Drawing together anthropologists, biological and developmental psychologists, educational researchers, sociologists, and statisticians, faculty in the Department of Comparative Human Development (CHD) share an interest in the ways that social, cultural, and institutional factors shape individual change over the life course and how, in turn, changing individuals reshape their wider social and cultural contexts.

CHD offers students the opportunity to build a unique research program by integrating training in sociocultural, medical, and psychological anthropology; biological, cognitive and cultural psychology; sociology; linguistics; statistical methods; and education policy. Faculty and graduate students conduct research in both US and non-US settings using diverse methods including long-term participant observation, qualitative interviewing, analysis of survey data, experiments, classroom observation, and field research with non-human animals. Areas of particular interest include: child and adolescent development; gender and sexuality; culture, subjectivity, and mental health; disability studies; the social and psychobiological shaping of behavior and development; quantitative research methodologies; education and learning; language, thought and communication; multiculturalism and migration; youth and generational change; and aging across the life-course.

By receiving deep training from faculty across disciplines, students are able to consolidate multiple theoretical and conceptual frameworks into their scholarship. Students also receive high quality methodological training including theory-driven quantitative, qualitative, and ethnographic courses, and have numerous opportunities to collaborate with faculty on on-going research projects.

Our PhD students have gone on to positions in universities, government, non-profit organizations, and the private sector (see our Alumni page).


Visit the Faculty page to learn more about faculty and the research being carried out in the department.


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. Visit the Admissions page for details.


Please visit the Requirements for Graduate Study page for detailed information about financial aid, and Divisional and Departmental requirements.

Graduate Program Flyer

Feel free to download a copy of our Graduate Program flyer here.