Human Development and Social Policy Program PhD

Degree Requirements

The following requirements are in addition to, or further elaborate upon, those requirements outlined in The Graduate School Policy Guide.


 To obtain a PhD in Human Development and Social Policy (HDSP), students entering the program without master's degrees must complete 21 credits (13 required courses and 8 electives). Students entering the program with a master's degree are required to complete 18 courses (13 required and 5 electives). 

In addition to course work, students must complete the following milestones: 

  • Trial Research Project
  • Guided Literature Review (the GLR is the TGS qualifying exam)
  • Two quarter teaching requirement to serve as a teaching assistant 
  • Dissertation Proposal (Prospectus) 
  • Dissertation Defense and Submission

Total Units Required: 13 plus electives 

Course Title
HDSP Integration Courses (2 units)
HDSP 401-0Proseminar in Human Development and Social Policy I
HDSP 414-1Research Design
Foundations of Human Development (3 units)
Three of the following courses. One of the courses must be a developmental stages course (indicated by a *)
HDSP 402-0Child Development and Social Policy (*)
HDSP 403-0Adolescent Development (*)
HDSP 404-0Adult Development and Aging (*)
HDSP 406-0Diversity Science in Psychology
HDSP 407-1Culture and Development
HDSP 408-1Emotional Mysteries
HDSP 413-0Theories of Human Development
HDSP 415-0Society, Stress and Development: Implications for Intervention
HDSP 482-0Methods in Social Psychology
HDSP 489-0Identity & Motivation
Foundations in Empirical Research Methods (5 units)
HDSP 410-0Quantitative Methods I: Probability and Statistics
HDSP 411-0Quantitative Methods II: Regression Analysis
HDSP 412-0Quantitative Methods III: Empirical Tools for Causal Quantitative Analysis
HDSP 432-0Field Methods
HDSP 435-0Advanced Qualitative Methods
Foundations of Social Policy (3 units)
Students must take 3 courses from among the following:
HDSP 424-0Intersectionality, Measurement and Public Policy
HDSP 425-0Economics of Health, Human Capital, and Happiness
HDSP 426-0Organizations, Institutions and Society: Persistence and Change Among Public, Pr
HDSP 427-0Sociology of Education
HDSP 428-0Education Policy: Design, Implementation and Effects
HDSP 429-0Social-Community Interventions
HDSP 430-0Economics of Social Policy
HDSP 442-0Social Policymaking and Policy Implementation


There is no terminal degree in Human Development and Social Policy. Students pursuing the PhD may receive the MA as part of their doctoral course of study; for more information please review the HDSP Handbook. Those leaving the program prior to the completion through to earning the PhD may receive the MA after successful completion of the Trail Research and course requirements.