Graduate Schools for Developmental Psychology

Developmental Psychology Schools provide graduate programs in child psychology and human growth through adulthood. With degrees at the Masters and Doctorate levels, students could study and research patterns of maturation to gain insight into how people adapt.

Developmental Psychology Schools: Overview

Graduate-level Developmental Psychology Schools often meld independent research and a broad array of courses. Areas such as developmental, social and clinical psychology may be discussed to help students understand human potential and interaction.

Admission to Developmental Psychology Schools may be influenced by strong GPA and GRE scores as well as by solid letters of reference from faculty who know the students well.

In addition, some universities with Developmental Psychology Graduate Programs might pay attention to the way an applicant articulates their research interests and career plans in their personal statements.

Some grad schools may also seek a match between a student and faculty member. Therefore, applicants may be encouraged to describe how their curiosity coincides with any active research interests of a faculty member or members.

Once enrolled, developmental psychology grad students may be paired with a faculty advisor who makes sure that his or her studies are on track and aimed to align their curriculum with their professional needs and goals. Advisors also make sure that students know about the training and research opportunities that may be open to them.

Graduate Schools for Child Psychology vs. Developmental Psychology

Interested students could find Graduate Schools for Child Psychology and Developmental Psychology, and there are some potential differences to be aware of.

Graduate Programs in Developmental Psychology analyze all the changes that take place from infancy to old age. It addresses a full spectrum of changes. This includes physical, cognitive, social, intellectual, perceptual, personality and emotional growth.

The ultimate goal of developmental psychology is to understand how to help people reach their potential. Many developmental psychologists focus on children and adolescents, but they also may study aging and problems that older adults commonly face.

Professionals in this field conduct research into normal and abnormal growth, and may debate how identities are formed, language skills are acquired, and morals are learned. They are also concerned with our thoughts, feelings and behaviors and how they change both through time, and in diverse contexts.

Students who are drawn to developmental psychology might look for schools with PhD in Developmental Psychology Programs. In most states, a PhD and board license are required for professionals to practice as a (developmental) psychologist.i

Graduate Programs in Child Psychology examine a narrower scientific study of the various elements that affect the stages from infancy to adolescence. Students who pursue a graduate level child psychology degree might study various life stages that children move through – newborn, infant, toddler, preschooler, school-aged, and puberty.

One of the goals of child psychology is to understand the social, cognitive, emotional, and educational development of children as well as the ways they develop motor skills. Students of child psychology might learn about milestones, age-specific abilities and developmental delays.

Some Masters in Developmental Psychology programs are rolled into a PhD program, but others may be aimed for those who aspire to work with children in other capacities such as counseling, education or advocacy.

Schools for Developmental Psychology Masters Programs

Schools with Masters in Developmental Psychology programs provide a broad and interdisciplinary curriculum of early childhood development courses. Also, students may be encouraged to select a focused area of study in which to develop more depth of knowledge.

One example is a Master of Science (MS) in Child Development. Students could take courses in psychosocial development and early care and education. A course in development of cognition, language and play discusses basic knowledge of cognitive development in children from birth through age eight.

Aside from coursework, students might take part in a year-long internship designed to integrate theory with practice, and build professional skills. To further define their professional identity, students might choose a concentration, and each school may offer a unique selection.

Partner school, Erikson offers areas such as Infancy, Children with Special Needs, Administration, and Children’s Law and Policy.

Schools for PhD in Developmental Psychology

PhD in Developmental Psychology Schools may enable students to conduct original research that supports the healthy development of children, youth, and families.

The PhD, as a terminal research degree, provides a broad array of core courses in developmental psychology. Students could study psychological concepts. such as the cognitive, social, emotional, cultural, physical, neurological and spiritual factors that promote how children and youth learn and develop.

Additionally, PhD candidates typically study how to gather data, conduct ethical research, and use complex statistical techniques. They may also learn about available research funding opportunities and obtain experience with grant writing as they do research for their dissertation.

Partner school, Loyola University, offers two focus areas. These are Healthy Development in Children, Youth, and Families, and the Psychological Foundations of Social Justice. Focus areas may consist of specific courses, training skills and research.

Why Study Developmental Psychology On-Campus?

No two Developmental Psychology Schools are alike. 

That said, students in some graduate schools may have access to equipped developmental labs testing rooms and areas for data coding and analysis. Sometimes, this equipment is used for specific methods of assessment in infant and child development.

Other cognitive, social, and clinical labs and resources may also be available for collaborative projects with other researchers. Campus students might also have an opportunity to hear guest lecturers and network.

Choose a Developmental Psychology Graduate School

Set some filters to help you select a Developmental Psychology Graduate School. Program level is one way to drill down into the programs (Masters, Doctorate, Certificate). Location is another (Filter by city, state, country). These preferences yield a list of sponsored programs that you could quickly and easily apply to. Use the on-page form now to get started.


[i] bls.gov/ooh/life-physical-and-social-science/psychologists.htm#tab-4

Find Schools