PhD in Applied Developmental Psychology

Nationally recognized for research excellence and pioneering contributions to the field, Fordham’s PhD program in applied developmental psychology focuses on human development across the life span with a strong commitment to social justice. 

Fordham psychology professor Celia Fisher helped establish applied developmental psychology as a field of study, which conducts rigorous research and advances policies and programs that improve lives. In our doctoral program, you’ll gain hands-on experience and work closely with our renowned faculty, who have won prestigious awards and secured millions in grant funding. 

Concentrations are offered in three areas:

Program Highlights

  • Strong foundation in developmental theories and research methods
  • Yearlong practicum  in a community-based organization
  • Emphasis on ethical decision-making
  • Collaboration with Fordham’s highly regarded psychometrics program on statistical analysis of data

Program Basics

  • Designed as a five-year program for full-time students
  • Mentored research apprenticeship in the first two years
  • Curriculum requires 66 credits 
  • Students earn MA degree in the first two years
  • Dissertation required
  • Teaching and research fellowships available


Many graduates go on to work for nonprofit organizations including the Foundation for Child Development and The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. Alumni also have gone on to tenure-track positions at colleges including the State University of New York, St. John’s University, and Dickinson College as well as postdoctoral work at Yale University, Arizona State University, Mount Sinai Hospital, and the City University of New York.


Recent Achievements

  • Francesca Falzarano and Christina Rucinski recently published a blog post for the Society for Research in Child Development about ADP's practicum and developmental psychology's real life applications.
  • Jillian Minahan and Dr. Karen Siedlecki were just awarded the Psi Chi Eastern Regional Research Award for their research examining the relationship between age and physical health and subjective well-being in an adult sample, which will be presented at the EPA convention being held in New York, NY from March 3rd-5th, 2016.
  • Sheena Jeswani was just awarded the Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues Grants-in-Aid, which includes $1,000 for research on racial disparities in nocturnal blood pressure dipping.
  • Sheena Jeswani, the student representative for Fordham University's Psychology Department, was awarded the Association for Psychological Science Spring Rally Week's 1st place prize for the most number of new members to register for the 2015 Convention (May 21-24) in New York City
  • Dr. Joshua Brown has been elected to serve as one of the five senior representatives on the Steering Committee of the University-Based Child and Family Policy (CFP) Consortium. View more on our Blog.
  • Amid national discourse on race, recent ADP graduate Sara Douglass' dissertation on ethnic putdowns receives press. S-R-A, Fordham Notes.
  • Human trafficking research of current ADP student Stefanie Vuotto featured in Huffington Post, NY Times, and Inside Fordham.
  • Award-winning psychologist and ADP graduate Scyatta Wallace reflects on her tenure at Fordham and the cycle of empowerment.

Dr. Lindsay Till Hoyt (ADP) featured in FNN segment on sleep