Online PhD in Developmental Psychology Programs

The psychology profession is growing rapidly as the American public is getting older, and seeking psychological help for their mental health and relationship issues. The Bureau of Labor Statistics or BLS states the demand for developmental, school and counseling psychologists will rise by 3% through 2029, which is about as fast as average. ( If you are interested in developmental psychology you may want to consider a doctoral degree such as a Ph.D. in developmental psychology.

This branch of psychology tries to explain growth, change and consistency throughout the lifespan. Developmental psychology reviews how thinking, feeling and behavior can change throughout our lives. Many of the theories in this field are focused upon development as a child; this is the period when your lifespace changes the most.

Developmental psychologists study many theoretical concepts, including biology, society, emotions and cognition. Empirical research tends to be done in Europe and North America.

The three major goals of development psychology are to describe, explain and optimize human development. Developmental psychologists also have to explain the changes they observe related to normative processes and differences in the individual. (

Sponsored Content

Below are some of the best options where you can earn your online doctoral degree in developmental psychology:

#1 Capella University

Capella University offers a online Ph.D. in Developmental Psychology that provides you with the skills and knowledge to pursue a dynamic career in teaching; adolescent, child and adult development; policy and advocacy; or research. In this strong four year online program, you can choose a concentration such as child and adolescent development; adulthood and aging and lifespan All of the coursework will focus on the vital skills that you will need as you explore you chosen concentration area. No GRE Required!

What you will learn in this program:

  • Think critically: Apply your critical thinking skills to issues and challenges in the major areas of developmental psychology
  • Apply knowledge: Apply scientifically established information from long term studies of human development and policy
  • Conduct vital research: Plan, design and conduct research and evaluation to advance psychological knowledge and practice in the field.
  • Evaluate processes: Evaluate advocacy and policy processes about issues across all life spans to effect change.
  • Meet diverse population needs: Evaluate developmental processes and theories that address individual needs of diverse populations.

*Visit Capella University

Capella University has a unique doctoral structure that is made to take down any roadblocks for you and to make your dissertation less challenging. The unique approach centers on supporting you in three major ways. First is program structure. Second is a dedicated faculty and support team. Third is the university’s ample online resources. To make it easier for you to proceed toward graduation, you will start your dissertation early in the program. Faculty, support team and the many online resources at your disposal will guide you all steps of the journey.

Required courses include:

  • Research Foundations and Systems of Psychology
  • Qualitative Design and Analysis
  • Advanced Inferential Statistics
  • Quantitative Research Methods in Psychology
  • D. Dissertation Research Track Seminar
  • Multivariate Statistics: Theory and Application
  • Advanced Qualitative Analysis

To be considered for admission to this Ph.D. program at Capella University, submit the following:

  • Official transcripts that detail your bachelor’s and master’s work
  • Resume with psychology work experience
  • Employment experience and education
  • Writing samples
  • Three recommendation letters

#2 Walden University

Walden University offers an online Ph.D. in Developmental Psychology, and with this program, you can gain and apply advanced knowledge of human development and growth across the lifespan to empower your patients and others to be researchers, teachers or consultants. This program applies the latest research, theories and best practices to promote human development and to promote positive change in the lives of families, individuals and communities. You will strengthen your grasp of the interaction between physical, cognitive, emotional, social, health and cultural areas of development so you can teach others to overcome their challenges in live. No GRE Required!

Major learning outcomes of the Walden University program are:

  • Be able to synthesize research and theory on the physical, cognitive, emotional, health, social and cultural aspects of the development of human beings.
  • Synthesize theories of developmental psychology in areas of cognition, neurology, emotion, society and culture impacts on development.
  • Be able to describe perspectives and experiences of diverse populations, such as race, culture, socioeconomics, gender, age, sexual orientation and disability from the perspective of developmental psychology
  • Apply research and theory regarding how developmental psychologists practice
  • Be able to develop your own ability as a developmental psychologist
  • Discuss how political and social issues, policies and recent events affect developmental psychology
  • Be able to produce scholarly research on your own on developmental psychology with basic and advanced research methods.
  • Apply important and relevant ethical codes in developmental psychology research practice and work settings.

Key features also include:

  • You can waive up to six courses if you have already earned your master’s in a related field.
  • You can study the full doctoral program on this speciality.
  • The developmental psychology coursework addresses the most relevant issues of today. Topics involve child development in the digital age, and critical issues that are faced by children, the elderly and the LGBTQ community.
  • Obtain a global perspective with your diverse students and faculty as you study such subjects as mass migration and refugee crises.

To be considered for admission to this Ph.D. program at Walden University, it is required to submit the following:

  • Official transcripts that show all of your bachelor’s and master’s work
  • Resume with psychology work experience
  • Employment experience and education
  • Writing samples
  • Three recommendation letters

Both of the above programs are good choices for getting your Ph.D. in developmental psychology. With this PhD in Psychology advanced degree, you will have many employment options in this quickly expanding field.

*Indicates school is a Featured Partner. Click here for disclosure on Featured Partners. 

Sponsored Content


  • Developmental Psychology. (n.d.). Retrieved from
  • Ph.D. in Developmental Psychology. (n.d.). Retrieved from
  • Psychologists. (2017). Retrieved from
  • Ph.D. in Developmental Psychology. (n.d.). Retrieved from
  • No GRE Online Psychology PhD Programs. (n.d.). Retrieved from
  • 8+ Online Psychology Ph.D. Programs 2020. (2019). Retrieved from