Online PhD Programs in Developmental Psychology

Online Ph.D. programs in developmental psychology make it convenient for students seeking a doctorate to gain professional-level knowledge in the ways human psychology changes over a lifespan. Schools offering Developmental Psychology degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

An Overview of Online Developmental Psychology Ph.D. Programs

Online Ph.D. programs in developmental psychology provide a deep foundation of knowledge for those looking to have a career in researching and analyzing the way humans change throughout the entirety of their lives. Career opportunities for a possessor of a developmental psychology Ph.D. include clinical researcher, developmental specialist, and counselor. There are but a few online Ph.D. programs in this field of study; however, the online nature makes them more convenient for students with ongoing careers and those who do not live near a college campus. Below is a list of some typical courses that can be found in one of these programs.

Developmental Psychopathology

In a developmental psychopathology course, students will be given an overview of the various emotional and behavioral disorders that affect children. Topics touched upon will usually include types of psychopathology, childhood psychopathology classifications, and therapeutic approaches. Class activities will include readings and online discussions of the theories and approaches found in contemporary literature on the subject.

Qualitative Research and Analysis

A Ph.D. program will typically include a qualitative research course as part of its core curriculum. In these classes, students will gain a deep understanding of the theories and practices used in contemporary qualitative approaches to research. Students will learn how to create their own interview guides and gain an understanding of the ethical and social issues involved in the data collection process.

Quantitative Research Methods

A Ph.D. candidate in developmental psychology will need to take a course in quantitative research methods to prepare for their doctoral dissertation. During the class, students will use their knowledge of methodology to create a research design. This design will be based on the knowledge gained from a qualitative design project on a similar topic.

Language & Cognitive Development

Language and cognitive development courses will teach students about the theories and research that explain the ways humans gain general knowledge and the ability to use language. Theories touched upon may include behaviorist perspectives, conditioning, and neural networks to name a few. Also, students will study cognitive delay, autism, language disorders, and other atypical development issues.

Development in the Digital Age

Ph.D. students in developmental psychology may find a course that investigates the impact of contemporary digital technology on human development. These classes look at how personal identities, relationships, and socialization are affected by social media and other types of technology at every age. Themes touched upon include online social groups, the finding of health support resources, sexting, and cyberbullying among many others.

Possible Career Paths for Developmental Psychology Ph.D.s

Adolescent Development Specialist

An adolescent development specialist will work with young people in the age range between 13 and 19 to better understand how they are changing, what their interests in life might be, and what skills they may possess for future careers. Responsibilities can include field trip supervision, organizing career days, and mentoring. These professionals require a strong understanding of the way children change as well as the milestones of development for pre-teens and teenagers.

Behavioral Therapist

The job of a behavioral therapist is to help people overcome the behavior that causes or results from an assortment of disorders including depression, anorexia, and drug addiction. They may work with patients spanning from children to adults. Counseling sessions can be one-on-one or in groups. Behavioral therapists work in a number of professional environments including hospitals, rehab centers, and community health centers.

Education Consultant

An education consultant will work in the role of advisor to develop curriculum and standards across a wide scholastic spectrum. A typical education consultant career involves working in schools; however, some may find themselves being hired by parents to work in an advisory capacity to help their children attain certain goals when pursuing admission to elite schools and colleges. Usually, consultants are independent contractors and some of their duties may include observing teachers as they work, analyzing data and reporting their findings, and educational staff training. An educational consultant should possess good communication skills, the ability to evaluate statistics, and the skills to manage people.

Job Title Median Salary (2019) Job Growth (2018-2028)*
Adolescent Development Specialist $83,860 (youth development specialists)** 7% (recreational therapists)
Behavioral Therapist $39,805*** 14% (psychologists)
Education Consultant $64,852*** 6% (instructional coordinators)

Sources: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, **Glassdoor.com, ***Payscale.com

Requirements for Admission to an Online Developmental Psychology Ph.D. Program

Admission to an online developmental psychology program typically requires an applicant to provide official college transcripts from an accredited college or university. The prospective student must have attained a minimum 3.0 GPA and attained a master's degree. In some instances, a student may need to have taken prerequisite courses in psychology and psychology-related fields if his/her master's degree is not in psychology. Other possible requirements may include two or more letters of recommendation, a personal statement of purpose, and a current resume.

Online Ph.D. programs for developmental psychology provide a convenient way to attain in-depth professional knowledge for those seeking careers in this field that examines the way humans develop from childhood to old age. The classes in these programs include instruction in research, analysis, and treatment to better prepare the next generation of developmental psychologists.

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

  • Walden University

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    Popular programs at Walden University:

    • Doctoral

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  • Regent University

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    Popular programs at Regent University:

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  • The Chicago School

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  • Liberty University

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  • Capella University

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  • University of Kentucky

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    • Kentucky: Lexington
  • Northcentral University

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  • Fordham University

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    • New York: Bronx
  • Temple University

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    • Pennsylvania: Philadelphia
  • St. John's University

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    • New York: Queens