Ph.D. in Interdisciplinary Studies in Human Development

Part of the Applied Psychology and Human Development Division

Intended to prepare graduates for careers as university professors and researchers, the doctoral program in ISHD provides a strong interdisciplinary foundation in developmental theory and research. Beyond the core areas of focus—developmental psychology, cognitive development, development in cultural contexts, and research design and analysis—each student’s program of study is highly individualized and tailored to their own research interests.

Fast Facts

 

  • Prerequisites: Bachelor’s degree; Master’s degree desired but not required
  • Entry terms: Fall
  • Course Requirements: 20 courses. Because the ISHD doctoral program is tailored to each student, there are no set required courses. Students determine their program of study in consultation with their faculty advisor.
  • Typical Course Load: 4 courses each semester (Fall and Spring)
  • Culminating Experience: Preliminary Examination, Dissertation Proposal, Doctoral Dissertation
  • Support: 4 years of tuition, stipend, and health care support
  • Read our frequently asked questions for prospective students

 

View Admissions Requirements

Overview

 

The Ph.D. in ISHD requires 20 courses. The program prepares graduates for careers as university professors and researchers. Significant graduate-level preparation in human development or a master’s degree is recommended but not required for admission. Core areas of focus include developmental psychology, cognitive development, development in cultural contexts, and research design and analysis courses. Each doctoral student’s program of study is tailored to their own research interests in consultation with their academic mentor. If appropriate, students may choose to take courses with affiliated faculty in other departments such as sociology, psychology, pediatrics, or public health, in accordance with the student’s own emerging research interests.

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The goal of the Interdisciplinary Studies in Human Development (ISHD) doctoral program is to provide students with a strong foundation in developmental theory and research from interdisciplinary and life-span perspectives. The program offers opportunities for students to explore social, emotional, and cognitive aspects of human development from infancy to adulthood. Students learn about the processes of developmental growth and change in educational and sociocultural contexts. Students receive training for high quality research in human development using rigorous methodologies through participating in research projects with faculty mentors and coursework. In addition, students are encouraged to engage in collaborative research with faculty and students across areas and departments.

Program of Study

Core Courses

EDUC 667 Introductory Statistics for Educational Research
EDUC 680 Evaluation of Policies, Programs, and Projects
EDUC 682 Qualitative Modes of Inquiry
EDUC 764 Cognitive Processes
EDUC 767 Regression and Analysis of Variance
EDUC 860 Proseminar in ISHD
EDUC 880 Complex, Multilevel, and Longitudinal Research Models
EDUC 881 Applied Multivariate Statistics
EDUC 960 Advanced Research in Human Learning and Development

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Faculty

Xinyin Chen, Ph.D., Professor

University of Waterloo

Suzanne Fegley, Ph.D., Senior Lecturer

Temple University

Douglas A. Frye, Ph.D., Associate Professor

Yale University

Elizabeth Mackenzie, Ph.D., Adjunct Assistant Professor

University of Pennsylvania

Michael Nakkula, Ed.D., Practice Professor

Harvard Graduate School of Education

Howard C. Stevenson, Ph.D., Professor

Fuller Graduate School of Psychology

Daniel A. Wagner, Ph.D., Professor

University of Michigan

Contact

 

Applied Psychology and Human Development Division

University of Pennsylvania
Graduate School of Education

3700 Walnut Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104


Christine Kim
ISHD Program Assistant
(215) 898-4610
chrkim@gse.upenn.edu

Elizabeth Mackenzie
Division Manager
(215) 898-4176
emackenz@gse.upenn.edu