CHILD DEVELOPMENT DOCTORAL PROGRAM OVERVIEW
Study how factors such as culture, social class, and social relationships influence human development from infancy through early and middle childhood. Among others, PhD Child Development graduates can consider careers in research, applied child development research, program design and evaluation, college teaching, program administration, and policy analysis.
This PhD Child Development program is offered every two years by Erikson in conjunction with Loyola University Chicago, and the PhD is conferred by Loyola. The program has both full-time (4 years) and flex-time (6 years) options.
Start in the Fall, in odd years, and earn your Doctorate in Child Development on campus. The next program will start in Fall 2025. Application will open in Fall 2024.
Deepen your expertise with one of the only applied research PhD child development programs.
Extend the range of roles and careers you can consider.
Participate in two semesters of required doctoral internship; one in research and one in assistant teaching at a master’s level college course.
Guided by a committee of faculty members, you’ll execute a substantial original piece of research to advance knowledge in the field of child development. It will require a public oral defense.
Be seen and heard working closely with your professors and peers.
Learn resilience and healthy professional practices from experienced practitioners.
PhD Child Development candidates are required to complete two semesters of an internship supervised by your Erikson advisor. At least one semester must be a research internship.
You’ll work with an Erikson faculty member, research scientist, or associate, or on a research project at another institution.
You will teach or assist in teaching a master’s-level college course in child development or related topic.
FINANCIAL SUPPORT & SCHOLARSHIP OPTIONS
With dozens of scholarships and financial aid opportunities, our team is here to help you make your graduate education more affordable.
Flex-time students are not eligible for assistantships and the associated full scholarship to Erikson classes, but they are still eligible for standard scholarship opportunities and financial aid packages. Flex-time students can earn up to 45% off their Erikson total tuition costs by stacking Leadership and Affordability scholarships.
You’ll need to submit one application to Erikson. Accepted students are then admitted concurrently to Erikson and Loyola University Chicago. GRE not required.
The advantages of the Erikson-Loyola partnership include a broader exposure to faculty and courses, support from a larger institution while maintaining the community feel of a smaller program, and additional options for student engagement and networking.
Erikson Institute Supports You Every Step of the Way
Our Career Services team is there for you in both the preparation and search for a job.
With hundreds of partnerships and robust networks of alumni and field experts, the Career Services team is here to help you put your education into practice.
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:
Our graduates are employed by:
Check out a few examples of the courses you’ll take in our Child Development PhD program.
In addition to your Erikson courses, you’ll take three Loyola courses in research design and statistics, and two additional elective Loyola courses.
Gain expert perspectives working closely with leaders in the field.
Erikson’s Child Development PhD program faculty members are nationally recognized. With specific research interests and decades of experience, each of our faculty enriches your academic experience, connecting you to new networks and the latest data.
Required degree: A Master’s degree in a related field to child development (education, social work, or psychology) from a regionally accredited school.
If you have your bachelor’s degree and would like to apply for doctoral study at Erikson, you can apply under a special combined Master of Science in Child Development (MSCD)/Ph.D. track, which guarantees admission to the doctoral program with maintenance of an A- average in the MSCD program. In addition, students who complete their MSCD at Erikson will receive automatic credit transfer. Students interested in this option should contact Dr. Amanda Moreno and review the MSCD application process.
International students must demonstrate English language proficiency.
At a minimum, you will take 12 required credits (4 courses) at Loyola, which will primarily be your research methods and statistics classes. Other than that, your coursework, mentoring, and project work will take place largely at Erikson. However, you are still entitled to the same resources as other Loyola graduate students, and many of our doctoral students do take advantage of these benefits, included but not limited to use of their library and meeting spaces, scholarship and training opportunities (e.g., grant-writing workshops), Graduate Student Association membership and events, and Loyola faculty on dissertation committees.
This degree does not lead to licensure. For clinical licensure, please review our MSW program.
We are not a clinical psychology program and do not seek accreditation from the American Psychological Association.
Every effort is made to match full-time students with an appropriate (up to) 20-hr./week assistantship which provides a stipend of $25,000 per year and comes with a full scholarship to Erikson classes (the credit hours taken at Loyola are self-paid).
Due to their existing work commitments, flex-time students are not eligible for assistantships and the associated full scholarship to Erikson classes, but they are still eligible for standard scholarship opportunities and financial aid packages.
Admitted students will be aware of their funding package prior to being required to accept or decline.
Full-time students are not permitted to maintain external full-time employment. Instead, most are matched with an Erikson-based 20 hr/week assistantship.
Applicants who are situated in a field-related full-time job that they wish to maintain (e.g., principal, center director, non-profit leader, school counselor, etc.) are now eligible for the “flex-time” track. This option allows us to meet the demands of working professionals who want to obtain their PhD, while working in positions that may be connected in advantageous ways to their doctoral studies.
The staff in our Field Education and Career Services Office will work with you to prepare you for seeking positions while you’re enrolled at Erikson and upon graduating from the program. You’ll receive feedback on your resume and cover letters, and we also maintain a job board on our campus portal where employers list part-time and full-time positions for which they’re hiring.
The Career Services team also plans an annual social work, early education, and child development job fair for Erikson students and alumni. In concert with the job fair, you can submit your resume to be included in an annual Resume Book that we distribute to organizations and managers who are interested in hiring Erikson students and alumni.
Erikson students live in a wide range of neighborhoods in Chicago and in the suburbs. We do not offer campus housing. While we can’t make specific recommendations about where you should live, we encourage you to find a neighborhood that suits your style, taste, and budget. To help you in your housing search, we work closely with StudentSpace, a free apartment-finding service that specializes in helping graduate students find housing in Chicago.
Because of Erikson’s small size, you’ll have access to a wide range of both informal and formal student support services. These include: