What will I learn?

Doctoral research in Positive Developmental Psychology equips you with contemporary psychology expertise to design, implement, and evaluate social interventions aimed at fostering positive human development throughout the lifespan.

Positive psychology is the scientific study of the factors that contribute to human flourishing and well-being. You’ll research the positive developmental trajectories and processes that contribute to positive outcomes at both the individual and sociocultural levels, integrating that scholarship with research from developmental science, positive psychology, statistics, and methodology. Led by faculty-scholars who are experts in the field, you’ll apply social science concepts and methods to important social issues through supervised fieldwork or teaching, preparing you to succeed in an array of organizations and institutions and to make a lasting impact on the lives within them.


Our programming in Positive Developmental Psychology is built upon the following core principles:

  • The importance of understanding positive developmental processes and primary prevention, promotion, and optimization, rather than remediation.
  • The need to take into account inter-individual differences and intra-individual changes across the lifespan.
  • The centrality of context, especially institutions, settings, and programs that promote positive experiences and characteristics.
  • An appreciation of the bidirectional relationship between knowledge generation and knowledge application.
  • Promotion of applied research and evaluation so that our work has direct implications for the decisions of individuals, families, schools, practitioners, and policymakers.

Which department am I in?

School of Social Science, Policy and Evaluation

Study options

Full Time (4–7 years)

Tuition fees
USD $1,980 per unit; Total tuition fee: USD $1,42,560

*Price shown is for indicative purposes, please check with institution

Application deadline

1 December 2019

Start date

21 January 2020


School of Social Science, Policy and Evaluation

150 E. Tenth Street,



91711, United States

Entry requirements

For students from United States

Applicants must have completed a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited college or university. The school also requires a minimum standard of a B average in undergraduate coursework (3.0 on a 4.0 scale).

For international students

Applicants must have completed undergraduate and graduate degree.

A minimum TOEFL score of 95 iBT or a minimum IELTS score of 7.0 with no sub-score lower than 6.5 is required for direct-entry admission. Admitted students who score below 95 iBT on the TOEFL, or below 7.0 on the IELTS, will be required to successfully complete ISP (earning a grade of B or higher in each required ISP course) prior to beginning their degree programs.

Find your nearest IELTS test centre and test dates

There may be different IELTS requirements depending on your chosen course.


About this uni

Being part of the reputable Claremont Colleges, students at CGU enjoy access to superior resources and services.

  • A pioneer in higher education
  • Offers students industry-specific courses
  • CGU faculty are widely recognized as leaders in their fields
  • All students are considered for merit-based fellowships