Application checklist:
Ph.D. in developmental psychology

Due to COVID-19, Fall 2021 applicants do not need to submit GRE scores. If submitted, scores will not be considered.

We invite applications to our Ph.D. program every fall. We build our cohorts from strong pools of applicants, typically aiming to welcome 10 new students each year.

Our admissions committee evaluates applications holistically. We search for students who have a strong combination of research and education in psychology or related subjects and who show promise to become leading researchers in the field of developmental psychology.

You’re eligible to apply if you’ve completed:

  • a bachelor’s degree or equivalent, earned prior to the fall start of the Ph.D. program
  • at least four quarter or three semester courses in psychology or related subjects
  • at least an introductory course in statistics

For a snapshot of our previous admissions data, please visit The Graduate School’s program statistics webpage.

Questions?

We’re here to help. Get in touch with our student services team: icdapply@umn.edu

Lindsey Jendraszak
As the associate director of curriculum and student services at ICD, I’m happy to advise and serve students looking to pursue further studies in developmental psychology. Please don’t hesitate to contact me with questions.

Academic advisor: Lindsey Jendraszak

Application materials and steps

Deadline: December 1

We accept applications for our Ph.D. in developmental psychology for a fall term start each year.

Submit all materials electronically through the university’s online application system. Please do not submit materials via mail. We cannot review your application until all of the materials listed below are submitted.

Before you begin

Before you begin the online application, gather the following materials:

  • Explore our faculty members’ areas of research. While ICD follows a community mentorship model for admissions, we ask that you identify at least one faculty member whose research interests you. Before you apply, we encourage you to email the faculty member(s) you're interested in working with to introduce yourself and your research interests.
  • Unofficial transcripts: You must submit an unofficial transcript or academic record for each institution you’ve attended.
  • Resume or CV: View our CV template to see what information we encourage you to provide.
  • Three letters of recommendation: Identify and get contact information for three people who will serve as your recommenders. We suggest that you seek recommendations from current or former professors who can assess your potential for graduate work and speak to your research experience.
  • Personal statement: Address our personal statement prompts in your statement.
  • Diversity Statement: Enrolling and graduating a diverse student body is central to the University of Minnesota's mission. All applicants to the PhD program are asked to write a statement that identifies the distinctive qualities, characteristics, and life experiences you would contribute to your graduate program and to the education of fellow students at the University of Minnesota. You may wish to include examples that address your contribution to the diversity of the student body and illustrate your motivation to succeed by setting high standards for accomplishing intellectual and other goals, overcoming obstacles to achievement, and/or helping others to gain access to the resources necessary for success.
  • GRE scores: You’ll need to enter your self-reported GRE scores, but we also must have an official copy of your scores on file. Send official electronic GRE scores to the University of Minnesota (institution code 6874). We do not require any subject test scores. Please note: Due to COVID-19, Fall 2021 applicants do not need to submit GRE scores. If submitted, scores will not be considered.
  • Application fee: $75 ($95 for international applicants). Must be paid online with a credit card. Learn more about fees. McNair Scholars, you may be eligible for an application fee scholarship. Learn more.

Optional materials

  • Diversity of Views and Experiences (DOVE) Fellowship application: If you wish to be considered for a DOVE Fellowship for underrepresented students, please indicate this on the developmental psychology page in the online application. Learn more about the DOVE Fellowship and application.
  • Extenuating circumstances statement: If you'd like to provide an explanation of circumstances that contributed to your test scores or GPA, please write a brief statement.

Information for international students

  • For students whose first language is not English, the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) is required. The only exception is for non-native English speakers who completed the entirety of their undergraduate degree (four years) in an English-speaking country within the last five years. You’ll need to enter your self-reported TOEFL scores in the online application, but we also must have an official copy of your scores on file. Send official electronic TOEFL scores to the University of Minnesota (institution code 6874). View the University of Minnesota’s TOEFL score guidelines and expectations. Please note that the Institute of Child Development requires a TOEFL speak score of 23 or higher.

Steps to complete online application

Begin or resume the online application. Be sure to save your password so you can work on the application over time. Once your application is submitted, you will not be able to make changes.

Complete the following sections of the online application:

  • Program selection: Choose the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities campus from the drop-down menu. Then, choose your track from the program name drop-down menu - either "Developmental Psychology - Developmental Psychopathology/Clinical Science - Ph.D." or “Developmental Psychology - Developmental Science - Ph.D.”
  • Term selection: We only accept and review applications for the fall term.
  • Biographical information: Complete the biographical information section.
  • Personal background: Complete the personal background section.
  • Developmental Psychology Section: Complete the developmental psychology section. This is where you'll select the faculty members you'd like to work with, along with verifying program pre-requisites and indicating whether or not you wish to be considered for the DOVE fellowship.
  • Academic history: Complete the academic history section. Be sure to list all colleges and universities you've attended. Upload unofficial transcripts for each institution.
  • Test scores: Enter your GRE scores (and TOEFL test scores, if necessary). We also must have an official copy of your scores on file. Send test scores to institution code 6874. Please note: Due to COVID-19, Fall 2021 applicants do not need to submit GRE scores. If submitted, scores will not be considered.
  • Employment section: Leave this section blank. You'll be asked to upload a resume/CV later in the application.
  • Materials: This is where you'll upload all of the supporting materials for your application.
    • Personal statement: (required for all students)
    • Diversity statement: (required for all students)
    • Extenuating circumstances: If you'd like to provide an explanation of circumstances that contributed to your test scores or GPA, please do so.
    • Other materials:
      • Resume/CV: Upload your resume/CV (required for all students).
      • All other materials not required.
  • Recommendations: Enter name and contact information for your recommenders. They will be notified by the system with instructions for submitting their materials online. The recommendation includes a standard recommendation form and a personal letter.
  • Submit your application: Complete the signature and review sections. Pay the application fee: $75 ($95 for international applicants). Must be paid online with a credit card.

After you submit your application, you’ll receive an email confirmation. Application review begins directly after the deadline and continues through mid-January. An admissions committee made up of faculty from the Institute of Child Development will review your application and pass along their recommendations to the entire faculty for a final decision. Students who are offered admission will be sent an invitation in January to our Prospective Student Weekend, which takes place the last full weekend in February.