PhD in developmental psychology
Developmental psychopathology and clinical science track

Blend research and clinical practice. In our developmental psychopathology and clinical science track, you'll study psychopathology in the context of development, build a foundation in developmental research, and gain the skills necessary to become a licensed clinician. You'll take developmental psychology courses with your cohort at the Institute of Child Development (ICD), as well as clinical training courses in the Department of Psychology. In addition to coursework in developmental and clinical psychology, you'll complete clinical practicums and a year-long internship. You'll also receive APA-accredited clinical training through the University of Minnesota Department of Psychology.

The clinical science track takes six years to complete, including the internship.

Find what drives you: Join us

  • Study alongside award-winning faculty in the #1 ranked developmental psychology program in the nation (Ranked in 2017 by U.S. News and World Report)
  • Explore your research interests and define an area of focus that's unique to you.
  • Complete a teaching practicum and gain experience developing a course and leading a classroom.
  • Earn APA-accredited clinical training through the University of Minnesota (U of M) Department of Psychology and complete a one-year, APA-approved clinical internship.

How to apply

Are you interested in taking a graduate course but aren't a student at the University of Minnesota? Visit OneStop Student Services to learn more about how to register.


Our curriculum is structured to support you as you grow as an academic, researcher, and clinician. You'll build your expertise, explore your interests, and complete courses and APA-accredited clinical training through the Department of Psychology.

Year 1

Take foundational courses in cognitive, social-emotional, and biological development processes, ethical conduct of research, and statistical methods. Begin conducting research and identifying your area of specialty. Work with faculty to learn how to craft competitive fellowship applications.

Year 2

Take advanced developmental psychology courses and begin taking clinical training courses. Continue to deepen your research interests and learn how to effectively disseminate research information by presenting your first-year research project to the ICD community.

Years 3-5

Hone your teaching skills by developing and teaching your own section of Introduction to Child Development. Continue working with faculty members to define your research expertise and prepare your prelim and final dissertation defense. Begin completing clinical practicum hours to prepare you for your internship.

Year 6

Complete your one-year, full-time APA-approved clinical internship.


Upon graduation, you'll be prepared for careers in research, higher education, or clinical developmental psychology. The U of M Graduate School provides programs, resources, and events to help you with every step along the way—from identifying potential career paths, to developing skills to compete for them, to managing your career.

ICD alumni are leaders in the field of developmental psychology. As a graduate of ICD, you'll join a tight-knit network of scholars that will continue to support you, no matter what career path you choose.

Below are examples of the types of organizations where our alumni currently work:

  • Children’s hospitals
  • Medical schools
  • Outpatient clinics
  • Stress and anxiety clinics
  • Public and private research universities
  • Elementary schools
  • Domestic violence prevention organizations

We're driven to make a difference

Alyssa Palmer
You have a community and many resources here to help you get started and guide you through the graduate school process. No one expects you to know everything, and no one does know everything, especially when starting out.

Alyssa Palmer
Developmental psychopathology and clinical science track student

Read more about Alyssa and her research


We guarantee full funding for each student for five academic years. Funding includes a monthly stipend, health insurance, and a full tuition waiver. Stipends vary based on the type of financial support each student receives. Types of financial support include graduate assistantships (RA/TA), fellowships, traineeships, or scholarships. Clinical internships are paid, so funding from the department isn't necessary in year six of the program.

As a student at ICD, you’ll receive a brand-new laptop (Dell or MacBook Air)at the start of the program that you may borrow during your PhD studies. You’ll receive $500 to use for professional development purposes during your time in the program. You'll also be eligible for $500 in travel funding annually to present at conferences.

We have a long track record of our students securing fellowships from prestigious agencies like the National Science Foundation. As an ICD student, we'll work with you to find funding opportunities throughout the Ph.D. program.

Each year, the U of M Office for Diversity in Graduate Education awards the Diversity of Views and Experience Fellowship (DOVE) to approximately 20 first-year students from underrepresented groups. The fellowship provides a living stipend, tuition, and subsidized health insurance for one academic year. If you wish to be considered for the DOVE Fellowship, please note your interest on your application. You must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident to be eligible for this award.

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