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Developmental Psychology Specialization

In the Developmental Specialization, students will consider how development across the lifespan (from infancy through aging) is influenced by social relationships, cultural contexts, and individual differences (e.g., temperament). Students will choose among seminars that focus on a developmental stage (e.g., adolescence), on a type of development (e.g., identity), on a developmental influence (e.g., the media), or on psychopathology (e.g., attention deficits). Research (laboratory and field) and internship opportunities will ask students to apply, in real-world settings, the theories and facts learned in the classroom. This specialization will prepare students for graduate work and/or careers related to normative development in infancy, childhood, adolescence, and all phases of adulthood.

Please contact the Developmental Coordinator, Dr. James A. Graham (609-771-2638) for more details.

Developmental Specialization Handout


Faculty affiliated with the Developmental Psychology Specialization:

  • Dr. Tamra Bireta
  • Dr. He Len Chung
  • Dr. Candice Feiring
  • Dr. James A. Graham (Chair)
  • Dr. Adaurennaya C. Onyewuenyi
  • Dr. Margaret (Betsy) Ruddy
  • Dr. Aimee Stahl
  • Dr. Jeanine Vivona

Developmental Psychology Course Requirements

Core Courses (Taken in sequence)

  • PSY 101 – General Psychology
  • PSY 121 – Methods and Tools of Psychology
  • PSY 203 – Design and Statistical Analysis
  • PSY 299 – Research Seminar

Foundation Courses (Choose 3):

  • PSY 220 – Development across the Lifespan (or equivalent – ECE 201, ELE 201, SPE 203 or NUR 110) with a minimum grade of C+
  • Other Foundation Courses (Choose 2) – Your advisor may be able to help you in making selections

Specialized Courses (Choose 3):

  • Choose 2 from the following:
    • PSY 320 – Origins of Social Cognition
    • PSY 321 – Children’s Social and Personality Development
    • PSY 322 – Children and the Media
    • PSY 323 – School Psychology
    • PSY 370 – Developmental Seminar [may take more than once]
      • Subtopics include: Racial and Ethnic Identity Development, Peer Relationships, Child Therapy, Child Development, Adolescent Development

Choose one additional Specialized (300 level) Course – One of the following courses can count towards this requirement if it has a Developmental focus:

    • PSY 390 – Laboratory Learning*
    • PSY 393 – Individual Study*
    • PSY 396 – Honors Thesis I*
    • PSY 397 – Instructional Internship*
    • PSY 399 – Internship*

* Students may apply one of these courses as a Specialized course.  Others may apply as a Psychology Option.

Psychology Option

  • One course (Recommended at 300-Level or 400-Level)

Senior Experience (Choose 1)

  • Students must select 1 senior experience course including Senior Topics Seminar; Individual Study; Internship; Lab Learning; and Honors Thesis. Your advisor may be able to help you in making selections

[Please check PAWS for the semester offerings]


Experiential Learning Opportunities

Students interested in Developmental Psychology should see Dr. Graham for research and/or internship opportunities.

Recent Individual Studies:

  • Effective male mentoring within a Life-Skills program for elementary students
  • Language Acquisition in Infants
  • Implementing an anti-bullying curriculum in primary- and secondary-schools
  • Empathy development in undergraduates at the KidsBridge Museum
  • Relationships between attention and imaginative play
  • Emotional regulation and meaning making processing in sexually abused youth
  • Content and frequency of children’s worry

Recent Internships:

  • Internship: Celebrate the Children (school for special-needs children)
  • Internship:  Office of the Child Advocate

Developmental Psychology Careers

  • School Counselor
  • Research Position
  • Infant Stimulation Programmer
  • Education/Recreational Programmer
  • Hospital/Hospice Facilitator
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