Master of Arts in Psychological Science: Concentration in Developmental Psychology

Program Coordinator: Jeff Cookston

The Master of Arts in Psychological Science: Concentration in Developmental Psychology program focuses on growth and development across the lifespan. It is designed for students with major interests in areas of social and emotional development, parent-child relationships, sex differences, development across cultures and ethnic minority groups, learning, cognition, and psycholinguistics. The program prepares students for academic, research, and applied careers in the field of child and developmental psychology.

Graduate Programs in Psychology

Application to a graduate program is completed through the Cal State Apply application process.

The graduate admission application must be submitted by the deadline to be considered for admission. The department accepts applications for the fall semester only, with a deadline of February 1st. The Master in Science programs generally require an interview during the admissions process.

Some of the Psychology graduate programs require applicants to submit the results of the Graduate Record Examination — verbal, quantitative, and writing sections. Applicants should check the current application of the program they are applying for requirements.

Students who intend to work toward the M.A. or the M.S. in Psychology must meet the prerequisites outlined within each concentration. Required undergraduate coursework that an applicant may not have completed can be rectified as the graduate advisor deems fit without being included as units toward completion of the master's degree

To advance to candidacy (graduation), graduate students must meet all the general requirements for the specific program in which they are involved.

Written English Proficiency Requirement

Graduate students pursuing a Master of Arts in Psychological Science: Concentration in Developmental Psychology must meet both of the following proficiencies to advance to candidacy (graduation):

Level One - A score of 4.0 or better on the GRE Analytical Writing Test or equivalent.

Level Two - Satisfactory completion of the master's thesis (PSY 898).


Applicants to the Master of Arts in Psychological Science: Concentration in Developmental Psychology must have:

  1. A background in lifespan development.
  2. A background in intermediate statistics. 

Program Learning Outcomes

During completion of the Master of Arts in Psychological Science: Concentration in Developmental Psychology the student will:

  1. Acquire a broad knowledge of life span development in each of the areas of cognitive, social, and emotional development, to develop theoretical sophistication, to become familiar with current issues in the field, and to learn to critique research studies.
  2. Learn strategies and techniques of current developmental research and statistical analyses.
  3. Experience practical laboratory training in research techniques including naturalistic observation.
  4. Develop technical (scientific) writing skills for journal publication.
  5. Gain experiences in the field of Developmental Psychology.
  6. Apply research design skills and statistical analyses by conducting an independent research project, and to demonstrate intellectual self-reliance.
  7. Gain experience in presentation of research and content relevant to developmental psychology.

Psychological Science (M.A.): Concentration in Developmental Psychology — Minimum 36 units

PSY 730Seminar in Current Issues in Developmental Psychology3
PSY 737Laboratory in Observation of Children's Behavior3
PSY 739Technical Writing for Psychological Journals1
PSY 770Research Methods and Techniques3
PSY 771Analysis of Variance and Experimental Design4
PSY 772Applications of Multiple Regression to Psychological Research4
PSY 792Proseminar in Foundations of Contemporary Psychological Research3
PSY 799Supervised Selected Research2
PSY 839Field Experience in Developmental Psychology4
PSY 891Seminar in Selected Problems6
PSY 898Master's Thesis (and Oral Defense of Thesis (may not be repeated))3