Ph.D. in Psychology: Developmental Science

Wayne State's Ph.D. in Developmental Science takes a life-span (prenatal to death) perspective on the study of human development, providing students with a strong foundation in dynamic modern developmental theories and models.

Students may focus on one aspect of development or integrate across a variety of specialized developmental domains (e.g., cognitive, language, social-emotional, or psychobiological) and stages (e.g., infancy, early childhood, middle childhood, adolescence, emerging adulthood, adulthood or late adulthood). Current studies focus on risk and resilience, longitudinal modeling, developmental contexts (e.g., poverty, SES, neighborhoods, schools, child care, race/ethnicity, culture), parenting and parent-child relationships/attachment, peer relationships, stress reactivity, emotion regulation/knowledge, temperament, joint attention, school readiness, language development and child maltreatment.


See graduate admissions for more information.

Developmental courses offered in recent years

  • Cognitive Development
  • Psychology of Infant Behavior and Development
  • Lifespan Developmental Psychology
  • Developmental Psychobiology
  • Attachment Relationships Across the Lifespan
  • Developmental Assessment: Infancy
  • Social Development Across the Lifespan
  • Developmental Psychology of Adolescence
  • Psychological Development in the Adult Years
  • Current Issues in Developmental Psychology (special topics)

Area faculty with a developmental research focus

Prospective graduate students should review faculty profiles and contact potential advisors directly prior to submitting an application to ensure the faculty member is currently accepting new students.

Contact 💬

Alia Allen, academic services officer III

Career insights

This tool provides a broad overview of how major selection can lead to careers and is provided without any implied promise of employment. Some careers will require further education, skills, or competencies. Actual salaries may vary significantly between similar employers and could change by graduation, as could employment opportunities and job titles.