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Northwestern University, School of Education and Social Policy


School of Education and Social Policy

Human Development and Social Policy Graduate Program

James Spillane

Program Coordinator

Erika Chavez

Program Administrator


The Human Development and Social Policy (HDSP) doctoral program, founded in 1981 under the leadership of Dr. Bernice Neugarten, prepares students to conduct research to understand and to attack the very human problems that pose the greatest challenges to society in this new century.

The overarching aim of HDSP scholarship is to improve human lives by examining and understanding how policies affect the lives of people through the life course and how people can analyze and affect policy. It does so by promoting an interdisciplinary understanding of how people develop, how various experiences and contexts affect human lives, the underlying logic of program design and evaluation, the ways in which political agendas are set and how political forces distribute opportunities in a democracy.

Link to publications and research


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