Required Developmental Psychology Graduate Coursework

In addition to general course requirements listed in the Graduate Bulletin and the Departmental General Requirements Document, the Developmental Program requires the following courses:

  • Concepts and Methods in Development (PSY 60200)
  • Cognitive Development (PSY 60250)
  • Socioemotional Development (PSY 60260)
  • Developmental Psychopathology (PSY 60282)

Students will also complete the 2-semester Quantitative Methods (PSY 60100 and PSY 60101) sequence during their first year of study. The program encourages students to complete either Psychological Measurement (PSY 60121) or additional Quantitative coursework.  Concepts and Methods in Development meets the department requirement for a psychological measurement or advanced methods course. 

Individualized Developmental Psychology Coursework

Beyond the required core courses, students may tailor their coursework to meet their individual research needs.  Students are expected to sign up for research credits (regular, thesis, and dissertation) each semester.

The Developmental Psychology graduate program encourages students to take additional quantitative courses during their residence.  A minor in Quantitative Psychology is available for students who pursue advanced training in the application of advanced psychometric, methodological, and state-of-the-art statistical procedures. The minor capitalizes on the expertise of Notre Dame’s outstanding quantitative faculty, and provides graduate students with a thorough basis of quantitative methods that will improve the quality of research in their substantive areas. 

Seminars. The Department encourages students to take elective seminars that complement or enhance their specializations.  Students are also encouraged to take the Teaching seminar.

The Developmental Psychology Ph.D. Program is structured so that all requirements for the degree can be completed in five years. This entails satisfying all the requirements listed in the Psychology General Requirements Document and the Graduate Bulletin.

Required Research Milestones

To complete the program within five years we recommend the following sequence:

  • First-Year Project- Completed at the end of the first year
  • Master's Thesis- Proposed and defended during the second or third year
  • Preliminary Exam- Completed during the third or forth year
  • Dissertation- Proposed and defended during the fourth or fifth year

Candidates in the program will earn their Master's degree following the defense of the Master's thesis. We do not have a terminal Master's program.

The College of Arts and Letters’ 5+1 Program guarantees a postdoctoral fellowship to every graduate student who finishes within 5 years.  During the fellowship year, fellows teach one course each semester, pursue their research, and participate in any other of a variety of professional experiences to expand the range of employment opportunities they may pursue following the fellowship year.  Additional information is provided on the College’s website: