Developmental psychologists study human growth throughout the entire lifespan, from infancy through late adulthood. Those who are interested in learning more about this field, but who do not wish to enter a doctoral program, might consider pursuing an online master's degree focused upon developmental psychology. Read on to find out more about what such programs require, some frequent courses students may encounter, and admission requirements.
Developmental Psychology Master's Program Description
Online master's programs in developmental psychology are typically focused on academic coursework, and can require the completion of 30-36 semester hours. Degree options can include a Master of Arts (M.A.), a Master of Science (M.S.), or a Master of Education (M.Ed.) in psychology or educational psychology with a specialization in human development. These types of programs typically do not lead to licensure as a psychologist, and thus do not require extensive field experiences, although some programs do require some fieldwork. In addition to coursework, some programs may require a thesis, capstone project, or comprehensive exams. Some core courses students might encounter include are as follows.
Child and Adolescent Development
A course in child and adolescent development might provide a focus on growth during childhood and adolescence. Specific developmental concepts such as identity, friendship and sexuality could be explored. Frequent settings where students develop, such as homes and schools, might be reviewed.
This course may look to the theories surrounding the later stages of development, and the aging process. The various influences into adult life, such as physical, cultural, and biological influences, may be considered. Case studies may help students to understand the theories presented.
This course will examine atypical development and psychopathology from a range of perspectives. The interaction of various factors, including biological, behavioral, emotional, and cognitive components may be reviewed. The use of diagnostic tools, such as the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders IV-TR, could be considered as a topic as well.
Those studying cognitive development may consider normative and atypical cognitive development throughout the lifespan. The works of various theorists, including Piaget and Chomsky, could be studied. Specific topics might include problem-solving, creativity, and linguistic acquisition.
A course in research methods is likely to be a core course in any psychology program. This course might examine the techniques of research design in psychology, such as quantitative, qualitative, and mixed approaches. In addition, the ability to communicate the results of research to end-users could be a topic of concern.
Those who are applying to online master's programs in developmental psychology will be required to meet several admissions requirements. Applicants should hold a bachelor's degree in psychology, or in a closely related field with some coursework in psychology. Prospective students should often plan to provide undergraduate transcripts, a personal goal statement, resume, and recommendations. Some graduate programs may require the completion of the GRE.
There are many options for those who wish to earn a master's degree in developmental psychology through an online program. Consideration of a student's objectives for this degree may help them select the most appropriate program for their goals.