Ph.D. in Applied Developmental Psychology

GSAS Applied Developmental Psychology

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

Fordham's 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 M.A. 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 have gone on to tenure-track and postdoctoral 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 Highlights

  • Dr. Jing Tian joins the ADP faculty! Dr. Tian earned her B.S degrees in Chemistry and Psychology from Peking University in 2013 and completed her Ph.D. in Psychology at Carnegie Mellon University in 2018. Following her doctoral studies, Dr. Tian pursued postdoctoral research at Columbia University and Temple University. Dr. Tian's research focuses on understanding children’s mathematical development from both cognitive and socio-cultural perspectives. Her work has been published in notable journals such as Developmental Science, Cognitive Psychology, Journal of Educational Psychology, and Educational Psychology Review. Dr. Tian’s research is currently funded by the National Science Foundation. She is actively seeking Ph.D. students to join her lab in Fall 2024. For more information about Dr. Tian and her research lab, please visit her lab’s homepage.

  • Congratulations to Dr. Celia Fisher for chairing the taskforce for the recently released updates to SRCD's Ethical Principles and Standards for Developmental Scientists.

  • First-year ADP student Daniel Alonso (Mentor, Dr. Selin Gülgöz) was selected as a 2021 NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP) awardee for his project, "Concealment, Preferred Identification, and Collective Action Among Transgender Adults.

  • Dr. Li Niu, ADP Alumni 2020, and current Postdoctoral Fellow at the Department of Environmental Medicine and Public Health, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, was selected as a 2021 NIH OBSSR Matilda White Riley Early Stage Investigator Paper Competition awardee for her paper, “Profiles of childhood maltreatment: Associations with sexual risk behavior during adolescence in a sample of racial/ethnic minority girls.”
    • Niu, L., Brown, J. L., Hoyt, L. T., Salandy, A., Nucci-Sack, A., Shankar, V., Burk, D. R., Schlecht, N. F., & Diaz, A. D. (2021). Profiles of childhood maltreatment: Associations with sexual risk behavior during adolescence in a sample of racial/ethnic minority girls. Child Development.

  • Sheniqua Jeffrey (3rd year doctoral student) was selected to join the inaugural (2020-2021) cohort of the Researchers Investigating Sociocultural Equity and Race (RISER) Network fellowship program.

Congratulations, Dr. Fisher!

Dr. Celia Fisher receives 2017 APA Ethics Award

Dr. Celia Fisher with APA Ethics Committee (Photo by Stephanie Gross)

Fordham University’s Center for Ethics Education Director Dr. Celia Fisher is the 2017 recipient of the ninth annual American Psychological Association (APA) Ethics Committee Ethics Educator Award for her outstanding contributions to ethics education at the national level! Dr. Fisher was presented with the award earlier this month by APA Ethics Committee Chair Patricia L. Watson, Ph.D., at the 125th APA Annual Convention in Washington, D.C.