The Developmental and Psychological Sciences (DAPS) program emphasizes disciplined inquiry and positive intervention approaches aimed at the development of psychological processes that play a central role in well-being, learning, social relationships, and broader adjustment in multiple contexts of caretakers/parents, families, teachers, and mentors. The importance of race, equity, and diversity are central to all inquiry in the DAPS program. Faculty guided student research is centered on psychological inquiry into constructs spanning from individual to social levels, including neurobiology, development, learning, teaching, motivation, and measurement. The program seeks to cultivate scholars for careers that help to transform both research and practice, with a disciplined focus on leveraging developmental and psychological insights to improving adjustment, education, and learning outcomes.
All students are expected to achieve knowledge and expertise in several substantive domains of developmental and psychological theory and research methodology and to embrace the highest scientific, professional, and ethical standards. Students and faculty in DAPS work collaboratively throughout the program. In the first two years of doctoral studies, students develop their program of study in close collaboration with their advisors. The program ranges across the major domains of psychology relevant to education while developing an individual specialization for each student.
In addition, two cross-area specializations are available to DAPS doctoral students: Learning Sciences and Technology Design (LSTD) and Race, Inequality, and Language in Education (RILE).
Students in the Learning Sciences and Technology Design (LSTD) program complete foundational research on learning and design innovative learning technologies. As a cross-area specialization, the LSTD program links its content to one of the three academic areas: Curriculum Studies and Teacher Education (CTE), Developmental and Psychological Sciences (DAPS), or Social Sciences, Humanities, and Interdisciplinary Policy Studies in Education (SHIPS).
The cross-area specialization in Race, Inequality, and Language in Education (RILE) brings an interdisciplinary scholarly focus to the major factors that influence educational attainment, especially for underserved children. Students ground their RILE studies within the context of one of the three academic areas: Curriculum Studies and Teacher Education (CTE), Developmental and Psychological Sciences (DAPS), Social Sciences, Humanities, and Interdisciplinary Policy Studies in Education (SHIPS).
The majority of our PhD graduates in the Developmental and Psychological Sciences area express an interest in pursuing a university career in teaching and research. Other graduates seek employment in educational research and policy settings at both public and private research organizations. Some of our recent graduates are employed at the following locations: