Applied Developmental Science Doctoral Program
The Applied Developmental Science Ph.D. program at Colorado State University offers graduate training in research and its applications to issues that affect the quality of life of individuals, families, and communities.
Students can enter the Applied Developmental Science program with a completed master’s degree or with a completed bachelor’s degree. Students entering with a bachelor’s will be required to complete a master’s in Human Development and Family Studies, with a specialization in Marriage and Family Therapy or Prevention Science.
The majority of Ph.D. students are supported by teaching and research assistantships that cover tuition and provide a monthly stipend during the academic year.
Applied Developmental Science Curriculum
Ph.D. in Applied Developmental Science
If you are interested in our program, we recommend you contact our current graduate students and faculty. Feel free to ask them any questions regarding our graduate programs.
Course of Study
The Ph.D. is a 76 credit-hour degree, designed to be completed in a 4-year time frame (18-21 credits per year). All ADS students must take 22 credits in ADS-program-wide core courses; in addition, 24 credits are earned in elective courses that are selected in consultation with the student’s adviser and committee so as to prepare the student for the career trajectory that he or she has planned. These electives must include at least two lifespan development electives, one statistics elective (3 credits), and one general elective outside of Human Development and Family Studies (3 credits).
There are two competency projects and examinations designed to:
- Allow students to demonstrate the breadth and depth of their knowledge gained from their coursework in the ADS program and from reading in depth in the specific area on which they plan to focus their research efforts.
- Challenge students to think critically about and to apply, utilize, and integrate that knowledge in ways that foster their own professional development.
- Help them to independently develop a research plan that potentially will sustain their investigative efforts past their doctoral dissertation and into the early years of their career.
- Develop and enhance their teaching and presentation skills.
Research Writing Competency Project
For the research writing project, students demonstrate their ability to do an in-depth analysis of the literature in his/her area of research by writing: (a) grant application or (b) Developmental Review article or (c) an essay/paper in response to specific examination questions that have been prepared and approved by the student’s committee and have been approved by the ADS program director or Graduate Program director (or their delegate if both are on the student’s committee).
Professional Presentation/Teaching Competency
The goal of the professional presentation/teaching competency is to afford the student increased experience and skill in doing professional presentations and/or teaching by either: (a) teaching a series of workshops or, (b) working on two specific teaching-related skills while teaching at least ½ of an undergraduate course.
Doctoral Dissertation in Applied Developmental Science
Students in the Applied Developmental Science Ph.D. program are required to propose and complete an empirical doctoral research project approved by a doctoral committee and to write up the findings in a dissertation. The dissertation project represents the culmination of students’ ADS education and is a “process” that includes (a) the conceptualization of the study, including the scientific rationale and the study methodology; (b) proposing the study to a committee of faculty members; (c) collecting the data or using an existing data set; (d) conducting statistical analyses; (e) write the results either as a single thesis or as multiple manuscripts; and, (f) defend the results to the dissertation committee in an oral exam.