Course Requirements


Students must take a number of content courses as well as research credits throughout their career at the university. A listing of departmental courses can be found on the Registrar’s website.

Content Courses

Required Core Developmental Courses

All developmental students must take at least 5 of the developmental courses listed below.

  • PSYC 5410: Advanced Developmental Psychology*
  • PSYC 5420: Cognitive Development
  • PSYC 5425: Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience
  • PSYC 5440: Development of Language
  • PSYC 5450: Infancy & the Effects of Early Experience
  • PSYC 5460: Social & Personality Development
  • PSYC 5470: Developmental Systems*

* All students must take either PSYC 5410 or PSYC 5470.

Students may also substitute one of the above courses with another developmental-related course from another division or department as long as they obtain permission before. Examples of substitute courses include:

  • PSYC 5445/COGS 5140: Neurobiology of Language: Typical and Atypical Cognition and Language Development
  • PSYC 5424/COGS 5150: Cognitive Neuroscience of Language Across the Lifespan

Quantitative Research Courses

All developmental students must take the following statistics sequence (completed usually in the Fall and Spring of the first year).

  • PSYC 5104: Foundations of Research in the Psychological Sciences I
  • PSYC 5105: Foundations of Research in the Psychological Sciences II

Breadth Courses

In order to expand the student’s knowledge beyond their specific area of study, a minimum of 9 credits (typically 3 courses) of graduate work outside the student’s Division required. Usually any graduate class outside the student’s Division or the department will count as breadth. There are a few additional restrictions, including:

  • The intro stats sequence (PSYC 5104 & PSYC 5105) may not be used to fill the breadth requirement.
  • No more than two quantitative courses, defined as courses that count for the Graduate Certificate Program in Quantitative Research Methods, may be used for breadth.
  • No more than one breadth course may be taken with any one instructor, aside from the following classes: a course in grant writing; PSYC 5100, 5140, 5285; COGS 5001.
  • Three credit hours of PSYC 5801 taken with a faculty member outside the student’s Division will meet Department breadth requirements as one course. However, the Head of that faculty member’s Division must consent to this.
  • Upper level undergraduate classes in other departments and other courses may be considered for breadth on a case-by-case basis.
  • Courses in other departments that are cross-listed as PSYC courses will not count towards the departmental breadth requirement if the PSYC version of the course is in the student’s Division, even if the student registers for the course under the external department course number.
  • Students entering the program with a master’s from a different (Psychology or non-Psychology) department or division may have up to 6 breadth credits waived (up to two classes).

Research Credits

The university requires that graduate students enroll in a certain number of research credits every semester to track the students’ research progress. Most of the research credits are taken under the student’s Major Advisor, with the exception of courses listed under GRAD. GRAD courses have no advisor.

Students should take the following credits every semester they are enrolled in the program:

  • PSYC 5400: Research Seminar in Developmental Psychology (Developmental Brownbag)
  • PSYC 5499: Research Team, Developmental Psychology
  • PSYC 5800: Research in Psychology or PSYC 5801: Independent Study in Psychology

Students should complete a total of 9 credits of the following before defending the masters thesis:

  • GRAD 5950: Master’s Thesis Research
  • GRAD 5960: Full-Time Master’s Research — only enroll if you do not hold an RA or TA position and you are not taking any other courses.

Students should complete a total of 15 credits of the following before defending the dissertation:

  • GRAD 6950: Doctoral Dissertation Research
  • GRAD 6960: Full-Time Doctoral Research — only enroll if you do not hold an RA or TA position and you are not taking any other courses.

GRAD 5950, 5960, 6950, and 6960 can be taken any semester for anywhere from 1 to 9 credits.

This page last updated 2/26/2019.