PhD in Infant and Early Childhood Development2021-09-09T18:55:23+00:00
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PhD  in

Infant and Early Childhood Development

With a concentration in Infant and Childhood Mental Health.

[pictured: Dr. Terry Gomez, IECD Alum, Class of 2020]


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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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IECD Program Director Jenene Craig, PhD

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Dana Johnson PhD, MS, OTR/L
Dana Johnson PhD, MS, OTR/L
Founder of Invictus Academy Tampa Bay
Cheryl Andrea Rock, PhD
Cheryl Andrea Rock, PhD
Principal of the Derrick Smith school and vocational Centre
Joleen R. Fernald, PhD, CCC-SLP, BCS-CL
Joleen R. Fernald, PhD, CCC-SLP, BCS-CL
Carrie Alvarado, PhD, OTR
Carrie Alvarado, PhD, OTR
Robin Hauge, PhD
Robin Hauge, PhD
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Infant and Early Childhood Development News

The latest news, special events, and announcements from the IECD program.

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.

  • 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

Start your application NOW! 

Why Choose Fielding’s PhD in Infant and Early Childhood Development Program?

Engage in Interprofessional Scholarship

The Alliance for the Advancement of Infant Mental Health

Alliance for the Advancement of Infant Mental Health

The Infant and Early Childhood Development (IECD) program Ph.D. 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.

Fielding Doctoral Journey

Jenene Craig, PhD, discusses her doctoral journey. Dr. Craig is the program director for the Infant and Early Childhood and Development (IECD) program at #FieldingGraduateUniversity

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