Developmental Psychology

About the Program

Developmental psychology is the study of the processes by which humans develop and potentially lose competencies in domains ranging from sensation and perception to personality. Developmental psychology as a field of study is growing, as new methods of study have developed, and as the realization that just about any picture of human functioning is but a snapshot of an ongoing process of change. Developmental psychology is an integrative discipline that has implications for other areas of psychology including cognitive psychology, neuroscience, social psychology, and clinical psychology.

Students in Developmental Psychology receive in-depth training with opportunities for both basic and applied research, along with the opportunity for rigorous training in developmental methods and statistical procedures. The goal of the program is to prepare students for future positions as professors in universities and colleges, researchers in government and private-sector laboratories, and as educators. The program is guided by the view that the best way to become a researcher is to carry out research, so continuous involvement in research projects is stressed. The curriculum has core course requirements, but maximizes opportunities for specific seminars and individual research opportunities that fit a training program designed by the student and his or her major professor. Students also are encouraged to develop competencies that will broaden their job prospects beyond the university and research laboratory settings. Examples include program evaluation, test development, and data analysis.

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