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University of Pittsburgh    
2021-2022 Graduate & Professional Studies Catalog 
  Jul 23, 2024
2021-2022 Graduate & Professional Studies Catalog [Archived Catalog]

Department of Health and Human Development

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Programs within the Department of Health and Human Development prepare graduates for professional careers in teaching, research, and professional practice. Doctoral studies are offered with areas of concentration in applied developmental psychology and in research methodology. Graduates receiving doctoral degrees serve in academic and research capacities in universities, government agencies, public and private research, and testing centers.

Master’s degrees are offered with areas of concentration in applied developmental psychology and research methodology. Master’s study in research methodology prepares personnel for positions in testing and research. Master’s study in applied developmental psychology prepares students for professional roles as program administrators, directors, and supervisors, child development specialists, child and youth workers, child life specialists, behavior/developmental specialists, mobile therapists, and research associates.

The department offers the following degrees in psychology in education:

In the Fall of 2021 the Psychology in Education MA, MEd and PhD were terminated. Students in the MA degree will be transfered to the Research Methodology, MA  in the Spring of 2022. Students in the MEd degree can continue at their current pace and will have until thhe Summer of 2027 to complete it. Students in the PhD will have until the Summer of 2032 to complete the program.

  • Master of Arts (MA)
  • Master of Science (MS)
  • Master of Education (MEd)
  • Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Program Information

Applied Developmental Psychology Program

Applied Developmental Psychology helps students gain the expertise for recognizing how the development, implementation, and evaluation of programs directly correspond with the progression of children, youth, and their families.

This program offers:

  • Bachelor of Science (BS) degree
  • Master’s degree (MS) 
  • Dctoral degree (PhD)

Infant Mental Health Program

The program offers a Certificate and track within the MS in Applied Developmental Psychology program for students to gain specialized skills and knowledge for working with very young children (0 to 3-years of age) and their families. The training will be aligned with the recently purchased IMH Competency Guidelines and will prepare IMH students to be “ready” for IMH Endorsement through the process to be determined by the state of Pennsylvania. Students with IMH concentration and/or those who pursue IMH Endorsement will have unique qualifications that may improve employment opportunities and qualification to work in various settings. Among the unique skills students will learn are culturally-informed methods for infant observation, neurobehavioral assessment, transdisciplinary evaluation of infant development, promotion of caregiver-infant relationships, family engagement, relationship observation and assessment, system coordination, and an understanding of evidence-based interventions including Child Parent Psychotherapy, Circle of Security, Seeing is Believing, Healthy Families America, and more.  Students will have unique learning opportunities with the continued collaboration between the concentration in IMH and various local agencies and offices.

Research Methodology Program

The Research Methodology Program prepares professionals in the areas of psychometrics and test design, and scholars who contribute to the study of the quantitative methods used in empirical studies. Graduate students of the research methodology program acquire skills in the interrelated areas of measurement, research design, and statistical methods. Graduates are prepared for positions in colleges, universities, research centers, testing agencies, school systems, ministries of education and other government agencies, and industry.

This program offers:

  • Master of Education (MEd)
  • Master of Arts (MA)
  • Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Psychology in Education with an area of concentration in research methodology
  • Minor in quantitative research methodology

The Department of Health and Human Development focuses its academic, research, and service efforts on promoting physically active lifestyles and other health-related behaviors to prevent disease and enhance quality of life across the lifespan. HPA’s expertise has attracted research funding in the areas of physical activity behavior and epidemiology, obesity prevention and treatment, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, fitness training, and health promotion.

The faculty expertise combined with collaboration with other entities with the University of Pittsburgh such as the School of Nursing, the School of Medicine, the Graduate School of Public HealthSchool of Health and Rehabilitative Sciences, and the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC) Hospital network provides for a state-of-the-art and innovative academic, research and clinical experience.

Contact Information

Chair: Thomas Farmer
Phone: 412-648-4579

Associate Chair: Kelliann Davis                                                  
Phone: 412-383-4003                                                    

Associate Chair: Elizabeth Nagle
Phone: 412-648-8268

Department Address: 5900 Posvar Hall, 230 S. Bouquet St., Pittsburgh, PA 15260

Degrees Offered


  • Exercise Physiology, PhD

    The Department of Health and Human Development offers a Doctorate of Philosophy (PhD) in Exercise Physiology. This full-time degree program prepares students for positions at research and doctoral-granting universities and research medical centers. The student works closely with their faculty mentor to develop the appropriate plan of study and research experiences. Current research expertise of the faculty includes the following:

        Obesity and Body Weight Regulation
        Prevention and Treatment of Chronic Disease
        Epidemiology of Physical Activity and Chronic Disease
        Physical Activity Programming for Health and Fitness
        Physical Activity for Children and Adolescents
        Technology-Based Interventions for the Prevention and Treatment of Chronic Disease
        Perceptual Responses to Physical Activity and Exercise


  • Health and Physical Activity, EdD
    The Department of Health and Human Development is addressing a growing need for professionals with training in health, fitness, physical activity programming, clinical application, and research. The EdD ARCO in health and physical activity provides students with an evidence-based education that results in expertise in their chosen field of study. Graduates of this program are prepared to design, implement, and lead health, physical activity, and fitness programs as well as corporate, commercial, hospital, community, and university wellness programs.


  • Health and Fitness- Clinical/Practitioner Focus, MS 
  • Health and Fitness- Research Focus, MS 

    These tracks within the Master of Science degree focuses on training students to address the changing landscape related to promotion and study of optimal health and fitness through physical activity. This track will prepare students for careers focusing on healthy lifestyle behaviors and to pursue careers in the health and fitness industry such as directors of corporate, commercial, hospital, community, and university wellness programs. 
  • Health, Physical Activity, and Chronic Disease - Clinical/Practitioner Focus, MS 
  • Health, Physical Activity, and Chronic Disease- Research Focus, MS

    These tracks within the Master of Science degree focuses on training students to address the changing landscape related to chronic disease prevention and treatment, with an emphasis on the promotion and study of physical activity and health. This track will prepare students for careers focusing on prevention and treatment of chronic disease through modification of healthy lifestyle behaviors, and to pursue careers as part of a team of professionals to director prevention and treatment initiatives within hospital, community, commercial, and university settings. 








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