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PhD in Developmental Psychology - General

Individuals interested in pursuing an upper-level career in psychological research or leadership responsibilities in a clinical environment might consider the PhD in Developmental Psychology program at Walden University. Read on for more details about this online doctoral degree program.

Official Program Name:

Doctor of Philosophy in Developmental Psychology, General Program

School Offering Program:

Walden University

Degree Level:


Program Prerequisites:

Individuals seeking to enter this doctoral degree program should have at least three years of related experience, whether through employment or academics. Previous coursework in social and developmental psychology are helpful. All applicants to Walden University's graduate programs should have a bachelor's degree or higher; some programs may have additional requirements.

Program Description:

Walden University's online PhD in Developmental Psychology - General program is designed for professionals seeking to enhance their understanding of human growth and development theories they can apply in educational, nonprofit, or clinical settings. In the general program, students have the opportunity to learn more about therapeutic approaches to behavioral and emotional disorders in children and adults; social theories, cognitive changes, and disease management in the aged population; cultural impacts on development; and characteristics and developmental issues relating to individuals with learning disabilities. Core classes focus on such topics as development across the lifespan, language acquisition, cognitive development, gender role development, social interaction, and influences on emotional development. Courses in research theories and methodologies are taken as students prepare to research and write a doctoral dissertation.

Learning Format:


Program Length:

80 or 110 credits.

Financial Aid Available:

Eligible students could be able to receive financial aid in the forms of grants, loans, and scholarships. Contact Walden University's financial aid office for more information.

Tuition, Financial Aid & Start Dates

Since every student is different, there isn't a "one size fits all" for school information. Start dates and tuition often vary between selected programs, and financial aid opportunities are unique to each student's circumstances. Complete the form to the right to get the most up-to-date and accurate information based on your selected program and circumstances.

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Required Courses for the Doctor of Philosophy in Developmental Psychology - General Program:

This PhD program offers a 110-credit BS track for students entering without a master's degree as well as an 80-credit MS track for students who have already earned a related graduate degree. Of the 103 minimum credits required to complete the BS track, at least 27 are taken in the dissertation process. Additionally, students must complete 40 credits in core coursework, 25 credits in research courses, and 15 credits in specialization classes, as well as a 3-credit foundation course. Degree program and course requirements are subject to change. Contact Walden University to confirm the most accurate information before enrolling in a program.

Foundation Course (3 credits)

  • Foundations for Graduate Study in Psychology

Core Courses (40 credits)

  • Themes and Theories of Developmental Psychology
  • Development in the Digital Age
  • Lifespan Development
  • Gender and Development
  • Language and Cognitive Development
  • Social and Emotional Development
  • Social Psychology
  • Culture and Psychology

Research Courses (25 credits)

  • Research Theory, Design, and Methods
  • Quantitative Reasoning and Analysis
  • Advanced Quantitative Reasoning and Analysis
  • Qualitative Reasoning and Analysis
  • Advanced Qualitative Reasoning and Analysis

Specialization Courses: General (15 credits)

  • Developmental Psychopathology
  • Contemporary Gerontology/Geriatric Psychology
  • Students choose one of the following courses:
    • Psychology of the Exceptional Individual
    • Culture and Psychology

Doctoral Dissertation (27 credits)

  • Writing a Quality Prospectus in Psychology
  • Literature Review
  • Dissertation (taken for a minimum of 4 terms)

Post-Graduation Opportunities

Career Paths:

After earning the PhD in Developmental Psychology from Walden University, graduates could possess the knowledge and managerial skills needed to assume roles as teachers, administrators, researchers, or consultants in a variety of clinical and non-clinical settings. These settings might include:

  • Crisis intervention organizations
  • Community youth organizations
  • Advocacy organizations
  • Mental health clinics
  • Postsecondary institutions

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