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Developmental Psychology Emphasis

Developmental psychology focuses on human growth across the lifespan. Given that it is a sub-discipline of psychology, the changes of interest are those relating to how people think, feel, and behave. Such changes fall within three domains: biological, cognitive, and social. Research in our department primarily focuses on the phases of life from infancy to young adulthood.

Our doctoral program in developmental psychology is for students who want training in research and teaching, with an eye toward discovering and applying knowledge about human development to real-world issues. This training can be used in future careers that include some combination of research, teaching, and/or application. This is a non-clinical program, so you will not get a clinical license; but, many applied opportunities exist such as program development and evaluation, statistical and methodological consulting, or applications in clinical or health settings. Graduates who get jobs in higher education will teach, and depending on the college or university, will also have opportunities to do research and/or application. Graduates who get jobs in government agencies, non-profit organizations, or industry, will focus on research and/or application, but may also have opportunities to teach in various settings.

Developmental Psychology Course Requirements

  • General Core Courses:
    Req. TypeDepartmentCourse #HoursCourse Name
    MAJPsych5013Data Analysis in Psych Rsrch 1
    MAJPsych5023Data Analysis in Psych Rsrch 2
    MAJPsych5043Research Design
    MAJPsych5203Adv Developmental Psych
    MAJPsych5503Theory & Research in Soc Psych
    MAJPsych5753Cognitive & Affective Processes
    MAJPsych5853Neuro/Biol Bases of Behavior
    MAJPsych605R6Prof Seminar in Psych (1/semester=6 semesters)
    MAJPsych6081Ethic in Psychology Research DISS
    DISSPsych799R18Dissertation (see recommended sequence in Grad Handbook)
  • Required Area Emphasis Courses - Developmental Psychology
    Req. TypeDepartmentCourse #HoursCourse Name
    MAJPsych6263Adv Biolog Bases of Developmnt
    MAJPsych6273Advanced Social Development
    MAJPsych6283Adv Percep & Cogn Development
  • Elective:
    Choose 1 emphasis area elective of your choice (3 credits). This course is the Psychology department option. There are other options outside of the department that you can choose from.
    Req. TypeDepartmentCourse #HoursCourse Name
    ELCPsych720R3Adv Topics in Dev Psychology
Faculty Research
We have full time faculty who conduct research in developmental psychology and who mentor students in our developmental psychology doctoral program. To learn more about them and their research see the directory below.

Other faculty with research interests related to developmental psychology can be found in the College of Education, Department of Sociology, and School of Family Life.

For additional information about our Developmental Psychology program, please contact Rachelle Gunderson at 801-422-4560 or at