Graduate Studies

Developmental Psychology


The developmental psychology program is for students who are interested in aspects of social, cognitive, and/or language development and the cultural and family context in which development takes place.

Developmental psychology prepares students for careers in research, teaching, and applied developmental work. It is for students who are interested in typical development or atypical development, and who are interested in either basic research or applied research.



Statistics Minor

We offer a statistics minor with courses in multivariate and categorical statistics, multilevel modeling, and stats consulting. 

Neuroscience Minor

Our faculty have expertise in a variety of techniques, including MRI, EEG, eye tracking, physiological measurements, and hormones. 

Teaching of Psychology Course

Students take a dedicated course on teaching while teaching a section of Intro. 
dual programs

Dual Programs

We offer dual programs in developmental and cognitive psychology or developmental and social psychology. 

Danny Mack

“My time at the Capstone has been the perfect springboard for my professional development, exposing me to research training and impactful projects from day one. The professional relationships and friendships I have forged with faculty and students representing many backgrounds and unique stories has also aided in my own personal growth and sensitivity to diversity. This experience is everything I wanted and more from a graduate program.”

  — Danny Mack, Developmental Psychology PhD student

The Mentorship Model

The Developmental Psychology program is highly focused on research. During the program, students work closely with a specific faculty member whose research focus matches the students’ interests. Students typically work with the same mentor throughout their time in the program, although cross-lab collaboration is also encouraged. Applicants to the program should identify one to three faculty members with whom they may be interested in working.

“Dr. Xia’s support has been invaluable for my transition to graduate school. She encourages my efforts, is frank with her expectations, and has introduced me to excellent opportunities. I am looking forward to beginning my career under her guidance.”​ -Pratibha Gautam, Developmental Psychology PhD Student




Summer Braun

Teacher wellbeing | Social-emotional development | School-based intervention | Mindfulness


Ansley Gilpin

Imaginative play | Executive function | School readiness

Andrea Glenn

Aggression | Psychopathy | Intervention | Biopsychosocial perspectives


Despina Stavrinos

Driver behavior | Driving simulation | Eye tracking | Attention | Cognitive development

Kristina McDonald

Peer relationships | Aggression | Victimization | Trauma


Jeffrey Parker

Friendships | Peer relationships | Jealousy | Parent social coaching

Kelsey West

Language development | Motor development | Autism | Infant-caregiver interactions


Sharla Biefeld

Discrimination | Peer-to-peer SOGIE-based and sexual harassment | Positive body image | Intersectionality | Weight bias




The developmental program is highly focused on research. The program uses a mentor model for research training in which students work with a specific faculty member whose research focus matches the students’ interests, although cross-lab collaboration is also encouraged. Students typically complete the program in five years.


Year 1 Year 2 Year 3 Year 4
Coursework in research methods, statistics, psychology seminars Complete master’s thesis Begin dissertation research Dissertation research
First-year project Continued coursework Teaching of Psychology course Teaching as a primary instructor
Master’s thesis research


Students in our program receive full funding for four academic years (this may be fewer for students entering with a master’s degree). Funding includes a monthly stipend for nine months, health insurance, and a full-tuition waiver. Stipends vary based on the type of financial support each student receives. Types of financial support include graduate assistantships (Research Assistant, Teaching Assistant), fellowships, or scholarships. Historically, funding has been available to support students in their fifth year, as well as during summers.

Funding is also provided by the department and the graduate school to travel to conferences each year and to conduct research.

Each year, the Graduate School also awards some fellowships to incoming students, which supplements the standard stipend. These include the Graduate Council Fellowship (GCF), McNair Graduate Fellowship, and the National Alumni Association License Tag Fellowship. Students do not apply for these fellowships, but rather are nominated or chosen by faculty after the student has been admitted into the program.



For questions about the program or how to apply, contact our program director, Dr. Andrea Glenn.

Contact Dr. Glenn


For questions about the program or how to apply, contact our program director, Dr. Andrea Glenn.

Contact Dr. Glenn