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PhD Child Development candidates studying together in a classroom.

PhD in Child Development

Erikson is no longer accepting applications for this PhD

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Child Development Doctoral Program Overview

PhD in Child Development Program Availability Change

Visit this page to stay in the know about future PhD program opportunities

Erikson Institute’s doctoral program has a long history of producing PhDs who are transforming research and practice for children and families. With one of the only applied research doctoral programs in child development, Erikson advances careers with small classes, self-reflective supervision seminars, project and publication work with world-class faculty, and individualized support throughout a doctoral student’s journey.

After partnering with Loyola University as the conferrer of the degree for many years, Erikson is now seeking to become an independent PhD-granting institution so that we can transition into delivering an independent doctoral program.

While we cannot accept applications prior to approval, we are collecting information from interested people and will update them on the program’s status. We hope to open admission to the program by or before 2026.

Please note we still have an active program with 18 doctoral students under the current partnership with Loyola. If you are interested in the great work of our current doctoral students, please connect with Dr. Amanda Moreno, Director, Doctoral Program.

Hear from Our Alum

Headshot of Bilge Cerezci, MS 2009, PhD 2016, Erikson Institute alumnus.
Bilge Cerezci
MS 2009, PhD 2016
“ What made me most marketable during my job search was the knowledge I’d gained in the classroom combined with the applied research I’d done with Erikson’s Early Math Collaborative. Just a month after earning my PhD, I accepted a tenure-track position at St. John’s University. ”
Headshot of Tonya Bibbs, PhD 2014, Erikson Institute alumnus.
Tonya Bibbs
PhD 2014
“ So much of the work being done on children of color is about deviance or risk — how children are not fitting some particular model. I really wanted to look at normative development. ”
Headshot of Sabrina Mendes, PhD candidate.
Sabrina Mendez
PhD Candidate
“ There are so many different cultures that make up the American experience, and Erikson’s focus on diversity reflects that. We all learn from each other’s experience. ”
Headshot of Amanda Moreno, PhD Program Director.
Amanda Moreno
Director, Doctoral Program
“ We take applied developmental research seriously. Our doctoral program is focused on how scholarship can be used to make a meaningful difference in the lives of children and their families. ”

Careers Opportunities With a Doctorate In Child Development

95% of our PhD Child Development graduates from the last ten years hold current positions as higher education faculty, researchers, or program directors in child and family-focused organizations.


Our graduates have built careers in:

  • Applied child development research
  • Program design and evaluation
  • College teaching
  • Program administration
  • Policy analysis

Our graduates are employed by:

  • Chapin Hall, University of Chicago
  • National Institute for Early Education Research
  • Early Learning Coalition of Orange County, Fla.
  • University of Colorado Denver
  • DePaul University
  • James Bell Associates

PhD Alumni

Introducing Erikson Institute’s PhD Candidates

Explore successful dissertation defenses from some of our recent graduates.

See all News and Press

Child Development PhD Program FAQs

Find answers to the biggest questions students ask about the PhD program.


We are not accepting applications for the PhD program subsequent to Fall of 2023. Current PhD students are able to complete their degree as planned through 2029.


We are working towards another PhD program, but are unable to commit to a launch date at this time.


We are unable to share more details at this time. If you remain interested in a PhD program from Erikson Institute and wish to be among the first to hear about any news, please complete this form. And you can sign up to receive our monthly newsletter here.


No. We have an active program still in place under the current joint program with Loyola, which will exist until at least 2029.