Department of Human Development and Quantitative Methodology 

The Department of Human Development and Quantitative Methodology is one of the world's leading centers for research on child and adolescent development, educational psychology, and cutting-edge psychometric and statistical methods. 

Our program offers exciting courses on topics such as how children learn, prosocial behavior and moral development, sociocultural contexts of development, children’s awareness of social inequalities, children’s motivation for excelling at math and reading, and educational neuroscience. With a commitment to excellence, inclusion, and equity, we conduct research that goes beyond the laboratory and makes a real-world difference in classrooms, communities, and families. 

Whether it’s reducing prejudice in school classrooms or maximizing the value of standardized test scores, our research informs and confronts compelling  questions about education and society—and we advance the best methods to analyze data and evaluate the answers.

Our graduate programs prepare students for careers in academic, research, medical, educational, and industry settings. We also offer unique undergraduate programs, including a dual-certification major in early childhood/early childhood special education and a major in human development.

Our large array of research centers and labs focused on myriad topical issues, combined with small class sizes, offer students opportunities for mentorship and collaboration with leading researchers who are leaders in the fields of human development and quantitative methodology. 

One of the many distinctive features of the department is our Center for Young Children, a laboratory school for children ages 3 to 5 operated by the College since 1948. It serves the community by providing high-quality early childhood care and learning, while offering practical experiences for students and opportunities to study the processes of human development and early learning.
We encourage you to explore our programs, six research centers, and 15 labs, and contact us at hdqm@umd.edu to learn more.

Human Development Program

The Human Development Program focuses on basic and applied research on developmental change  from infancy to adulthood.  We explore how such changes are related to, caused by, or predictive of features of cognitive, social, moral, emotional, motivational, neuropsychological,, and psychopathological development.  The program provides training at the master’s and doctoral levels for students planning to pursue careers in developmental science and educational psychology in higher education, research institutes and think tanks, along with medical and educational settings.

Within the department, these divisions offer specializations: 

Developmental Science: This specialization focuses on processes involved in social and cognitive development across the lifespan.Themes include the importance of early experience on brain and behavior, the importance of peer relationships, moral reasoning, origins of prejudice, research on families and the influence of socio-economic status on children's development.

Educational Psychology: The faculty in this specialization explore the processes involved in learning across the lifespan. They focus on cognitive development in the areas of language, mathematics, and reading. Significant areas of expertise include language learning, bi-lingualism, and cognitive neuroscience of reading.

Measurement, Statistics and Evaluation Program

Assessment is an important facet of human development, and evaluation is key to improving education. This program fulfils the dual role of providing professional training in these fields, while also providing related services to College.
In its first role, the program provides  training at the master's and doctoral levels for students planning to pursue careers in quantitative areas related to applied statistics, measurement, and evaluation.
The program also serves the College by offering courses in applied statistics, measurement, and evaluation for graduate students majoring in other departments and programs. In addition, faculty members are in high demand as members of doctoral research committees and as consultants to various projects within the College.

Divisions