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Human Development & Ed Psychology

Earning your M.A. or Ph.D. in HDEP will allow you to work with children, adolescents and adults in applied, educational and research settings.

Help Others from the Inside Out

Explore the experiences that shape human growth, the complexity of learning and motivation, and the evaluation of research and statistics. Strengthen your sense of professional identity through training founded in social responsibility, self-awareness, diversity and inclusive excellence that prepares you to be an advocate for others. Along the way, you will form close mentorship with faculty that allows you to self-direct your program and develop relevant expertise.

Become a supportive, reflective and capable professional as a human development and education psychology student at USD.

Degrees & Offerings

CPE: Human Development & Education Psychology (M.A.)

  Vermillion Main Campus and Online

The master’s degree requires 33 credit hours and offers two options: plan A (thesis) and plan B (non-thesis) plans of study, and online, hybrid, and on-campus options are available for this program. The program provides flexibility and choice to develop expertise in one of the three program emphases, which are human development, cognition and motivation forces which support learning, and research and statistics.

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CPE: Human Development & Education Psychology (Ed.S.)

  Vermillion Main Campus

The specialist degree requires a minimum of 36 hours beyond the master’s degree in a related field. A six credit-hour culminating activity/research project is required. It is designed to meet your individual interests and career goals. Upon its completion, a final defense is required before graduation.

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CPE: Human Development & Education Psychology (Ph.D.)

  Vermillion Main Campus

You will complete core program courses covering human development, learning theory, and statistics. Further, you will have the freedom to choose your electives to align with your area(s) of interest. Our small class sizes will allow you to develop one-on-one relationships with faculty while gaining experience in teaching and conducting research. Core courses are primarily hybrid in format, with some online options available. Students may also choose between online or on-campus options for their area of emphasis and elective courses.

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Program Details





Graduate Admissions

Known for Excellence

With qualities like small class sizes, specialized programs and incredible student opportunities, USD is not your typical university. What makes us unique is what makes your education exceptional.

DivisionS & Facilities

Explore the divisions, facilities and centers that contribute to your education in counseling and psychology in education.
A teacher in the CPE program working with students.

Counseling & Psychology in Education

We'll train students to make a difference and impact the lives of others as mental health counselors, school psychologists, or human development and educational professionals.

Exterior view of Delzell education building

Counseling & School Psychological Services Center

Community resources provided by supervised USD students.

Faculty & Staff

Get to know your professors in the Human Development & Educational Psychology Program.
Bio Image for Faculty Member Gabrielle Strouse

Gabrielle Strouse

Div Chair, Couns & Psych/Associate Professor
Bio Image for Faculty Member LISA NEWLAND


Bio Image for Faculty Member Harry Freeman

Harry Freeman

Bio Image for Faculty Member Emma Johnson

Emma Johnson

Assistant Professor

Explore Human Growth and Experience 

Take the next step toward the profession of working with children, adolescents or adults in applied, educational and research settings. Become an expert in the field of human learning and development.

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A degree that reflects your passions and sets you apart

USD's graduate degrees are unique in that you can craft the program to fit your interests and career goals. You'll learn from supportive and expert faculty, and you'll also take classes from other departments across campus to expand your skillset and knowledge. All students engage in research and statistics coursework and benefit from the program's flexibility in course sequences and course selections.
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Discounted Tuition for South Dakota Teachers and Vocational Instructors

If you live in South Dakota, be sure and take advantage of the 50% reduced tuition program for currently contracted elementary/secondary teachers and vocational instructors.

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Surprisingly Affordable

Whether you’ve recently completed your undergraduate degree, or you want to kick your career up a notch, graduate school is the next logical step. The good news is there is funding for both online and on-campus students to get you through your program. 
GA (Resident*)
Tuition (1 cr.)
GAF Fee (1 cr.)

More About Tuition & Fees

Tuition rates are subject to change and may vary depending on the program or department. Visit the Graduate Tuition & Costs page for more information.

* Graduate Assistant (GA) rates are available for resident, non-resident and online students.

** Resident rates may be available to you through the SD Advantage, Child of Alumni or Western Regional Graduate Program. To see if you quality, visit usd.edu/grad-tuition.

Student success story

Success story Musheera Anis smiling.
Coming from a background in child psychiatry, I found that HDEP program at USD really complimented my clinical background and gave me that research component I was looking for. 

Musheera Anis, M.D., Ph.D.

Human Development & Educational Psychology

Take the Next Step