MA Program Information

The Developmental Psychology Graduate Program has been designed as a 2 year (36 units) course of study. A four-semester schedule is included below as a sample plan and guideline for students. However, it is important that students work out their individual program schedules with faculty advisors.

Students entering the graduate program in Developmental Psychology should have a background in intermediate statistics, psychological research methods, and lifespan development. If students haven't had it already, intermediate statistics (PSY 571) must be taken during the summer prior to or during the first semester of the graduate program.

 

FALL SEMESTER (FIRST YEAR)

 

PSY 730

Seminar in Current Issues 

3

PSY 737

Observation of Children’s Behavior

PSY 739

Technical Writing

1

PSY 839

Field Experience    

1

 

SPRING SEMESTER (FIRST YEAR)

 

PSY 770

Research Methods

3

PSY 771 or PSY 772

Analysis of Variance/Regression

4

PSY 891

Seminar (Variant Topic) 

3

PSY 839

Field Experience

1

PSY 799

Special Study

1

 

FALL SEMESTER (SECOND YEAR)

 

PSY 839

Field Experience

1

PSY 799

Special Study

1

PSY 771 or PSY 772

Analysis of Variance/Regression

4

PSY 891 

Seminar (variant topic)

3

 

SPRING SEMESTER (SECOND YEAR)

 

PSY 898

Thesis

3

PSY 839

Field Experience

1

PSY 792

Proseminar in Foundations of Contemporary Psychological Research 

3

The first three courses to be taken are PSY 730 (Current Issues), PSY 737 (Observation), and PSY 739 (Technical Writing). These courses have been designed to complement each other and are to be taken concurrently. They are offered in the Fall semester only.

Most students would be expected to complete PSY 770 (Research Methods) and PSY 771 (Analysis of Variance) in the second semester (Spring) of the program. If a student’s background in statistics needs strengthening, it would be appropriate to take PSY 571 (Intermediate Statistics) prior to enrolling in these courses.

Students must register for two Special Topic Seminars (PSY 891). These can be taken at any time in the student’s training but should be completed prior to beginning thesis work (PSY 898 and PSY 799). Topics and instructors in the PSY 891s are continually changing. In past semesters, seminars have been offered in social development, cognitive development, child-rearing practices, child therapy, infancy, adolescence, and aging.

Students must complete four units of Field Experience (PSY 839). In most cases, field experience will occur through contributions to a faculty research laboratory. This experience can also involve supervised work on campus (e.g., in the Children's Campus or as a teaching or research assistant in other academic program of the university) or in an agency or institution off campus (with various populations of any age). All field experience placements must be approved by the Coordinator of the Developmental concentration prior to registration. Field experiences must be completed under qualified supervision and involve four hours of work per unit, per week for the semester (60 hours per unit).

The last courses to be taken are related to the thesis. PSY 799 (Special Study) should be taken first and is completed when the student has undertaken a thorough review of the literature in a specific area and has designed and written a thesis proposal. Registration in PSY 898 (Thesis) permits the student to gather data, analyze results, and write the thesis.

The thesis committee must consist of a minimum of two tenured/tenure-track faculty members selected from the Psychology department faculty. In consultation with the Thesis Chair, the student will select at least one additional Psychology faculty member. Additional members may be selected from inside or outside of the major department or from outside the university.

Students meet with the entire thesis committee at least twice (1) proposal meeting and (2) oral defense of the thesis meeting. Meetings should be scheduled two weeks in advance and copies of proposals and thesis drafts submitted to each committee member one week in advance. Meetings are usually scheduled during the regular spring and fall semesters. Normally there are no committee meetings held during the summer months.

The sample Four Semester Thesis Timeline below is a suggestion. Each thesis timeline will vary by student, advisor, and type of thesis. Your primary advisor will be your point person for all thesis questions and final decisions.

FALL SEMESTER (FIRST YEAR)

Brainstorm thesis topic area

Complete ‘Planned Course of Graduate Study Form’ with advisor

Review the Steps to Graduation Checklist

SPRING SEMESTER (FIRST YEAR)

Develop thesis topic area

Draft rough timeline for thesis data collection, analysis, and write-up

Identify possible thesis committee members

Identify intended IRB submission date

Review the Culminating Experience Checklist Form

SUMMER (FIRST YEAR)

Prepare for IRB protocol submission

Prepare thesis proposal for thesis proposal meeting with committee

FALL SEMESTER (SECOND YEAR)

Review the Graduation Deadlines

Pending advisor approval - Share thesis proposal with committee

Schedule and complete thesis proposal meeting with committee

Submit IRB protocol (typically 4-8 weeks for approval)

Pending committee and IRB approval – Begin data collection

Data cleaning and preparation for analysis

Oct. 15 – submit Advancement to Candidacy (ATC) Form

Oct. 15 – submit Proposal for Culminating Experience (PCE) Form

SPRING SEMESTER (SECOND YEAR)

Review the Graduation Deadlines

Finalize analysis and thesis write-up

Feb. 7 – Application for Award of Graduate Degree

Watch the recorded session of a ‘Thesis Formatting and Submission Q&A’

Apr. 1 — Conduct Preliminary Format Check

Pending advisor approval - Share thesis with committee

Schedule and complete final thesis defense meeting with committee

May 7 — Incorporate committee feedback and conduct Final Format Check

May 7 — Complete and route Report of Completion and  Certificate of Approval via DocuSign

May 7 — Submit approved thesis to the library