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Students in the PhD program in Developmental Psychology at Laurier work closely with a faculty supervisor on an original program of research aimed to make a significant contribution in a specific subfield of developmental psychology.

Rather than requiring students to pass comprehensive exams as a part of their studies, the Laurier Developmental Psychology PhD program requires students to complete two comprehensive research projects each with faculty members other than their primary advisor. The purpose of these projects is for students to learn and benefit from the mentorship of other faculty, to experience new research methodologies, and to gain exposure to new research literatures in order to strengthen students' research profiles with presentations and publications in the broader field of developmental psychology.

After graduation (typically within three to four years), students will have acquired the necessary skills to apply for a teaching or research position at a college or university, as well as for positions outside the academic sector (e.g. governmental and non-governmental institutions).

Program Overview

You'll complete a minimum of seven half-credit courses, two comprehensive research experiences and a PhD thesis.

Required courses:

  • PS800: Advanced Seminar in Multivariate Methods
  • PS874: Advanced Seminar in Social Development
  • PS875: Advanced Seminar in Cognitive Development
  • All PhD candidates are required to participate in the following research seminars. The seminars will have a component devoted to training in teaching. The seminars are taken in each of the first 3 years of the PhD program (I, II and III in year 1, 2 and 3, respectively) and are marked on a pass/fail basis:
    • PS856: Research Seminar in Developmental Psychology I
    • PS857: Research Seminar in Developmental Psychology II
    • PS858: Research Seminar in Developmental Psychology III
  • PS891: Comprehensive Research Experience I
  • PS899: Dissertation

Choose an elective:

To provide greater breadth of perspective in students’ dissertation areas, students must complete one elective course, which can be an additional comprehensive research experience (PS892), or an elective content course from another field in the PhD program, or from other graduate course offerings at Laurier or graduate programs at other institutions.

Faculty with Supervisory Status

In the Developmental Psychology field, faculty members with supervisory status conduct experimental, observational, and applied research in cognitive development; language and mathematics development; reading acquisition; moral and personality development; and developmental issues related to educational, health and forensic psychology.

Contact Us:

For more information about the programs in Developmental and/or Social Psychology, as well as admissions-related inquiries, email rsharkey@wlu.ca.


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