Applied Developmental Psychology Concentration

Catalog Year: 2023-2024

Banner Code: LA-MA-PSYC-APD

The MA in psychology is distinguished by its emphasis on basic research and the application of research to solve practical problems in families, industry, government, and health care settings. Because of the program’s proximity to Washington D.C., students have access to many employment and continuing education opportunities in research, academia, and consulting within government, public, and private settings. 

The psychology MA offers the following concentrations:

  •     applied developmental psychology 
  •     clinical psychology
  •     cognitive and behavioral neuroscience 
  •     human factors/applied cognition 
  •     industrial/organizational psychology 

While the department does not offer a master's degree in clinical or counseling psychology, a master's degree in psychology with a concentration in clinical psychology is available for students who have been admitted to the doctoral program concentration in clinical psychology.

The University Catalog is the authoritative source for information on program requirements and courses. The Schedule of Classes is the authoritative source for information on classes scheduled for this semester. See the Schedule for the most up-to-date information and see Patriot web to register for classes. Requirements may be different for earlier catalog years. See the University Catalog archives.

Degree Requirements

Total credits: 30

Students should be aware of the specific policies associated with this program, located on the Admissions & Policies tab.

Choose one concentration and complete the requirements therein.

For policies governing all graduate degrees, see AP.6 Graduate Policies.

Concentration in Applied Developmental Psychology (APD)

The concentration in applied developmental psychology focuses on child development. It provides basic knowledge about normal development, skills for assessing developmental level, and techniques for planning and evaluating programs that foster optimal development. Graduates are prepared for employment at agencies concerned with educational and health programs for children, enrichment programs for infants and preschoolers, and education programs for parents.

Core Courses

PSYC 704 Life-Span Development 3
Select one course from the following: 3
Cognitive Bases of Behavior  
Biological Bases of Human Behavior  
Social Bases of Behavior  
Emotional Bases of Behavior  
Total Credits 6

Quantitative Methods 

PSYC 642 General Linear Modeling I 4
PSYC 643 General Linear Modeling II 4
Total Credits 8

Developmental Specialized Content 

Select two courses from the following: 6
Cognitive and Perceptual Development  
Language Development  
Developmental Psychopathology  
Social and Emotional Development  
Applied Developmental Psychology  
Special Topics 1  
Other developmental courses chosen with advisor approval
Total Credits 6

When topic is Adolescent Development, Autism Spectrum Disorders, Child Development and Social Policy, Executive Function(s) Development, or developmental in content with advisor approval.

Thesis or Practicum/Research Experience

Choose either a thesis or practicum/research experience (4 credits)

Thesis Option

The thesis includes a combination of PSYC 798 Thesis Proposal/PSYC 799 Master's Thesis. Per the University Catalog, at least 3 hours must be PSYC 799 Master's Thesis; these 3 hours must be taken the first semester in which PSYC 799 Master's Thesis is registered. Thus, this is generally a combination of 1 credit of PSYC 798 Thesis Proposal and 3 of PSYC 799 Master's Thesis.

Students should be aware of the policies governing theses. They must follow the thesis enrollment policy of the university and once enrolled in PSYC 799 Master's Thesis, maintain continuous enrollment. See Academic Policies.

Select 4 credits from the following: 4
Thesis Proposal  
Master's Thesis (minimum of 3 credits)  
Total Credits 4
Practicum Option
Select 4 credits from the following: 4
Psychology Practicum (take 3 credits)  
Directed Reading and Research (take 1 credit)  
Total Credits 4

Professional Seminar

Two credits of 1 2
Seminar in Professional Psychology  
Total Credits 2

Students should take 1 credit in fall and 1 credit in spring of their first year.


Select 4 credits in consultation with your advisor 4
Total Credits 4

Students complete the 30 credits required for this degree through additional coursework, including courses not listed above, within or outside the department, with prior approval of the graduate advisor.