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University of Pennsylvania Course/Program Name
Application closes on
National :15 Mar 
International :15 Mar 

MS Interdisciplinary Studies in Human Development

 Course Level
Masters / PG
Full Time

1 Year
 Start month

 Tuition fee

19537 USD
19537 USD

Application fee

International 75 USD
National 75 USD
Graduate School of Education
Scores accepted
IELTS (min)7
TOEFL-IBT (min)100
TOEFL-PBT (min)600
GRE (avg)307
GMAT (avg)732

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About this course

The Interdisciplinary Studies in Human Development program examines the social, emotional, cognitive, and physical aspects of human development within the context of culture and social policy. The M.S.Ed. in ISHD prepares graduates for careers as writers, researchers, community youth workers, and consultants. The program welcomes both full- and part-time students.The one-calendar-year M.S.Ed. in ISHD requires a total of 10 courses (typically completed in two semesters plus a summer term) in lifespan human development, cultural studies, and research methodologies. The program is designed for pre-professional training and to prepare students to advance within their careers by gaining a better understanding of human development issues.

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Eligibility Criteria

Eng lang – On the TOEFL-iBT exam (Internet-Based Test), competitive applicants tend to have a composite score of 100 and above (the exam is scaled from 0-120, with 120 being a perfect score) with demonstrated consistency on each section of the exam (reading, listening, speaking, and writing). On the Paper- Based TOEFL, Penn tends to admit students with a score of 600 and above (the exam is scaled from 310 to 677, with 677 being a perfect score).

  • IELTS - 7.0
  • GRE - 307
  • GMAT - 732

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Course Modules

Core Requirements
Conceptually and methodologically, ISHD students are expected to integrate established psychological approaches with perspectives from other social sciences. You are encouraged to select courses from other disciplines, such as anthropology, sociology, philosophy, and social work. The program of study emphasizes Developmental Foundations, Social, Cultural & Policy Foundations, Quantitative Methods and Qualitative Methods.

Requirements for Completion/Milestones
You will be required either to pass a master’s comprehensive examination or to write a master’s thesis as your capstone experience. You must get approval from your faculty advisor if you opt to write a thesis, and your advisor must pre-approve your topic.

  • EDUC 522 Psychology of the African-American
  • EDUC 560 Human Development
  • EDUC 561 Adolescent Development
  • EDUC 562 Personality and Social Development
  • EDUC 568 Cognitive Development
  • EDUC 574 Race/Ethnicity in Human Development
  • EDUC 581 Advanced Psychology of Women
  • EDUC 610 Cultural Perspectives on Human Development
  • EDUC 709 Peer Relationships in Childhood and Adolescence
  • EDUC 860 Proseminar in ISHD

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How to Apply

Application Steps
Complete the online application

  • If you are applying to more than one program or more than one degree, submit one application at a time. If you wish to have more than one application in-progress at a time, you will need unique email accounts for each.
  • In the Academic Background section, applicants currently enrolled in a program must utilize the field “expected graduation/end date,” not “end date.” Incorrect use of “end date” may prompt an error.
  • Upload a statement of purpose and resume.
  • Note: We are unable to update these documents after you submit the application. Please proofread and ensure you upload the correct documents before clicking submit.
  • Input contact information for 3 references unrelated to you who will electronically submit letters of recommendation.

For each post-secondary institution you've attended in the United States of America (USA), you may upload a registrar-issued transcript for review.
Note: Transcripts must be official copies from the registrar's office. We cannot accept unofficial transcripts or grade reports copied from student accounts.
Should you choose to enroll at Penn GSE, official copies of final transcripts must be sent directly from the institution before you begin coursework.
For each post-secondary institution you've attended outside the USA, we require that you contact a member of the National Association of Credential Evaluation Services (NACES) to have a course-by-course evaluation of your non-USA transcript(s) sent directly from the NACES member to Penn GSE Admissions and Financial Aid. This evaluation is required for application review.

Click Submit!

  • Request an official copy of your standardized test scores to be sent directly to Penn GSE using institution code 2943. You do not need to indicate additional program codes.
  • Application Fee
  • Penn GSE offers a free application from September 15 through March 14.
  • Beginning March 15 (through September 14) there is a $75 non-refundable application fee.
  • All applicants are encouraged to start applications early and take your time presenting your best effort.
  • All applicants are still encouraged to apply to more than one program and/or degree since no additional application fees will apply.

If you intend to apply to multiple programs and/or degrees, please remember to tailor your statement of purpose to reflect your interest in each particular program and/or degree.

  • Applicants affiliated with the following programs and/or partners are exempt from the non-refundable application fee: 
  • City Year
  • Fulbright
  • Institute for the Recruitment of Teachers (IRT) 
  • McNair Scholars 
  • Teach for America (TFA)


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