Adult Development and Aging Concentration
M.S. to Ph.D., Ph.D. in Human Development
Virginia Tech Blacksburg Campus
The doctoral program in Human Development with the Adult Development and Aging (ADA) option prepares professionals for participation in academic, research, governmental, and private organizations. Students complete coursework that includes developmental theories, developmental research methods, and development across the adult years at the individual and family levels of analysis, health, and advanced statistical analysis.
The Department of Human Development and Family Science has a limited number of graduate assistantships and fellowships available for students applying for full time study on the Blacksburg campus. Entering students can apply for such funding as part of their admissions application. No separate application required.
*Fall: January 5
*Fall: January 5
*Deadline for admission with full consideration for funding: January 5
Our Graduate Students
What You'll Study
Students in the ADA area of the Human Development degree take courses taught by Adult Development and Aging faculty, other Human Development and Family Science (HDFS) faculty, faculty from sociology and psychology, and other faculty with expertise in research methods, statistical analysis, and qualitative methods. Students who complete the Ph.D. through the ADA area of the Human Development program acquire a breadth of research training, equipping them to conduct independent research using a range of methodological and analytical skills.
Student scholarship takes place not only in the classroom, but also through mentorship and research. Students may participate in wide-ranging faculty research projects using diverse methodologies and dealing with issues such as physical, mental, social, and financial health, familial and nonfamilial relationships, and community-based relationships.
Programs of study are individualized, permitting inclusion of significant coursework in specific subjects related to adult development and aging. Examples of courses that students may take include:
- Adult Development & Aging: Individual Development
- Adult Development & Aging: Interpersonal Issues
- Social Policy & Aging
- Theories of Human Development and Family Science
- Sequence of statistics classes
VT Adult Day Services has been “Keeping Families Together” since 1992. We are a center in the Human Development and Family Sciences Department at Virginia Tech that strives to uphold the University’s mission of Ut Prosim. Licensed by the Department of Social Services, we offer personal care, health monitoring, meals, therapeutic activities, dementia care, and recovery assistance. Our services support up to 18 participants each operating day, working with adults of an average age of 75 years old.
Center for Gerontology
The Center for Gerontology serves as the organizational unit and focal point for aging-related activities at Virginia Tech. The center’s primary mission is to foster and facilitate multidisciplinary research that enhances the quality of life of older adults. In support of this mission, the center focuses primarily on three streams of coordinated research: Family Gerontology, Health and Aging, and Elder Rights.
Adult Development and Aging Research Focus
Research questions examined by the ADA faculty are grounded in compelling theory and employ rigorous analytic techniques. This research is published in top-tier and well-established scholarly journals including Journal of Gerontology: Psychological Sciences, Journal of Gerontology: Social Sciences, The Gerontologist, Journal of Applied Gerontology, Dementia, Journal of Women and Aging, Aging International, Journal of Marriage and Family, Family Relations, Journal of Health and Social Behavior, and Personality and Individual Differences. HDFS faculty across the focus areas of Adult Development and Aging, Child and Adolescent Development, Family Studies, and Marriage and Family Therapy often collaborate on research and service projects. Graduate students are often a part of research projects and subsequent publications through collaborations with HDFS faculty and faculty in other departments such as Psychology.