Graduate Schools for Masters in Developmental Psychology Programs

Explore the lifespan and how humans grow and adapt at one of the Masters in Developmental Psychology Schools. Developmental Psychology Masters programs often stack independent research and onsite internships with dynamic science-based courses. Students could also narrow their focus through an emphasis in child psychology, counseling techniques, child advocacy, behavioral disorders and related concentrations.

Study the Lifespan at Masters in Developmental Psychology Schools

At Masters in Developmental Psychology schools, students might observe the broad span of human maturity, from infancy to old age. Key concepts could include the nature versus nurture debate, family studies and identity formation. Importantly, a student could look for a graduate school that might promote conversations related to a chosen professional path.

Depending on the type of program, students might study how the brain works, perceives, learns, as well as how emotions and personality develop. Further courses might examine the physical changes that occur as we grow and theories of what ‘normal’ behavior and biological maturation is.


Studies by O’Net report that 27% of Applied Behavior Science Specialists (ABSS) have a Masters degree. i

Research Developmental Stages

Many Developmental Psychology Masters programs also have students learn how to conduct research related to their chosen focal area. For instance, they might study various testing and assessment methods for different age levels. Some may explore child and adolescent behavior therapy, and/or the psychology of aging.

Prepare for a PhD in Developmental Psychology

For those students enthused about research, there are schools that may roll a Masters in Developmental Psychology into a PhD program. In this type of program, students might enhance their credentials through graduate-level

courses as they develop a robust set of research and writing skills. Usually, these are thesis-based programs.

What is Applied Developmental Psychology?

The three goals of developmental psychology are to describe, explain, and to optimize development.ii A Masters in Applied Developmental Psychology is all about how to enhance growth and prevent psychopathology in individuals and families across the natural life.

Students might therefore tap into developmental science courses to research areas such as child, family, and school well-being, particularly in inner-city, lower-income, and cultural minority and cross-cultural contexts.

This work often seeks out correlations between modern social phenomena and outcomes such as low birth rate or child care. Outcomes of research might then parlay into advocacy or interventions that aim to improve the welfare of children.

Schools with Child Psychology Programs

Do you want to explore more deeply the stages from birth to toddler to age 8? Highlight studies in adolescence and associated behavioral problems? Are you interested in leadership and administration?

One of the programs that schools with Child Psychology Programs might offer is a Master of Science in Child Development. Campus-based curricula might enable students to closely collaborate with peers and faculty mentors from different departments to further their research.

In this type of degree program, students might enhance their knowledge base of how children mature, thrive and learn in the framework of family, culture, and community. Apart from a series of courses, participants might need to complete a period of practical field experience. Participants might thus be required to successfully undertake about 38 to 49 credit hours, though this is a variable.

Concentrations in Child Psychology

There are diverse practice areas that serve children and families, therefore students could review the list of available concentrations at their graduate school of choice. Some examples of these emphases are described in general terms below. Refer to individual universities for more options and details.

Administration: A focus in administration might prepare students to oversee early childhood programs, plan and implement the programs and systems that aim to fulfill an organization’s mission. For instance, participants might learn how to supervise, budget, evaluate, manage organizational resources, and resolve conflicts. In some schools, this focus could enable graduates to pursue a Director Credential in their state.

Children’s Law and Policy: With a focus in children’s law and policy, students might develop the skills to advocate for young children and families impacted by the legal system. Apart from courses about the American legal system, this emphasis might explore more deeply the concept of “best interests of children”. Also, issues such as child abuse, mandatory reporting and child protection laws.

Pediatric Health: Explore methods to advocate for children and their families in health-care settings as they cope with chronic and acute illness, injury, or trauma. A focus in children’s life could discuss pediatric health care. Students might take courses that examine the Code of Professional Practice and Ethical Responsibility as well as discuss developmentally supportive and therapeutic play.

The Special Needs Child: Students might study to bolster skills needed to work effectively with young children who have developmental delay or other disabilities as well as their families in early education, community, and home environments. A focus on special needs could include courses in assessment methods and intervention strategies.

Infancy: With a focus on infancy, some course plans could prepare graduates to pursue an Early Intervention Credential in their state. Coursework could introduce students to the varied professional service systems that support infants, toddlers, and families. As well, students might learn a relationship-based developmental approach to observation, screening, and assessment of children from birth through age 3.

Infancy Administration: Individuals who want to meld studies about infants and families with organizational leadership might focus their MS in Infancy Administration. In some schools, this emphasis might prepare graduates to pursue a Director Credential and Early Intervention Credential in their state. Coursework might include ways to screen infants and toddlers as well as the legal and financial aspects that go into the management of programs for young children and their families.

Infancy and New Language Learners: Through a focus on new language learners, students might develop their grasp of the linguistic and cultural diverse infant and toddler groups. This type of emphasis might explore more in depth the historical, political, and legal foundations of early childhood and early elementary public education in U.S. schools. For instance, students might examine the foundations of bilingual, English as a Second Language (ESL), and special education programs.

Applying to Developmental Psychology Masters Programs

Standards of admission vary between Masters in Developmental Psychology Schools. Some universities interview candidates and may base admission to their program prior academic performance, one’s experience, and ‘suitability’ for the field. Common requirements could thus include the following.

  • Bachelors Degree (possibly in any field) from a regionally accredited college or university
  • Minimum GPA (E.g. 2.75 to 3.0 on a 4.0 scale)
  • International students must demonstrate English language proficiency
  • GRE Scores may be required
  • Goals Statement
  • References
  • Professional Resume

Why Study to Earn a Masters in Developmental Psychology on Campus?

Some graduate schools with child and developmental psychology programs may have small classes where students could know each other by face and name. This may foster a sense of collaboration with peers and faculty mentors as well as promote deep discussions about content.

In terms of flexibility, Masters in Developmental Psychology schools could offer different program lengths and terms to suit the busy student and/or at-work professional. For instance, individuals might be able to work towards their degree in a 28 month, 2 or 3 year course plan.

Find and Apply to Masters in Developmental Psychology Schools

Set filters to find and apply to Masters in Developmental Psychology Schools in a preferred city, state or country. The perfect university for you may be walkable from work or might expose you to a new community and networks. Once you have reviewed partner schools for child psychology, easily contact them with the on-page form. Take the next step right away!

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  • Some of the nation's most affordable tuition rates, from a private, nonprofit, NEASC accredited university
  • Qualified students with 2.5 GPA and up may receive up to $20K in grants & scholarships
  • Multiple term start dates throughout the year. 24/7 online classroom access
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