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The Institute of Human Development (IHD)



An exciting convergence of research, from neuroscience to economics, highlights the crucial role of early development and learning (0–8 years) in lifelong health, economic, and social success. Yet parallel advances in translating this research into innovative practice — and training those who will implement it — lag behind. Our expanding knowledge base calls for the creation of a dynamic, integrated developmental science program that:

  • conducts cutting-edge scholarship,
  • translates the science into children’s diverse contexts,
  • links children’s real-world challenges in ways that inform the research, and
  • prepares professionals to use it in their work with young children and families.

UC Berkeley, the premier public research university, is uniquely positioned — with world-renowned scholars and a diverse student body — to make remarkable progress toward these goals. Key scholars are committed to creative partnerships in order to integrate understanding across neuroscience, developmental psychology, education, public health, economics, and policy. UC Berkeley’s 27,000 undergraduates exemplify what is possible with opportunity: 28% are first-generation college students, 21% have transferred from community colleges, and 40% speak a home language in addition to English. Notably, more than 20% of entering Letters & Science undergraduates reported strong interest in the new ED&LS major. With a deep commitment to excellence, access, and diversity, the ED&LS Program will simultaneously innovate learning for UC Berkeley students and for young children worldwide.


We are developing two complementary programs in Early Development & Learning Science:

  • The ED&LS Global Center will bring together scholars leading innovative developmental science research on early childhood and its application in a global context.
  • The ED&LS Training Program, featuring the Undergraduate Major, Graduate Program, and Summer Institute, will prepare professionals to integrate science, practice, and policy knowledge with problem-solving implementation skills in the real world.


The Early Development & Learning Science Programs will launch in the fall of 2017. If you have questions about or ideas for our new programs, please .