Human Development Research and Policy (MA)

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Program Description

This one-year, 30-credit MA in Human Development Research and Policy (HDRP) prepares students from diverse disciplinary and methodological backgrounds for applied research and policy analysis in human development. Its two inter-related overarching goals are to enable students to:

  1. Understand social, cognitive, and emotional development across the lifespan as well as the psychological, cultural, and socio-ecological factors that influence the contexts and systems in which people develop (e.g., families, schools, and neighborhoods) and
  2. Produce and critically evaluate research to inform the design, implementation, and monitoring and evaluation of policies and programs.

Students take courses across three core areas: foundations in human development, research methodology and statistics, and professional development. They also complete a semester-long externship at a partner institution while receiving mentoring and support from the program’s faculty and a culminating project.

Career Opportunities

Graduates of the program pursue successful careers as research project directors, research coordinators, grant writers, research scientists, and program evaluators in a wide variety of settings including government agencies, nonprofits and foundations, university-based research centers, private industry, and international organizations. When combined with a subsequent research experience, it may also prepare students for doctoral studies in human development.


Admission to graduate programs in the Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development requires the following minimum components:

  • Résumé/CV
  • Statement of Purpose
  • Letters of Recommendation
  • Transcripts
  • Proficiency in English

See NYU Steinhardt's Graduate Admissions website for additional information on school-wide admission. Some programs may require additional components for admissions.

See How to Apply for admission requirements and instructions specific to this program.