Jump to Main Content
Decrease font size Reset font size Increase font size

Additional Qualifications Online Application System

You may use this system to:

  • Apply for Additional Qualifications courses
    (Note that a valid email address and credit card are required)
  • Check the registration status of your application
  • Update your current contact information

APHD Banner

Doctor of Philosophy in Developmental Psychology & Education

studying with view of city

Program Length 4 years  full-time Career Path research, university teaching, and other applied careers Program Requirements 4 half-courses, comprehensive exam, thesis Program Highlight all seminar-based courses Scheduling Options and Mode of Delivery Online and flex-time options available

The Developmental Psychology & Education (DPE) Program is for those who wish to construct an overall perspective on developmental psychology and human development and their implications for practice with children in educational and other applied settings. 

The Ph.D. degree program emphasizes theory and research in the area of developmental psychology and education throughout the life span. It is designed for students who wish to pursue careers in university of community college teaching, and careers that require advanced skills in research and evaluation. 

The Developmental Psychology and Education program offers both a full-time and a flexible-time PhD program option. DPE admits flexible-time PhD students on a regular basis. The flexible-time PhD degree program is designed to accommodate demand by practicing professionals for a PhD degree that permits continued employment in areas related to their fields of research. Both full-time and flexible-time program options are available for the 2018-2019 academic year.

In addition, approximately every three years we admit an Early Learning emphasis Flex PhD Cohort. (**Please note, admission to the Early Learning Flex PhD Cohort is not open for the 2018-19 academic year).


  • An appropriate bachelor’s degree and Master’s degree in Developmental Psychology and Education, Cognitive Psychology, Applied Developmental Psychology or Child Study or equivalent with standing equivalent to a University of Toronto A- or better in the Master’s degree
    • Applicants with master's degrees in other disciplines may be eligible to apply for admission, but may have to complete additional courses to fulfill master's level requirements equivalent to the Master of Arts in Developmental Psychology and Education.
    • Please see "Calculating academic Requirements" for more information
  • Students who have not done a master's thesis will be required to submit a Qualifying Research Paper prior to final admission to the degree program. The QRP demonstrates the candidate’s potential for undertaking the advanced research activity of an OISE doctoral program and must be approved by members of the departmental admission committee.
  • Applicants to the flexible-time PhD option must be practicing professionals.



Degree requirements for the flexible-time PhD are the same as for the full-time PhD program.

The requirements for the PhD-DPE program are comprised of:

  • 4 half-courses (2.0 FCE)
  • Comprehensive examination
  • Thesis and oral defence



APD3200H Research Proseminar on Human Development and Applied Psychology (0.5 FCE)
Statistics and Research Methods course Choose from an approved menu provided at the beginning of the year. Substitutions must be approved by the DPE program chair. (0.5 FCE)

1.0 FCE Elective 

(two 0.5 FCE courses)

Chosen in consultation with your faculty advisor. 
Electives are usually taken during Year 1. 


Additional Requirements:

Students who have an insufficient background in developmental psychology may have to complete additional courses. 


**Please note, the Early Learning Flex PhD Cohort is not open for 2018-19 academic year.

About the Early Learning Emphasis PhD:

Approximately every three years, the Developmental Psychology and Education Program (DPE) offers a customized Flextime PhD emphasis for delivery to professionals working in the area of early learning. 

The Emphasis is an option for all PhD students. Note that full-time PhD students interested in the early learning emphasis should consult with the Graduate Coordinator.

Students who complete the emphasis requirements will receive a letter of completion from the department. 


Program Highlights:

  • Structured to permit full-time studies with flexibility for students who are also working professionals
  • Intellectual and social connections among a diverse and stimulating group of professional student colleagues and with faculty
  • Meaningful peer learning through
    • customized tailored Early Learning Cohort seminar courses
    • continuing opportunities for cohort meetings to discuss research and developing thesis work
  • Collective expertise of the student cohort is a major source of learning for both students and faculty in the program
  • Courses offered in both face-to-face and online formats
  • Program arrangements and course content are tailored to meet the special interests, talents and demanding lives of the cohort students




Research Proseminar on Human Development and Applied Psychology (0.5 FCE)


Researching Early Learning: An Overview of Quantitative and Qualitative Methodology (0.5 FCE)

*this course meets the intermetiate statistics course required for the DPE PhD


Psychological Foundations of Early Development and Education (0.5 FCE)

APD3274H Early Learning and Thesis Development (0.5 FCE)

Usually, all course work is completed in Year 1.

Additional Requirements:

Students who have an insufficient background in developmental psychology may have to complete additional courses.



Collaborative Specializations provide students with a the opportunity to explore a novel interdisciplinary area or special development that crosses a number of disciplines. 

Collaborative specializations are available with the PhD in Developmental Psychology & Education with the following programs:

  • Educational Policy 
    For students interested in the factors associated with educational policy development and implementation, particularly focusing on developing strategies for improving educational processes

  • Neuroscience
    For graduate students and doctoral fellows who would like to increase their versatility for career development through the scientific study of the nervous system.


Applications for the 2018-2019 academic year are now being accepted for the Flex PhD-DPE program. Please see the ORSS website for updated closing dates as they become available. The academic school year for this program begins in September. 


Applications for the regular PhD-DPE program are now closed. The academic school year for this program begins in September. 

**Please note, the Early Learning Flex PhD Cohort is not open for 2018-19 academic year.


All applications are completed online through the School of Graduate Studies website.

Apply Now


The Registrar’s Office includes a checklist to walk you through:

  • choosing your program
  • reviewing admission requirements
  • preparing your application
  • submitting required supporting documents.

You are also able to view your application status from there.


See a list of which faculty are accepting students in each of our programs by viewing Who's Accepting?


1) In addition to the required letters of recommendation (1 academic and 1 professional), applicants are requested to submit a second academic letter of recommendation.

2) Flex-time PhD students are accepted under the same admission requirements as applicants to the full-time PhD option.

3) In addition to the standard application process, students applying to the flex PhD-DPE must include in their statement of intent that they:

  • are currently in a career related to the proposed field of study
  • have a desire to continue with their current career
  • have the capacity to secure blocks of time to enable concentrated study (e.g., through the employer’s leave policy or study incentive system). 



Tuition information can be found via the University of Toronto's Office of the Provost.

Fees for Domestic Students

Fees for International Students



Contact the PhD-DPE program liaison, Diana Robinson, at diana.robinson@utoronto.ca

Question about the Early Learning Flex cohort can be directed to Jennifer Cho at jennifer.cho@utoronto.ca