University of Florida | Department of Psychology

Prospective Graduate Student Information

Students in the Developmental Area receive training in social, behavioral and biological development across the lifespan: from the prenatal period through adolescence, across adulthood and into late life. Our program focuses on understanding lifespan development using a variety of behavioral, qualitative, and physiological methods. The major track in our program is in Developmental Psychology. Students are encouraged collaborate across areas in Psychology and with other units around our rich, diverse campus. For those interested, we also offer a joint degree in Developmental Psychology and Behavioral and Cognitive Neuroscience as well as a Graduate Certificate in Gerontology.

To download a flyer about our program and faculty research interests, click here.

Admissions. Students planning to pursue a Ph.D. in the Developmental Area are considered in early Spring for Fall admission. Admission is based on a match between student and faculty research interests, previous research experience, GPA and GRE scores, undergraduate coursework, and letters of recommendation. Prospective students are encouraged to contact individual faculty members regarding their research interests to ensure a good mentor-student research match. Application instructions and materials are available online. Links to all faculty research labs can be found at Research Page.

More information about the Department of Psychology and our Graduate Program including grad application materials, cost of living information, financial support, campus services, and life in Gainesville, FL can be found on the Department of Psychology’s Prospective Student page.

Research Training. We follow an apprenticeship model. Students join a lab and work closely with one primary faculty member, with options to collaborate with others. Our faculty serve as dynamic models of how to conduct, disseminate, and publish research. Our students publish in leading journals in Psychology, Developmental Psychology, and Neuroscience, have received local and national research awards, and regularly present their work at national and international conferences. Our students also actively contribute to local outreach and community- based efforts. Our students are most often placed in primarily academic positions (i.e., research and education) but also in public organizations or private industry jobs.

Resources. Facilities include laboratories for biopsychosocial research with young infants, toddlers, children, adolescents, adults and older adults. Excellence in scholarship and research is emphasized and students become increasingly involved in presenting and publishing their research as they move towards the PhD. The program maintains a small student-faculty ratio (2 – 4 students per faculty member) to enhance individualized mentorship. Several options allow an individually tailored program of coursework while maintaining a strong foundation in developmental psychology. A variety of sources of funding are available including TAships, fellowships, scholarships and research and travel awards.

For more information about the Developmental Psychology Graduate Program, see the Current Graduate Students Information page.

To see our list of graduate student responses to your FAQ, click here.