Developmental Psychology Graduate Programs in California

Developmental psychology is usually offered as a concentration within psychology graduate degree programs in the state of California. Learn about the length, research requirements and coursework for some of these programs.

California offers master's and doctoral degree programs in the field of developmental psychology from several different institutions, which are typically located near larger cities. These programs often include hands-on learning and research experiences and vary in length. Find out more about specific programs the state has to offer.

Find schools that offer these popular programs

  • Child Psychiatry
  • Gerontology
  • Geropsychology

Schools in California with Graduate Degree Programs in Developmental Psychology

University of California-Los Angeles

The University of California-Los Angeles has a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Psychology with an area of emphasis in developmental psychology. Throughout the program students participate in research opportunities and receive hands-on training through labs and practicum experiences. The program requires a dissertation and can be completed in 6 years. Students in the developmental psychology concentration take additional coursework in areas pertaining to the emotional, cognitive, language and social development from infancy through adolescence.

University of Southern California

Los Angeles' University of Southern California provides a PhD in Psychology program with an available area of study in developmental psychology. The program is designed to be completed in 5 years, requires a dissertation, and many students have the opportunity to teach through guest lectures or assistantships. During the second year of the program, students also submit a master's thesis or research report. Students in the developmental psychology area are well prepared for careers in applied research or academia.

Claremont Graduate University

Claremont Graduate University in Claremont offers a unique PhD in Psychology with a focus on positive developmental psychology. This program aims to train students in the optimization of developmental processes as a form of prevention, instead of focusing on remediation. Students can complete the program in 4 to 7 years and must complete a dissertation and portfolio that includes experiences in their area of concentration. Some of these experiences may occur during internship and/or fieldwork opportunities at psychology-related centers and institutions in the Claremont area.

University of California-Berkeley

The University of California-Berkeley has a PhD in Psychology with a concentration in developmental psychology. The program helps students develop their teaching skills through teaching undergraduate courses and also allows students to serve as mentors to other graduate students. Students participate in research and further develop their knowledge of statistics and data analysis. Students in the developmental psychology concentration learn about typical and atypical development in young people and also study interventions and available treatment options.

San Francisco State University

Students at San Francisco State University can pursue a Master of Arts in Psychology with a concentration in developmental psychology. The program requires at least 36 units and a master's thesis. Students in the program receive hands-on training in developmental psychology through a field experience and also take research and seminar courses in their concentration. Other required courses for the program include a laboratory where students observe children's behavior and courses in experimental design, statistics and research methods.

Common Entrance Requirements

Most developmental psychology graduate programs in California, at both the master's and doctoral levels, require students to submit their GRE scores, and some programs may have specific requirements for scores on one or more parts of the exam, depending on the program. Some programs may require students to have prior coursework in areas such as statistics, research methods and various fields of psychology (abnormal, cognitive, social, etc.). It is fairly standard for these programs to require applicants to submit their official transcripts, letters of recommendation, a resume and a personal statement with their application. The personal statement generally needs to discuss a student's academic achievements, personal interests in the field of psychology and/or career goals.

Developmental psychology programs in California are most commonly offered as a concentration within doctoral programs in psychology. These doctoral programs usually require a dissertation and provide students with teaching experience.


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