Training Program
The Lifespan Developmental Psychology Program is a research-training program. All components of the program are geared towards advancing the student's ability to conduct research. Training in our program exposes students to issues of development in its natural social contexts (e.g., in the school, home, workplace) as well as in laboratories. Graduate students study developmental aspects of behavioral systems, family systems, and individual capabilities and competencies throughout development. The program is designed to be completed in 4-5 years of full-time studies. We only admit students who can commit to full-time studies through the duration of the program.

Faculty Mentor
A critical feature in our training program is that each student has a faculty mentor, who is responsible for guiding the student through the program and teaching the student how to function as a developmental scientist. The faculty mentor-doctoral student relationship is formed by mutual consent usually upon admission to the program. This relationship may remain throughout the training program, but some students change mentor or add a co-mentor at some point.

Therefore it is important that a student can identify a faculty member whose research is of significant interest to him or her at the time of applying to our program. Consult the faculty descriptions for more information about current research. The doctoral student develops a systematic line of research in collaboration with one (or more) faculty mentors, and in the process completes the research requirements for the PhD. Students are actively engaged in research every semester, including summers.

Major Requirements
Students enter the program with either a Bachelor's or Master's degree. Under the direction of faculty mentors, students not already holding a Master's degree complete a Master's thesis research project (to be submitted for publication) during the first one or two years of the program. The student then completes the qualifying exam/admission to candidacy for the PhD degree. The final requirement is of course the completion of a doctoral dissertation, which is to be an independent, substantial scientific contribution to knowledge in a specific area of inquiry. While there are (for most students) two required research project (Thesis and Dissertation), students are expected to be continuously involved in research in collaboration with the mentor and complete projects that can be published.

Course Curriculum
In addition to these major requirements, students complete a course curriculum. Through a core curriculum of developmental psychology, statistics, research design, and general psychology, students develop a solid foundation in the history, methods, theory, and current research in developmental psychology. Since the advancement of developmental psychology as a science and as a long-term solution of applied developmental problems requires contributions from a variety of disciplines, training occurs in an interdisciplinary context and students often complete coursework in other departments (e.g., education, public health).