bloomington, Indiana 47405-1006
Phone: (812) 856-8300