Prospective Students

                          Welcome! Please find information below on applying to our programs in the HDGG. 


Update 8/17/20: The Graduate Record Examination (GRE) is not required for the 2021-22 academic year application.

For COVID-19 updates, please refer to the Graduate Studies website:

The priority admissions deadline for both programs is December 15th. 

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a graduate group?

The Human Development Graduate Group (HDGG) is a unique approach to graduate study offered only at UC Davis. Courses are organized across departmental lines to offer a graduate degree and students are given opportunities to conduct research in many different departments and settings. This allows students to focus on human and child development issues from a variety of perspectives. Currently, faculty members who have primary responsibility for the core coursework and advising of the HDGG are located in Human Development and Family Studies.  Other HDGG faculty are located in other departments/units of the College of Agriculture and Environmental Science, the College of Letters and Science, the School of Medicine, and the School of Education in the areas of Education, Human Development, Nutrition, Pediatrics, Psychiatry, and Psychology.  HDGG faculty members also have memberships in a number of research centers on the UC Davis campus, including the M.I.N.D. Institute, Center for Mind and Brain, and Center for Neuroscience. Our MS and PhD programs offer students an in-depth, interdisciplinary examination of cognitive and socio-emotional development from infancy through adolescence (MS) and all the way through adulthood (PhD). Please look at our website for additional information – we hope you will consider our program!

When is the application deadline?

The priority deadline for both programs is December 15th. The Space Available Deadline is March 1st. To be considered for university and/or departmental funding, you will need to complete the application by our December 15th priority deadline. Incomplete applications are not reviewed. Applications received between December 16th and March 1st will be considered for admission only and on a space available basis.

What are the prerequisites for each program?

For both programs, an undergraduate major in either biological or social sciences is appropriate. Students with prior work in genetics, human development, psychology, or physiology are particularly suited to this program. The structure and content of the program presumes some prior knowledge in the processes of human development.

For the MS program, if you come into the master’s program without a background in Child or Human Development, Early Childhood Education, or Developmental Psychology, we recommend that you discuss background preparation with a graduate adviser so you are ready to take full advantage of the graduate level coursework in this program. Please see more in "Admissions Information" above.

For the PhD program, completion of courses in mammalian biology or physiology, child or human development, research methodology and statistics is strongly recommended. Prior work in at least two other areas including personality, cognition, social psychology, culture and personality, genetics, or learning is also useful. If necessary, students will be asked to complete deficits in identified areas during their first year of coursework.

For further information, please see links above for Admissions Information.