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Developmental Psychology Curriculum

The program in developmental psychology is designed to provide students with an appropriate balance of breadth and specialization. The first year of the program provides a systematic foundation in developmental psychology with coverage of major concepts and theoretical and methodological issues. Students may also take core courses in developmental psychology, other areas of psychology, or in other departments, or if they have the necessary background, advanced seminars.

During their second and third years students complete course requirements and elect appropriate advanced seminars. A preliminary examination is taken at the end of the second year to establish candidacy.

After the third year, students devote most of the time to completion of the doctoral dissertation. They work with faculty members who share their interests and who work with them on individual projects, and serve on their dissertation committees. Because of the broad spectrum of research activity represented, many seminars are offered on specific topics. Special strengths of the area in cognitive development are : memory, learning, language acquisition, literacy, metacognition, theory of mind, school achievement, and cross-cultural influences on cognitive development. Strengths in social development are: emotional regulation, identity formation, family process, sex roles, peers, social cognition, risky behavior, mental health, and effects of poverty, ethnicity, and minority status.