Department of Psychology at Illinois State University


Program Requirements

After reviewing the information on this website, we invite you to apply for admission to the Master's Degree Sequence in Developmental Psychology at Illinois State University. The various forms, deadlines and other information needed to complete an application for graduate admission can be found at the department's Master's Degree Application website.

Questions concerning the Developmental Sequence that are not answered on this website should be directed to Dr. Corinne Zimmerman, coordinator of the Master's Degree Sequence in Developmental Psychology. Minority students are encouraged to apply.

Sequence Description

The Master's Degree Sequence in Developmental Psychology focuses on the scientific study of stability and change in biological, cognitive, emotional, and social functioning across the life span. This approach to development is distinctly ecological and interdisciplinary. The curriculum provides in-depth exposure to developmental theories, methodologies, and applications.

Two options are available. A pre-doctoral option is designed to prepare students for advanced graduate study and to facilitate entry into academic careers. An applied option is designed for students who plan to enter careers in a diverse array of community settings that provide human services necessitating training in Developmental Psychology. Both options require the completion of a master's thesis.

Undergraduate prerequisites

The sequence requires 21 hours of undergraduate credit in psychology, including:

  • Introductory Psychology
  • Research Methods/Experimental Psychology
  • At least one course in Developmental Psychology (infancy and childhood, adolescence, adulthood, or aging)
  • Statistics for the Social Sciences
  • Finite Mathematics or Precalculus or a grade of "B" in a statistics course or a quantitative score of 144 or more on the Graduate Record Exam (GRE)

Graduate Degree Requirements

Students Starting fall 2014 and later

The sequence includes 36 credit hours (20 required; 16 electives)

  • PSY 331.01 Studies in Experimental Psychology - Developmental
  • PSY 440 Statistics: Data Analysis and Methodology
  • PSY 452 Seminar in Advanced Developmental Psychology (infancy and childhood)
  • PSY 453 Seminar in Adolescent Development
  • PSY 428 Professional Seminar in Developmental Psychology (4 credit hours)
  • PSY 499 Master's Thesis (4 credit hours minimum)

Suggested Electives

Your choice of electives should be guided by the type of career you are interested in pursuing. You should discuss this choice with your thesis committee chair and/or the course instructor to determine which course(s) best suit your needs.

Pre-Doctoral Focus

  • PSY 400 Independent Study
  • PSY 418 Learning and Cognition
  • PSY 420 Theories of Personality
  • PSY 441 Experimental Design
  • PSY 442 Test Theory
  • PSY 443 Regression Analysis
  • PSY 444 Multivariate Analysis
  • PSY 445 Covariance Structure Modeling
  • PSY 455 Cognitive Science
  • PSY 491 Internship in College Teaching
  • SOC 469.10 Seminar in Sociology, Personal Relationships/Family
  • WS 490 Feminist Theories and Methodological Issues

Applied Focus

  • PSY 432 Cognitive Assessment
  • PSY 451 Psychology of Diversity
  • PSY 464 Theories and Techniques of Counseling: Adults
  • PSY 491 Internship in College Teaching
  • PSY 498 Professional Practice (1-12 semester hours)
  • SOC 411 Seminar in Gerontology
  • You may elect to take particular statistics course(s) (e.g., PSY 441, 442, 443, 444) based on the type of thesis research you propose.

Progress Report

All students receive feedback on degree progress. In order to facilitate this feedback, students will submit a completed progress report (MS Word) and Masters' Degree Audit to the Sequence Coordinator that is due by August 31. Students will receive a written evaluation of their progress.

Graduate Certificate in Social Aspects of Aging

Students interested in aging are encouraged to pursue the Graduate Certificate in Social Aspects of Aging in conjunction with the master's degree in Developmental Psychology. This multidisciplinary sequence is designed to offer graduate students in Developmental Psychology additional academically and professionally oriented experiences in gerontology.

Graduate Certificate in Women's and Gender Studies

Students interested in women and gender are encouraged to pursue the Graduate Certificate in Women's and Gender Studies. This interdisciplinary certificate is designed to offer students in Developmental Psychology additional academic exposure to feminist theories and methods.