Developmental Psychology

The Developmental area studies social-emotional and cognitive development, from infancy through late life.

Additional Information

Choose a Concentration

You should pick 3 courses from 1 of these 3 sets of courses; can overlap to meet P&N department requirements:

  • Social Development
  • Social Psychology
  • Social Behavior & Personality
  • Theories of Developmental Psychology
  • Or other course approved by advisor/committee
  • Cognitive Development
  • Cognitive Psychology
  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Theories of Developmental Psychology
  • Or other course approved by advisor/committee
  • Behavioral and Computational Neuroscience
  • Animal Behavior course
  • Other course(s) approved by advisor/committee

Methods Requirement

You should take 1 methods course, one Stat course and 1 additional Stat or Method Course (Lab Journal Club can count towards a method course). Course options include:

  • Methods: (Psy 318, Psy 362 (fMRI))

  • Statistics: (e.g., Psy 366 Applied ANOVA, Psy 367 Applied Correlation & Regression,  Psy 368   Applied  Structural  Equation Modeling

Practicum Projects

You should complete a research practicum in 2 different labs in your first year in the program. These practicums can be method or content based and students can continue to work in their primary lab while conducting a practicum in a different lab.

Additional Requirements

Attend the developmental brownbag and give 2 talks (1 in third year and 2 in 5th year)

This is a possible scenario conforming to the P&N requirements and developmental area requirements:

  Fall Spring
Year 1
  • First Year Seminar
  • Concentration/Core Class 1
  • Practicum Project 1
  • First Year Seminar
  • Concentration/Core Class 2
  • Practicum Project 2
Year 2
  • Concentration/Core Class 3
  • Stat or Method Course
  • TAship 1
  • Concentration/Core Class 4
  • Stat or Method Course
  • TAship 2
Year 3*
  • Stat or Method Course
  • TAship 3
  • Defend "Major Area Paper" (MAP)
  • TAship 4
  • Brownbag Lecture 1
Year 4
  • Defend Dissertation Proposal
Year 5  
  • Defend Dissertation



UNC-Duke Collaborative Graduate Certificate Program in Developmental Psychology

The faculties in developmental psychology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and Duke University offer a collaborative approach to graduate training in developmental psychology: the UNC-Duke Collaborative Graduate Certificate Program in Developmental Psychology. Graduate students at Duke in the Department of Psychology & Neuroscience and students in UNC's Department of Psychology & Neuroscience can apply to this program that offers training opportunities in addition to those of their home department. Students in the certificate program attend developmental talks at both universities and have opportunities to take developmental seminars or engage in supplemental research training with the faculty of their non-home university. Among the research emphases of the participating faculty are cognitive development, social development, applied development, and developmental psychobiology. Students apply to the program by the beginning of their third year of graduate study.

Faculty from other areas of P&N or other departments may be involved in some way in graduate student training.  However, only the following faculty have the ability to admit Ph.D. students directly to this training program:

Please contact individuals for more information about admissions plans for the upcoming year - they may or may not be admitting!

If you wish to be in the Developmental area but your desired mentor does not appear on this list, please contact the area head Mike Tomasello to discuss your application.

Spring 2017

Meetings are held on Thursdays at 1:30-2:30 in Soc/Psych Room 329, unless announced otherwise

January 12: Paula Yust

Children's friendship beliefs: How do they relate to friendship experiences?

January 26: Wouter Wolf Joint attention and social bonding in children
February 2: Sarah Gaither

Multiple identity mindsets boost children’s flexible thinking

February 9: Charlotte Moore

What do infants know about phonological properties of nouns and verbs?
February 23: Steven Asher The social tasks of friendship: Do boys and girls excel in different tasks?
March 2: Kimberly Chiew

Investigating development of cognitive and affective processes with pupillometry methods

March 23: Shannon Dailey (note: room 319) Semantic relatedness effects in early word comprehension
March 30: Rita Svetlova Thinking about others: What can help children to be considerate?
April 6: No meeting - SRCD  
April 13: Reiko Mazuka Taking cross-linguistic differences seriously in infant speech perception: Acquisition of the Japanese sound system

April 20: SRCD round-up

May 4: Peter Ornstein  
May 18: open  
Please contact Rita Svetlova ( with any questions about the Developmental Brown Bag series.