The Department of Comparative Human Development focuses on the study of the individual within context. Its faculty believes that behavior is too complex to be left within any one discipline. Consequently, the department brings together anthropologists, psychologists, sociologists and biologists who highlight, for example, the role that culture plays in individual psychology, the interplay of biological and social processes, and all of this as individuals travel through the life course.
Some current research programs include the impact of globalization on family relationships, the relation of language to thought, the health consequences of social experiences, gender identity, the nature of the self, the consequences of cultural collision, and variations in the learning process in educational settings.
Applicants should be prepared to work on the critical edge of thought and research in the social sciences.
Students in consultation with faculty advisors develop an area of specialization (program) appropriate to their professional goals and research interests. Visit the people page to learn more about research done in the department.
The Department of Comparative Human Development sponsors the following faculty-student workshops: the Comparative Human Development workshop, the Comparative Behavioral Biology workshop, and the Self and Subjectivity workshop.
Students are eligible for admission if they have received a Bachelor of Arts or Science degree or have completed an undergraduate program equivalent to such a degree. Admission depends upon strength in the general undergraduate record, scores on the Graduate Record Examination, letters of recommendation, personal statement and interests, and relevant research experiences.
How to Apply
The application process for admission and financial aid for all Social Sciences graduate programs is administered through the divisional Office of the Dean of Students. The Application for Admission and Financial Aid, with instructions, deadlines and department specific information is available online at: https://apply-ssd.uchicago.edu/apply
Questions pertaining to admissions and aid should be directed to email@example.com or (773) 702-8415. All correspondence and materials sent in support of applications should be mailed to:
The University of Chicago
Division of the Social Sciences
Admissions Office, Foster 105
1130 East 59th Street
Chicago, IL 60637
Foreign students must provide evidence of English proficiency by submitting scores from either the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS).
Every student is required to take the following courses for a quality grade:
- Comparative Human Development Concepts
- Five CHD area courses (one in each area):
- Comparative Behavioral Biology
- Comparative Life Course
- Cultural Psychology and Psychological Anthropology
- Health, Culture and Mental Health
- Language, Communication and Cognition
- Intermediate Statistics
- One additional methods courses (not introductory statistics)
- Two trial research seminars (may be taken pass/fail)
- Two additional CHD courses in area of specialization
Students are not required to complete all these requirements by the end of their second year. However, they must have five quality grades toward these requirements by the end of spring of their first year, and ten quality grades by the end of the second year. On average a graduate student should take at least two courses from the required list for quality grades in each quarter of their first two years.
In addition, students will participate in elective courses and workshops in the department and the University in consultation with their advisors. The CHD Concepts course will introduce students to the history, theoretical bases, and concepts of the field of human development, and to the major areas of inquiry in the Department of Comparative Human Development. This is taken during the fall quarter of the first or second year.
The trial research seminars will launch students into their research projects and will guide them from the beginning to the completion of those projects. The trial research seminar is taken in the spring quarter of the first year and the fall quarter of the second year. Trial research papers are due by spring quarter of the second year.
All students are required to enroll in a trial research seminar in the spring quarter of the first year and the autumn quarter of the second year. The trial research project must be completed and formally approved by the faculty during the spring quarter of the student’s second year. Students are expected to report regularly on the progress of their research to the trial research seminars. The trial research is carried out under the direction of the research advisor and is read by one other faculty member.
All students are evaluated each year in the program. To be considered in good standing and for continuation of financial aid, first and second year students must have earned at minimum five quality grades (B or better) over autumn and winter quarters by the time of the spring review, with satisfactory spring grades expected to follow. The evaluation at the end of the second year is particularly important, as it determines whether a student will be permitted to conduct dissertation research.
Each student is assigned a faculty member at the beginning of the first year of study to serve as a research advisor. Students may change research advisors as their needs and interests evolve, but students are expected to be affiliated with one or more research advisors throughout their graduate careers.