HDCLS Frequently Asked Questions
This page provides answers to common questions specific to Human Development, Culture, & Learning Sciences. See also General FAQs.
What is the HDCLS area’s philosophy for training students?
We believe that the best training comes from participating in a community of learners. As a result, students in HDCLS are encouraged to become actively involved in the scholarship of the field as soon as they begin, by joining ongoing research under the guidance of the faculty and eventually taking the lead on research topics they are interested in.
What are the most important things that are considered for admissions?
Compatibility with faculty expertise in HDCLS as described in your statement of purpose and ability to do graduate-level work as demonstrated by standardized test results, transcripts, previous experience and productivity in research, and letters of recommendation.
How am I matched with an adviser once accepted into HDCLS?
You will have an opportunity on your application to indicate your preference for faculty advisers. Although we cannot guarantee your first choice, your initial area advisor will be assigned based on similarity of interest and workload.
What are the average GRE scores of individuals accepted into HDCLS?
There is not a minimum GRE or GPA, although students with weakness in this or any other area would need to show outstanding performance in other areas in order to be given serious consideration. Selection of students is based on multiple factors including GRE scores, undergraduate grades, letters of recommendation, demonstrated interest and productivity in research, apparent match between student and faculty interests, and evidence from the recommendation letters and personal statement of intellectual curiosity, tenacity, open-mindedness, interpersonal sensitivity, and integrity.
How competitive is the application process?
HDCLS generally admits 6-8 students per year, out of the approximately 80-100 who apply.
Can I visit prior to applying?
You are more than welcome to come and learn about HDCLS firsthand. If you decide you would like to visit, let us know in advance and we will arrange for you to meet the faculty and some of the students to answer any questions you have. We have no funds to support your visit, unfortunately.
Is funding available for students in this Area?
There is limited funding available in the form of fellowships. To be considered for those fellowships, you will need to apply before January 1st. Our students also have work opportunities available in the form of teaching assistantships, graduate research assistantships and part-time work in one of the many support offices and research centers on campus.
Can I transfer credits for relevant graduate coursework?
Requests to transfer credits are reviewed on a case-by-case basis by the HDCLS chair in consultation with the faculty. These requests are evaluated only once you have been admitted.
How long will it take me to complete the Ph.D. program?
Most students take approximately 5 years to complete the program, depending on prior degrees already received and courses taken. Although it is possible to finish the program in 4 years, we recommend that if you are considering an academic career, you plan on a longer stay (closer to the 5 years) in order to build up a breadth of experience and a comprehensive vita for your job search.
How do I get involved in research?
Most faculty have research groups already actively involved in ongoing projects. You will have an opportunity to learn about those projects throughout your first year. Most faculty also welcome observers to help students make compatible choices.
What types of employment settings are common for graduates of the HDCLS program?
HDCLS graduates contribute to the field of educational psychology primarily through teaching and research. The contexts in which they work include educational institutions (primarily colleges and universities), K-12 school support agencies, educational research laboratories, and human service delivery organizations.