Academic Catalog 2021-2022 
    Jan 28, 2022  
Academic Catalog 2021-2022

Infant & Early Childhood Development with an emphasis in Mental Health & Developmental Disorders, PhD (with optional concentrations)

Return to {$returnto_text} Return to: All Programs

This PhD is a multidisciplinary doctoral program in mental health and developmental disorders covering topics such as autism spectrum, sensory integration, ADHD, and mood disorder. The program offers a unique link between various disciplines within a relationship-based developmental framework. Also used is a common language across disciplinary boundaries so that students can deepen their understanding of each of the disciplines.

Students study multiple factors affecting an infant’s and family’s well-being within a framework including mental health, education, occupational therapy, physical therapy, speech and language development, and the neurosciences. The faculty teaches typical and atypical infant and family development using a curriculum that includes physiological, emotional, cognitive, behavioral, social, and cross-cultural perspectives.

A pathway master’s is awarded upon completion of the Foundations course area.

The program offers optional concentrations in:

  • Developmental, Individual Differences, Relationships (DIR®)

  • Reflective Practice & Supervision

In addition, students may structure their elective choices to fulfill concentrations offered by School of Leadership Studies (SLS) doctoral programs. For the full list of SLS concentration offerings, see Doctoral Concentrations .

Required Coursework:

Effective date: 09/01/2021

Research & Statistics, 16 credits

One course chosen from:

Electives (none required)

See course section of catalog for descriptions and course registration for availability. 

Comprehensives, 4 credits

Total Semester Credits: 89

Optional Concentrations

Students can optionally complete electives for the Reflective Practice concentration listed below, or, can choose to take electives in other concentrations offered through the School of Leadership Studies. In this way, students can individualize their doctoral program and expand their professional expertise. Each concentration typically includes a minimum of three tailored courses and access to a community of scholar-practitioners who are passionate about this specialized field of study.

Developmental, Individual Differences, Relationships (DIR®) Concentration

The DIR® three-course series is designed to teach students the theory of relationship-based practice using the DIR® framework.  Students move through theory, assessment, and intervention approaches designed to serve children with neurodiversity, such as autism, emotional and sensory regulation challenges, and developmental delays, and their families. 

Reflective Practice/Supervision Concentration

The doctoral concentration in Reflective Practice/Supervision is designed to teach students the theory of reflective practice/supervision and how to apply it to their professional work experiences in clinical, educational, administrative, or organizational systems.

Return to {$returnto_text} Return to: All Programs