Applied Developmental Psychology Minor

ADP is a unique undergraduate experience that combines rigorous academic courses and hands-on care for infants and young children, all with an amazing cohort of peers who complete three “core” quarters of internship and coursework together.

Learn more about the minor and how to apply at a 30-minute information session in Pritzker Tower room 1521. Each session is led by past ADP students and is open to all:


TUESDAY (10/3) 5:00 PM
WEDNESDAY (10/4) 9:15 AM
THURSDAY (10/5) 8:30 AM
THURSDAY (10/5) 3:00 PM
FRIDAY (10/6) 10:15 AM

We also invite you to sign up for our mailing list to receive information about admissions and info sessions.

ADP, In a Word: A Video by ADP Grads

A Video Overview of the ADP Minor

We believe that students learn best in community, and when there is an ongoing dialogue between scholarship and practice, learning and service, and among people of all ages and stages of expertise and development. By participating first-hand in childcare centers throughout the community (and now extending to pilot community-engaged internships with a range of non-profit agencies supporting children and families), ADP students gain a better understanding of the knowledge they learn inside their classroom at UCLA. They thus enhance their own education while providing a valuable service to children, families, and communities.

The ADP academic courses (Psychology 134 A, B & C) focus on concepts, issues, and research in applied developmental psychology and are related to the students’ on-going internship experience. Students engage in original research by observing a focal child at their internship site, and developing an in-depth case study of the child. In the second course of the ADP core sequence, they design and implement original curriculum with the children at their site. In the third quarter, students explore advanced topics in applied developmental psychology, with special attention to pressing issues affecting families and communities today, including the impact of COVID-19, systemic poverty, trauma and racism. Throughout the courses, students are challenged to develop their skills in critical thought and in both spoken and written communication. The unique structure of the minor engages students in an intensive, rewarding 3-quarter learning experienceall with a single cohort of fellow ADP students who complete the courses and internship together. There’s nothing like it!

In a typical week during the academic year, an ADP student spends approximately 16 hours per week* on ADP-related work. Here’s what it may look like: each student…

  • Interns 2 – 4 hour shifts, 2 – 4 days per week (9 hr/wk during academic year; 15 hr/wk for cohort B during summer) between the hours of 7:30 am and 6 pm M – F (expect to be scheduled on a Monday and/or Friday, and an early morning as well as a late afternoon)
  • Attends the 134 class (twice weekly, 1.5 hr/class during academic year; for cohort B, class meetings are longer in summer)
  • Completes course readings (contemporary psychological research and its real-world applications)
  • Submits twice-weekly writing-intensive assignments 
  • Maintains timely communication with 134 instructors/classmates, supervising teachers and fellow interns 
  • Documents their ongoing observations of children at their internship site
  • Attends occasional office hours, additional workshops (at least once per quarter), and, in spring quarter only, 2-3 evening professional development panels
  • During the second and third quarter, meets outside class to collaborate with classmates on a group project.

*For Cohort B, a typical week during summer sessions A and C is likely to involve 25 hours of the ADP-related work described above.

“My experience in the ADP minor challenged my approach to academics, completely changed my perspective on child development, prepared me to work in early childhood, and gave me a community of like-minded individuals who also had a passion to work with children.”

Dennis Ho, ADP Graduate & Clinical Social Worker at UCSF Health

“I loved how the minor tied right in with the internship and how, unlike most courses taken, it was material that could be applied hands-on right away. Also, how the skills and approaches we learned translate to a variety of fields, not just early childhood care and education. I find myself using it all the time in my current internship working with adolescents with autism.”  

– Naomi Beltran, ADP Graduate & PhD student in Clinical Psychology at UCLA

 “The nature and structure of the class is unlike any other college course I took at UCLA– it is small and intimate, interactive, unpredictable, and fun.” 

 – Tayla Ash, ADP Graduate & Assistant Professor of Behavioral and Social Sciences at Brown University

“Because [my classmates and I] were comfortable learning and working together, there was a sense of community, and this sense of community truly allowed the experience to be so much more than a program…It was instead a chapter in my life. (This sounds cheesy, but I mean it!)”  

– Edwin Teh, ADP Graduate & MA student in Teaching English as a Second Language at Cal Poly Pomona

“Applying for the ADP program was one of the best decisions I have made during my 4 years at UCLA. At such a large school like UCLA, it was truly a gift to be able to find a small community of students, professors, and supervisors who all shared the same passion for working with children. This program is so unique in that students not only learn in an academic setting, but also get to practice and apply what they learn about child development at UCLA-affiliated childcare centers. I personally found this style of learning the most effective and rewarding. Although I majored in History, it is the ADP minor that has influenced my career choice and has led me to pursue a Master’s in Marriage and Family Therapy. The ADP Program has allowed me to feel more confident in the work/childcare setting, and I am truly so grateful for the experience. This program has 100% influenced the way I think about childcare and parenting, and I know that the ADP philosophy will continue to play a huge role in my future.”

– Ashley Kim, ADP Graduate & Marriage and Family Therapist