Doctoral Program

The Department of Psychology at FIU offers a doctoral degree specialization in Developmental Science. We no longer offer a terminal masters degree in the Developmental Psychology program. All students accepted into our doctoral program will earn their masters degree as part of their degree requirements. However, students seeking to earn only a masters degree will not be accepted into the program

The doctoral degree program in the Developmental Science at FIU is built upon series of core course requirements designed to facilitate students' thorough grounding in theory, methodology, and content in both basic and applied developmental psychology. A number of seminars reflecting the specialized foci of our program are also offered. The program offers students the opportunity to gain research experience in basic developmental science and in research with an applied focus.

Our program has a central focus in training of scholars and professors of developmental science. Our research falls into two concentration areas: Early Development and Adolescence & Emerging Adulthood Development. The primary goal of our program is to equip students with the skills necessary to function as academic and/or research psychologist. Our strong lifespan developmental perspective emphasizing the systematic description and explanation of changes that organisms undergo as they develop is at the course of this comprehensive and integrative program that encompasses multiple approaches to the study of development. Our doctoral students benefit from the diversity of faculty’s areas of interest and expertise that converge to provide a well-rounded training program in developmental science. We also believe that it is essential that students become involved in research early in their graduate training by participating in faculty research studies and by leading individual research projects under the guidance of faculty members. They are also guided and encouraged to publish their individual research projects, present at professional conferences, and are provided opportunities for teaching as part of their doctoral training.

Several faculty also focus on the use of research and application to promote positive development across the lifespan. Applied developmental scientists adopt the view that positive individual development and family functioning is a combined and interactive product of biology and the physical and social environments that continuously evolve and change over time. The applied developmental science orientation is committed to the use of descriptive and explanatory knowledge about changes within human systems that occur across the lifespan in developing, implementing and evaluating preventive, treatment, and/or enhancing interventions. Such interventions are intended to prevent negative developmental outcomes and/or restore and promote positive developmental outcomes.

Prospective Graduate Students should visit our Prospective Students page for more information about the program.