Graduate Training

Graduate Training

  • The Developmental Program trains doctoral students for productive careers in teaching and research—both inside and outside of the academy.
  • The program provides a solid foundation in basic developmental science and the real-world application of research findings.
  • Student engagement in mentored research is the basis of training.
  • Students in our graduate program typically receive full tuition remission and a research assistantship stipend.
  • The program has a strong track record of assisting students in obtaining highly competitive graduate fellowships that support professional development.
  • Faculty and students are publishing in journals including Developmental Science, PLoS ONE, Molecular Autism, Child Development, Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology, Early Education and Development, Proceedings of the National Academy of Science, Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews, Scientific Reports, and the American Journal of Psychiatry.
  • Student offices are located in the Department's Flipse Building, which houses the Center for Autism and Related Disabilities and contains classroom and laboratory space.
  • All students gain experience in teaching an undergraduate psychology course.


Current Students


Chabely A. Figuero, B.S.
  • Early STEM learning
  • Parental involvement in education
  • Bilingual and underrepresented communities

Bella Lerner imageBella S. Lerner, B.A.  
Early Childhood Social Emotional Readiness Lab
  • Social-emotional learning and development
  • Motivation, mindset, and learning
  • School- and family-based interventions

Eraine Leland, B.A.
  • Language learning and social emotional development
  • Bilingualism and code-switching
  • Impact of peers and teachers on early development

  • Infant social cognition
  • Developmentof social categorization
  • Social attention and face perception

Arushi Malik, M.S.Arushi Malik, M.S.
  • Social development in early infancy
  • Infant mirroring and imitation
  • Development of socio-cognitive skills

Keynon Page ImageKenyon Page, B.S.
School Readiness Lab, Early Science Initiative
  • Bilingualism and its impact on learning
  • Language acquisition and development
  • Children's development of critical thinking in STEM learning


  • Language development
  • Autism assessment and diagnosis
  • Social interaction in autism


Shut Zhang imageShuo Zhang, M.A.
Social Cognition Lab
  • Social development in early infancy
  • Infant face perception
  • Caregiver-infant relationships




“I'm so grateful for the community-based and applied research experiences. I loved developing partnerships with Head Start teachers, families, and children. I feel more than prepared to embark on my next adventure from everything I've learned from this program.”

  – Jenna Futterer, Ph.D., Graduate of Developmental Program (2023), Postdoctoral Researcher, Department of Psychology, University of Miami   


“I gained real-world research experience working with teachers, families, and children. Professors always encouraged us to apply our research interests to projects and papers in courses to make learning more applicable. It was a great doctoral experience!”

  – Brooke Rumper, Ph.D., Graduate of Developmental Program (2019), Associate Research Scientist, Yale University.




"Very collaborative environment that inspires your research and nurtures your dreams!"

  – Guangyu Zeng, Ph.D., Graduate of Developmental Program (2023), Assistant Professor, Chinese University of Hong Kong, Shenzhen




Unique opportunities to work with other departments helped propel me toward a T32 postdoc program and my current position.

  – Whitney I. Mattson, Ph.D., Graduate of Developmental Program (2014), Senior Research Scientist, Abigail Wexner Research Institute at Nationwide Children’s Hospital



"Collaborative environment that provides opportunities for real-world, applied research!"

 Regina Fasano, Ph.D., Graduate of Developmental Program (2023), Postdoctoral Researcher, Department of Psychology, University of Delaware




So great you may never want to leave! Grateful to be a faculty member and have the opportunity to teach and mentor students in the program from which I earned three degrees (B.S., M.S., Ph.D.)."

  – Christine Delgado, Ph.D., Graduate of Developmental Program (1999), Research Assistant Professor, Department of Psychology, University of Miami 



Supportive environment where you can pursue your passion!"

  – Yeojin Amy Ahn, Ph.D., Graduate of Developmental Program (2022), Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Department of Psychology, University of Miami 




Very friendly environment with lots of opportunities for collaboration.

  – Andres Bustamante, Ph.D., Graduate of Developmental Program (2016), Assistant Professor, University of California Irvine School of Education




“This program challenged me to think outside my comfort zone, but also provided me with the support I needed to overcome those challenges.”

  – Lexi Alexander, Ph.D., Graduate of Developmental Program (2019), Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of Psychology, University of Miami 



Collaborative environment with cutting-edge research opportunities. Excellent training in quantitative methods.”

  – Sarah Maylott, Ph.D., Graduate of Developmental Program (2021), Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Department of Psychiatry, Duke University

The UM program provided me with an amazing opportunity to gain applied research experience working in partnership with early childhood centers and their teachers, families, and children! I also loved having the opportunity to meet, work, and learn from other doctoral students across the different tracks in the program.”

  – Elica Sharifnia, Ph.D., Graduate of Developmental Program (2021), Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Marsico Institute for Early Learning, University of Denver