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Doctor of Philosophy in Developmental Psychology & Education

student in the Nexus lounge

Program Length 4 years  full-time (6 years for flexible-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 Flex-time option 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 PhD 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 or community college teaching, and careers that require advanced skills in research and evaluation. 

NOTE: The DPE PhD program is funded, but the DPE PhD Flex program is not.


Program Details

The Developmental Psychology and Education (DPE) program offers both a full-time (4-year) and a flexible-time (6-year) PhD program. Both full-time and flexible-time program options are available for the 2021-2022 academic year.

Flex-Time PhD
DPE admits flexible-time PhD students on a regular basis. The flexible-time PhD program is designed for practicing professionals who with to pursue a PhD degree in areas related to their fields of research. This is a 6-year program. 

In addition, approximately every three years we admit an Early Learning emphasis Flex PhD Cohort. The Early Learning emphasis is not available for the 2021-2022 academic year.

All OISE graduate studies programs operate under the umbrella of the University of Toronto School of Graduate Studies (SGS). For information on coursework and other program requirements, please see the SGS Calendar.

SGS Calendar

For full course descriptions, please see the Registrar's Office and course listings page.


Admission Requirements

Minimum admission requirements for this program are:

  • 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
    • More information available on the SGS Calendar
    • 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. 
  • Required letters of recommendation and a second academic letter of recommendation.
  • Applicants to the flexible-time PhD option must be practicing professionals.


We encourage equity-seeking groups to identify themselves in their application.


How to Apply

The academic school year for both the PhD and Flex-PhD begins in September. 


Applications for Fall 2022 are now closed for the DPE PhD program.
Applications are still open for Fall 2022, for the DPE Flex PhD program.

Apply Now
Application Details


The academic school year for this program begins only in September. 

We encourage equity-seeking groups to identify themselves in their application.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ's) for Applicants

Program Specific FAQ

Application Instructions

The OISE Registrar’s Office includes step-by-step instructions:

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

Applications are completed online through the School of Graduate Studies (SGS) websiteYou are also able to view your application status from there.

Submit your application

Faculty Supervisors

See a list of which faculty are accepting students

Who's Accepting?

PhD DPE Application Checklist

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). 


Tips for your application


  • The faculty questions is one of the most important parts of your application. It is your opportunity to describe your past experiences related to the program to which you are applying and how those experiences led to your current interests in graduate students in this area.

These are the faculty questions that will be asked as part of the admissions application process:

  • DPE PhD
    • ​Please indicate your total months of research experience.
    • Please indicate if this program is your first choice.
    • Please indicate the supervisor you would like to work with?
    • Please indicate the field of research you are interested in?
  • DPE PhD Flex:
    • Are you a practicing professional?
    • Please indicate your total months of research experience.
    • Please indicate if this program is your first choice.
    • Please indicate the supervisor you would like to work with?
    • Please indicate the field of research you are interested in?
    • Please complete the SGS SGS-standard Current Employment Status application page.


Collaborative Specializations (Optional)

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


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


Program Fees

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

Fees for Domestic Students

Fees for International Students


Contact us:

Program Inquiries: 
APHD Department 
General Inquiries

ORSS Contact:
Anil Purandaré
Doctoral Registration Specialist (EdD & PhD)

If you are a current student, you may contact the program coordinator below, otherwise please email us at for your program inquiries.

Program Coordinator (DPE PhD): 

Program Coordinator (DPE PhD Flex): 
Jennifer Cho

Program Chair: 
Dr. Kang Lee