PhD in Infant and Early Childhood Development

Engage in multi-disciplinary, cutting-edge scholarship with emphases in mental health and developmental disorders


Fielding Graduate University and Profectum™ Enter New Articulation Agreement.

Two organizations offering education and advanced training, Fielding Graduate University and Profectum, have signed an articulation agreement to collaborate and expand the outreach of both clinical practice as well as research. This agreement is the beginning of a relationship that aims to benefit practitioners and families interested in fostering a developmental approach to children with neurodiversity and their families.

Fielding Graduate University’s Infant and Early Childhood Development (IECD) doctoral program and Profectum™ entered into this academic agreement to provide students expanded opportunities for both increased academic study and research, and certification, respectively.

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PhD IECD Spotlight On Recent Grads:

Engage in Interprofessional Scholarship

The PhD in Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health and Development (IECD) is a degree serving multiple disciplines as they apply their work using the lens of infant mental health (IMH) and development.  The program was initiated by Stanley Greenspan, MD and Serena Weider, PhD, to promote research around relationships, individual differences, and development (DIR®) in working with infants, children, and their families. The program considers multiple relationship-based theories and practices and has expanded to partner with various professional organizations that support both IMH and developmental competencies.

With a core emphasis in IMH, the underpinnings of the program currently include an integrative relationship-based model focused on development and individual-differences.  Through Fielding’s progressive doctoral program, professionals broaden their knowledge, and study multiple factors affecting an infant’s and family’s well-being, to include culture, policy, and advocacy as well as neurodevelopmental, medical, biological, sensorimotor, language, and family systems variables.  Course work fosters evidence-based perspectives of healthy relationships in infancy, early childhood, and families across disciplines as well as treatment models.

The program is focused on applied research in IMH and development, including how intervention programs, policies, and issues, such as culture and social relationships, influence development and families. The program is designed for professionals already working in related fields including psychology, occupational therapy, social work, counseling, mental health, education, early intervention, speech language pathology, nursing, physicians, physical therapy, and others.  Research initiatives address a wide range of developmental challenges and disorders, to include autism spectrum, sensory integration, ADHD, and mood disorders.

Graduates from this research-focused PhD program will be prepared for several careers in research, clinical, and educational settings.

Alliance for infant mental healthThe Infant and Early Childhood Development (IECD) program PhD is a partner with the Alliance for the Advancement of Infant Mental Health (Alliance). The Alliance is a global organization of those states and countries whose infant mental health associations have licensed the use of the Competency Guidelines® and/or the Endorsement for Culturally Sensitive, Relationship- Focused Practice Promoting Infant Mental Health® (Endorsement®) under their associations’ names.

Dr. Terry Gomez, PhD in IECD, Class of 2020

Application Requirements

  • Bachelor’s or Master’s Degree
  • Minimum GPA of 3.0
  • Online Application Form
  • Curriculum Vitae (CV)
  • Statement of Purpose
  • Critical Thinking Writing Sample
  • 2 Letters of Recommendation
  • Official Transcript
  • No GRE Required

Accepting Applications for FALL 2021
Start your application NOW! 

Upcoming Events

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Infant and Early Childhood Development

PhD in Infant and Early Childhood Development – Info Session Webinar

Online - Pacific Time 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm


Infant and Early Childhood Development

PhD in Infant and Early Childhood Development – Info Session Webinar

Online - Pacific Time 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm


Infant and Early Childhood Development

PhD in Infant and Early Childhood Development – Info Session Webinar

Online - Pacific Time 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm