Program Details

Students in Developmental Psychology must take the Department of Psychology’s core curriculum, which has been designed to provide a solid foundation in psychology. In addition, students take required courses in this program and a number of elective courses in their specialty area.

Graduate Handbook for Developmental Psychology [PDF] – In this document you can learn about developmental psychology's training philosophy and goals as well as the curriculum and requirements for the master’s and Ph.D. programs.

Faculty in Developmental Psychology sometimes admit and mentor students in the Clinical Psychology program. Please inquire with individual faculty members if you want more information.

What does it mean to study developmental psychology?

Developmental psychology faculty at VCU believe that to make the biggest impact on individual lives and communities, we need to understand behavior as it unfolds across time and across contexts. That means studying people as part of dynamic interactive systems that include families, peers, romantic partners, schools, neighborhoods, and the broader culture. The developmental program is less about what you study and more about how you study it. Our faculty study a wide range of developmental processes and outcomes: well-being, substance use, youth violence, executive functioning, interpersonal skills, depression, prosocial behavior, knowledge acquisition, emotion regulation, and identity. We work with children, adolescents, young adults, and older adults. We work in labs, but also in schools, neighborhoods, communities, and correctional facilities. We embrace an innovative and interdisciplinary collaborative approach, and our basic and applied developmental science touches both local and international communities. Our passions are creating knowledge, developing people, and engaging communities in research that supports community goals.

Is developmental psychology at VCU right for you?

If you want to explore the unfolding of human behavior across time and across different environments, and want to engage in collaborative research that makes a difference—Developmental Psychology at VCU is probably right for you! Earning a developmental degree at VCU means forging your own path—working with clinical or community populations, conducting research in the lab or in applied settings, working in academia, government, industry, or school systems. With a developmental degree, your career path is limited only by your imagination; let us help you discover the possibilities!