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Developmental and Psychological Sciences (DAPS), Ph.D.

  • Application Deadline
  • 60 months
University rank #2 (QS) Stanford, CA, United States
The Doctoral program in Developmental and Psychological Sciences (DAPS) emphasizes disciplined inquiry aimed at understanding psychological functioning and/or human development in relation to all forms of formal and informal learning and teaching contexts. The goal of the program is to develop theory and research for the improvement of educational practice in education. 
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  • The program prepares students for professional careers in scholarly research and in teaching. Students in the program acquire knowledge and expertise in several substantive domains of scientific psychology, as well as, research methodology, and embrace the highest scientific, professional and ethical standards.
  • Historically, psychological research in education has often been divided into several categories with labels such as Educational Psychology, Counseling Psychology, Developmental Psychology, Educational Measurement, and the like. In some graduate training programs there are further subdivisions; within Educational Psychology, for example, research on Learning and Instruction has often been distinguished from research on Teaching and Teacher Education. These subcategories persist because they identify well-known professional associations, societies, and scientific journals, and DAPS graduates may choose to affiliate with one or another of them. 
  • However, DAPS faculty believe that imposing divisional boundaries can also stifle new initiatives, syntheses, and other evolutionary changes in the field. For example, new research on the design of developmentally appropriate, technology-supported learning environments cuts across several categories. There are also new initiatives that combine psychology with other disciplines such as neuroscience. Importantly, in DAPS as a doctoral research training program, faculty treat all such divisions as identifying individual specializations within the general program, not as formally separate subprograms or sub-areas.
  • Faculty expect all DAPS students to develop an understanding and appreciation of psychological and developmental research in education in the broadest sense, as well as to develop their own specialty within it. This means working with faculty advisors to develop one’s own specialization statement. It also means building a graduate study plan that ranges across the major domains of psychology relevant to education as it is broadly defined.

Detailed Programme Facts

  • Programme intensity Full-time
    • Full-time duration 60 months
  • Languages
    • English
  • Delivery mode
    On Campus

Programme Structure

The majority of our Ph.D. 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. 

You can choose from a variety of courses: 

  • Child Development in Contexts of Risk and Adversity 
  • Cognition and Learning 
  • Social, Emotional and Personality Development 
  • Learning in Formal and Informal Environments 
  • Cultural Psychology 
  • Cognitive Development in Childhood and Adolescence 
  • Social Psychology and Social Change 
  •  Psychological and Educational Resilience among Children and Youth 
  •  Education of Immigrant Students: Psychological Perspectives 
  • Child Development and Schooling 
  •  Adolescent Development and Schooling 
  • Stress Reactivity and Biological Sensitivity to Context 

English Language Requirements

  • Minimum required score:


    The TOEFL iBT ® measures your English-language abilities in an academic setting. The test has four sections (reading, listening, speaking, and writing), each with a score range of 0-30, for a total score range of 0-120.

  • Minimum required score:


    The TOEFL®PBT is administered in a paper format and measures your ability to use and understand English in a classroom setting at the college or university level. It accurately measures how well you can listen, read and write in English while performing academic tasks.

Academic Requirements

  • This programme accepts GRE® scores. However, it does not provide a recommended score range.

    The GRE® General Test is a widely administered admissions test that measures the skills needed in today's graduate and business school programs worldwide. The GRE® General Test contains three sections - Verbal Reasoning, Quantitative Reasoning, and Analytical Writing. Three scores are reported: a Verbal Reasoning score on a 130 - 170 score scale in one-point increments, a Quantitative Reasoning score on a 130 - 170 score scale in one-point increments, and an Analytical Writing score on a 0 - 6 score scale in half-point increments.

General Requirements

Application Requirements

  • Application Fee - $125. Application fees are non-refundable and submitted with the online application. 
  • Statement of purpose
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • Official GRE scores
  • Official TOEFL scores (if applicable),
  • Academic Transcripts for both undergraduate and graduate institutions

Tuition Fee

Fellowship/assistantship salary and tuition guaranteed for first five years of the program for all students, including international students

Living costs for Stanford

  • 1100 - 1600 USD/month
    Living Costs

The living costs include the total expenses per month, covering accommodation, public transportation, utilities (electricity, internet), books and groceries.


Studyportals Tip: Students can search online for independent or external scholarships that can help fund their studies. Check the scholarships to see whether you are eligible to apply. Many scholarships are either merit-based or needs-based.


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