Human Development PhD Programs

Study how human beings develop from infancy to adulthood in a Ph.D. program in human development. Find out what courses you'll take and how online Ph.D. programs work. Schools offering Child & Adolescent Development degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Are There Any Prerequisites for the Human Development Ph.D. Program?

To be eligible for the Ph.D. in Human Development, you must have at least a bachelor's degree, preferably in a related degree, such as psychology, sociology, human development or family studies. A master's degree is not required, though if you have one, you can still get into the program. Most schools require that you've previously completed introductory courses in human development. Some experience in research methods is also expected as most Ph.D. programs are highly research-based.

Admission RequirementsBachelor's degree in related field, prior coursework in human development may be required, experience in research
Common Course TopicsLanguage development and acquisition, motivations of human learning, how humans bond, the impact of stress and emotions on health, adulthood and aging
Online AvailabilityIt is possible to take some courses online, though students will generally be required to complete on-campus program components as well
Career PossibilitiesAdministrator, clinical psychologist, counselor, business consultant, adoption agency official

What Courses Will I Take?

Different programs have different requirements and emphases, so at some schools you may take core and major courses in counseling; others are in family studies and others are in human development. The program is about 76 credits and usually takes four years to complete. You will not take general education courses, as these are usually part of undergraduate programs. Many of the courses will address the way the brain and mind develop and how the thought process works, as well as social development. You may also conduct research pertaining to the field. Other topics of study could include:

  • Adulthood and aging
  • How humans bond
  • The impact of stress and emotions on health
  • Language development and acquisition
  • Culture, community and society
  • Motivations of human learning
  • Implementation of programs that encourage human growth and development

How Do Online Programs Work?

Although hybrid online programs exist, on-campus programs are much more common in this field. The online programs that are available incorporate various methods of on-campus and online learning, making them hybrids. You can take some courses and related coursework online. You will also have access to the online library and can interact with your classmates through online discussion forums. However, you will also have to meet on campus for residencies at different times through the degree program for workshops and seminars.

How Can I Use My Degree?

Upon completion of the human development degree program, you could find a career in a number of fields. You could become an administrator for a clinic, enter clinical psychology or counseling. You could also work as a career or business consultant. Some graduates become marriage and family therapists or adoption agency officials. Another option is teaching human development or in a related field, such as sociology, at a college or university.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

  • 1. Degree Options:
The schools in the listing below are not free and may include sponsored content but are popular choices among our users. Tuition and costs will vary across programs and locations. Be sure to always request tuition information before starting a program.

Popular Schools

  • Regent University

    Regent University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Regent University:

    • Doctoral

    Online Programs Available

  • Northcentral University

    Northcentral University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Northcentral University:

    • Doctoral
      • PhD - Psychology: Gerontology

    Online Programs Available

  • North Dakota State University

    Campus Locations:

    • North Dakota: Fargo
  • University of Southern Mississippi

    Campus Locations:

    • Mississippi: Hattiesburg
  • University of North Carolina at Greensboro

    Campus Locations:

    • North Carolina: Greensboro
  • Tufts University

    Campus Locations:

    • Massachusetts: Medford
  • The University of Texas at Austin

    Campus Locations:

    • Texas: Austin
  • Texas Woman's University

    Campus Locations:

    • Texas: Denton
  • University of Missouri

    Campus Locations:

    • Missouri: Columbia
  • Teachers College at Columbia University

    Campus Locations:

    • New York: New York