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Developmental Psychology Specialization Doctor of Philosophy in Psychology

Harold Abel School of Psychology

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Twenty-Four Required Courses

 

 

At least 107 quarter credits

 

Residency Requirement(s):

Three ten-week courses with a four-day embedded residency experience (PSY-R8925, PSY-R8926, PSY-R8927). See university policy 3.04.05 Attendance at Residencies and the Residencies page on Campus for more information. Also see each graduate school’s residency courses.

Core courses:

PSY8002
Foundations of Theory and Practice for Doctoral Psychology Learners

In this course, learners improve their ability to navigate the virtual campus and become familiar with library, career center, and writing center resources. Learners identify the educational steps and requirements necessary for successfully completing the doctoral degree program in their chosen specialization; review their specialization’s requirements, associated professional roles and organizations, and ethics and professional standards; and articulate a professional identity based on doctoral-level psychology training. For PhD in Psychology learners only. Must be taken during the learner’s first quarter. Cannot be fulfilled by transfer.

5 quarter credits
PSY7115
Research Foundations of History and Systems in Psychology

Learners in this course explore historical and contemporary schools of thought such as behavioral, humanistic, and psychodynamic psychology. In particular, learners begin the process of becoming independent researchers by developing a dissertation topic that is appropriate for their specialization and aligned with foundational theories within their chosen school of thought. For PhD learners in Psychology only. Cannot be fulfilled by transfer.

5 quarter credits
PSY7868
Qualitative Design and Analysis

Learners in this course assess the fundamental concepts needed to conduct qualitative research. Learners practice qualitative research techniques; appropriate applications of qualitative research; the strengths and weaknesses of qualitative research design, sampling, and analysis and their associated interdependencies; and leverage technology when applicable. Learners also determine the steps necessary to ensure human subjects protection, and consider methodological adaptations when conducting research with vulnerable and diverse populations. Cannot be fulfilled by transfer.

5 quarter credits
PSY8625 *
Advanced Inferential Statistics

Learners in this advanced course examine a variety of statistical analyses, including statistical power and effect size in research design, factorial and repeated measures of analysis of variance (ANOVA), analysis of covariance (ANCOVA), selected nonparametric analyses, and bivariate and multiple regression. Learners are expected to have proficiency in the use of statistical software appropriate to dissertation-level research. Prerequisite(s): PSY7864. Cannot be fulfilled by transfer.

5 quarter credits
PSY8658 *
Quantitative Research Methods in Psychology

In this course, learners synthesize knowledge of quantitative research methodology and use it to develop a quantitative research design that may form the basis of their dissertation research project. Learners compare their quantitative research design to a previously developed qualitative design on a similar topic and identify and justify the methodology most appropriate for investigating their research topic. For PsyD and PhD in Psychology learners only. Prerequisite(s): PSY7860, PSY7868. Cannot be fulfilled by transfer.

5 quarter credits

PSY-R8925
PhD Dissertation Research Seminar Track 1

The intensive, ten-week PhD Dissertation Research Seminar Track 1 includes both an online courseroom and a face-to-face weekend residency experience. Learners interact with peers and faculty as they participate in online courseroom and weekend residency activities that emphasize applying the research skills necessary to initiate the development of a dissertation research plan. Throughout the course, learners focus on identifying a theory, topic, and research problem appropriate for their specialization. Track 1 learners must also complete PhD Dissertation Milestone 1 (Research Ethics Education). Following the weekend residency experience, learners complete a final assessment that demonstrates Track 1 learning outcomes. For PhD in Psychology learners only. Should be taken concurrently with PSY7115. Cannot be fulfilled by transfer.

3 quarter credits
PSY-R8926 *
PhD Dissertation Research Seminar Track 2

The intensive, ten-week PhD Dissertation Research Seminar Track 2 includes both an online courseroom and a face-to-face weekend residency experience. Learners interact with peers and faculty as they participate in online courseroom and weekend residency activities that emphasize applying the research skills necessary to develop a research question and to select an appropriate dissertation topic. In Track 2, learners complete PhD Dissertation Milestone 2 (Topic Approval). Following the weekend residency experience, learners complete a final assessment that demonstrates Track 2 learning outcomes. For PhD in Psychology learners only. Prerequisite(s): PSY-R8925. Should be taken concurrently with PSY7868. Cannot be fulfilled by transfer.

3 quarter credits
PSY-R8927 *
PhD Dissertation Research Seminar Track 3

The intensive, ten-week PhD Dissertation Seminar Track 3 includes both an online courseroom and a face-to-face weekend residency experience. Learners interact with peers and faculty as they participate in online courseroom and weekend residency activities that emphasize applying the research skills necessary to detail a methodological design, sampling plan, and strategy for data analysis. In Track 3, learners complete PhD Dissertation Milestone 5 (Research Plan Approval). Following the weekend residency experience, learners complete a final assessment that demonstrates Track 3 learning outcomes. Learners must complete Track 3 prior to beginning the comprehensive examination phase of the program. For PhD in Psychology learners only. Prerequisite(s): PSY-R8926. Should be taken concurrently with PSY8658. Cannot be fulfilled by transfer.

3 quarter credits

Choose one from the following three courses:

PSY7210
Lifespan Development

In this course, learners gain and apply knowledge of lifespan development from infancy through adulthood, including human development processes and milestones. Learners evaluate theories and approaches for examining human development and analyze human development processes related to their specialization.

5 quarter credits
PSY7543 *
Ethics and Multicultural Issues in Psychology

In this course, learners analyze multicultural perspectives and factors such as ethnicity, socioeconomic status, and gender, and their influences on the ethical behavior of psychology professionals. Learners evaluate and articulate multicultural issues within the context of different settings and practice applying ethical reasoning principles and standards within their profession. Prerequisite(s): PSY5002 or PSY5005 or PSY8002.

5 quarter credits
PSY7610
Tests and Measurements

This course focuses on essential concepts, principles, applications, and social and theoretical issues of psychological testing. Learners gain understanding in the construction of tests; analyze the development and use of tests in measuring aptitudes, achievement, attitudes, interests, and personality; and identify underlying theories of various tests. Learners analyze the characteristics desired in psychological and educational tests, with particular emphasis on reliability and validity, and examine best practices and professional standards for educational and psychological testing, including test bias and fairness. In addition, learners study the role of technology in delivery, administration, scoring, and interpretation of tests.

5 quarter credits

Choose one from the following two courses:

PSY8626 *
Multivariate Statistics: Theory and Application

This course focuses on the theory and application of multivariate statistics, including discriminant analysis, factor (components) analysis, multiple analysis of variance (MANOVA), and logistic regression. Using SPSS, learners perform and interpret the results of these analyses. Learners also apply multivariate analysis, read and understand research results in peer-reviewed psychology journals, and utilize SPSS to produce output consistent with the correct parameters and assumptions of specific multivariate procedures. In addition, learners have the option of exploring the mathematical aspects of multivariate and inferential statistics theory and application. Prerequisite(s): PSY8625.

5 quarter credits
PSY8635 *
Advanced Qualitative Analysis

This course extends the topics covered in PSY7868 by further exploring the philosophical underpinnings of qualitative research and inquiry and emphasizes effective execution of the six school-approved dissertation research methodologies: ethnography, case study, grounded-theory phenomenology, heuristics, and generic qualitative research. Learners examine primary source references, books, and journal articles written by the developers of the six methodologies and gain an understanding of their nuances and applications. This course is designed to prepare learners to develop and conduct their own qualitative study for a dissertation. Prerequisite(s): PSY7868.

5 quarter credits

Specialization courses:

DHA8008
Health Care Policy Processes

In this course, learners investigate the impacts of health care policy and legislation on the availability of, access to, and cost of U.S. health care. Learners examine the implications and consequences of specific health care legislation; analyze the values and assumptions underlying changing priorities in health planning and resource allocation; evaluate the combined effects of social, economic, ethical, legal, and political forces on health care; and assess ways of addressing current gaps in health care policy. 

6 quarter credits
MPH5506
Social and Behavioral Foundations in Public Health

Learners in this course explore social and behavioral science theories and concepts applied to population health. Learners identify and increase their understanding of the biological, social, economic, behavioral, and environmental factors that influence the health of individuals, populations, and subgroups. Learners also examine the resources needed to develop social and behavioral policies and public health evidenced-based programs to reduce disparities and improve health.

4 quarter credits
NHS6004
Health Care Law and Policy

In this course, learners examine the political, legal, and regulatory issues impacting health care organizations and environments. Learners analyze the effects of health care policy on health care practice and service delivery, with particular emphasis on the strategies used to monitor and maintain legal and regulatory compliance. Learners also identify and apply health care policy and law concepts that promote organizational improvement.

4 quarter credits
PSY7510
Psychology of Personality

This course is an examination of personality development from the perspective of several theoretical orientations: psychodynamic, humanistic/ existential, dispositional, and learning theory. Learners analyze and evaluate these theories and consider how other factors such as culture and gender contribute to personality development. This course also allows learners to apply personality theory to their professional practice.

5 quarter credits
PSY9001
Research in Psychology

Learners in this course engage in advanced study and research of a specialization-specific topic. Throughout the course, learners apply research, professional, and academic ethics through individual and group research tasks. The course includes participation in a faculty-directed research project. Prerequisite(s): Completion of or concurrent registration in PSY7868.

5 quarter credits
PUAD7035 *
Public Sector Policy Analysis

Learners in this course gain knowledge of differing theories associated with organizational structure, organizational environments, and organizational leadership in public sector settings. Learners also determine ways to effectively apply theories and skills needed to collaborate with diverse populations; manage human, technological, information, financial, political, and networking resources; analyze and formulate appropriate responses to public administration, public health, and public safety issues; communicate clearly and effectively; and maintain professional ethics and integrity. Prerequisite(s): PSL7030 and PUAD7015; or PSY8002. 

4 quarter credits

Upon completion of all required coursework:

PSY9919 *
Doctoral Comprehensive Examination

This course includes an overview of the comprehensive examination process, the university’s expectations of academic honesty and integrity, the three core themes of the examination, and the evaluation criteria. The courseroom mentor provides three questions addressing the core themes and learners write answers to the comprehensive examination questions. Answers are evaluated by faculty readers using pointscale scoring rubrics. Upon passing the comprehensive examination, learners are eligible to register for the first dissertation course. Grading for this course is S/NS. Prerequisite(s): Completion of all required and elective coursework with a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or better. Completion of practicum courses, if applicable. Fulfillment of all residency requirements. Cannot be fulfilled by transfer.

3 quarter credits

Learners must register for PSY9960 a minimum of four times to fulfill their specialization requirements.

PSY9960 *
Dissertation Courseroom

This course provides learners with resources, guidance, and peer and mentor support during each dissertation course as they complete the required milestones. Grading for this course is S/NS. Learners must register for this course a minimum of four times to fulfill their specialization requirements. Prerequisite(s): PSY9919. Cannot be fulfilled by transfer.

3 quarter credits

In addition, choose one of the following recommended Developmental Psychology concentrations:

For an Adulthood and Aging concentration:

HS5510
Survey of Current Issues in Gerontology

This course provides an overview of the major theories and concepts of gerontology. Learners study the behavioral, psychological, and social effects of aging and their impact on individuals, families, communities, public policy, and leadership. Learners also evaluate current research on aging, advocacy, public policy, continuum of care, and leadership.

4 quarter credits
HS5514
Social and Cultural Aspects of Aging

The focus of this course is on the social, cultural, and ecological influences of aging and the experiences of individuals across the aging spectrum. Learners evaluate the perceptions and treatment of older adults from a cultural perspective and identify cultural biases toward the aging population. Learners also examine the effects of socioeconomic status, rapid social change, ethnicity, and gender on individual and community perception and treatment of older adults.

4 quarter credits
HS5526
The Family in Later Life

This course provides an examination of the evolution of the role of the family within a social context. Learners explore family diversity from a cultural, gender, socioeconomic, and leadership perspective. Course topics include family rules; family member roles and functions; intergenerational family relationships; the effects of economic, political, and social policy on family life; and supportive resources for older families.

4 quarter credits
HS8478
The Family in Social Context

Learners in this course examine families from a systems perspective and explore the dynamics and systems influencing family structures. Learners also identify the leadership skills needed to work with diverse family groups and the challenges faced by human services professionals.

4 quarter credits
PSY7210
Lifespan Development

In this course, learners gain and apply knowledge of lifespan development from infancy through adulthood, including human development processes and milestones. Learners evaluate theories and approaches for examining human development and analyze human development processes related to their specialization.

5 quarter credits

For a Child and Adolescent Development concentration:

PSY6010
Human Prenatal Development

This course provides learners with an overview of prenatal and postnatal development through the first three months of life. Learners analyze genetic and reproductive technology and articulate its impact on families and society. Learners review and demonstrate their knowledge of the stages of prenatal development (embryonic and fetal), focusing specifically on brain development and fetal life. In addition, learners examine various prenatal illnesses and physical problems resulting from birth complications. The course presents research, theory, and best practices related to promoting healthy newborn and infant development.

5 quarter credits
PSY6020 *
Topics in Child and Adolescent Development

Learners in this course critically evaluate and apply theory and research to child and adolescent development issues and current topics. Learners analyze the impact of policy and legislation in areas such as education, health, mental health, the military, media, and the economy on child and adolescent developmental outcomes and advocate for issues related to policy and legislation that improve the lives of children and adolescents. Prerequisite(s): PSY6010; PSY7220 or PSY7230.

5 quarter credits
PSY7230
Adolescent Psychology

In this course, learners gain and apply knowledge of the developmental stages from early adolescence to emerging adulthood. Learners evaluate and articulate the physical, psychosocial, emotional, sexual, moral, and cognitive changes associated with adolescent development and examine the ways in which adolescent development is influenced by family, society, and culture. Learners also assess the evolving needs of adolescents and apply theory and research in order to recommend appropriate responses to those needs.

5 quarter credits
PSY8150
Exceptional Children in the Classroom

In this course, learners examine different disabling conditions in children and adolescents and study their theoretical perspectives, characteristics, etiology, assessment, and remediation. Learners also explore recent trends in the field, research-based interventions, and the predominant special education law that impacts the practice of school psychology.

5 quarter credits

For a Lifespan concentration, choose at least 20 quarter credits of coursework from the following eight courses:

HS5510
Survey of Current Issues in Gerontology

This course provides an overview of the major theories and concepts of gerontology. Learners study the behavioral, psychological, and social effects of aging and their impact on individuals, families, communities, public policy, and leadership. Learners also evaluate current research on aging, advocacy, public policy, continuum of care, and leadership.

4 quarter credits
HS5514
Social and Cultural Aspects of Aging

The focus of this course is on the social, cultural, and ecological influences of aging and the experiences of individuals across the aging spectrum. Learners evaluate the perceptions and treatment of older adults from a cultural perspective and identify cultural biases toward the aging population. Learners also examine the effects of socioeconomic status, rapid social change, ethnicity, and gender on individual and community perception and treatment of older adults.

4 quarter credits
HS5526
The Family in Later Life

This course provides an examination of the evolution of the role of the family within a social context. Learners explore family diversity from a cultural, gender, socioeconomic, and leadership perspective. Course topics include family rules; family member roles and functions; intergenerational family relationships; the effects of economic, political, and social policy on family life; and supportive resources for older families.

4 quarter credits
HS8478
The Family in Social Context

Learners in this course examine families from a systems perspective and explore the dynamics and systems influencing family structures. Learners also identify the leadership skills needed to work with diverse family groups and the challenges faced by human services professionals.

4 quarter credits
PSY6010
Human Prenatal Development

This course provides learners with an overview of prenatal and postnatal development through the first three months of life. Learners analyze genetic and reproductive technology and articulate its impact on families and society. Learners review and demonstrate their knowledge of the stages of prenatal development (embryonic and fetal), focusing specifically on brain development and fetal life. In addition, learners examine various prenatal illnesses and physical problems resulting from birth complications. The course presents research, theory, and best practices related to promoting healthy newborn and infant development.

5 quarter credits
PSY6020 *
Topics in Child and Adolescent Development

Learners in this course critically evaluate and apply theory and research to child and adolescent development issues and current topics. Learners analyze the impact of policy and legislation in areas such as education, health, mental health, the military, media, and the economy on child and adolescent developmental outcomes and advocate for issues related to policy and legislation that improve the lives of children and adolescents. Prerequisite(s): PSY6010; PSY7220 or PSY7230.

5 quarter credits
PSY7210
Lifespan Development

In this course, learners gain and apply knowledge of lifespan development from infancy through adulthood, including human development processes and milestones. Learners evaluate theories and approaches for examining human development and analyze human development processes related to their specialization.

5 quarter credits
PSY7230
Adolescent Psychology

In this course, learners gain and apply knowledge of the developmental stages from early adolescence to emerging adulthood. Learners evaluate and articulate the physical, psychosocial, emotional, sexual, moral, and cognitive changes associated with adolescent development and examine the ways in which adolescent development is influenced by family, society, and culture. Learners also assess the evolving needs of adolescents and apply theory and research in order to recommend appropriate responses to those needs.

5 quarter credits

 

 

Total

 

 

At least 107 quarter credits

* Denotes courses that have prerequisite(s). Refer to the descriptions for further details.

Please note that some courses within this program have prerequisites that are not listed as required courses, which may increase the total number of courses needed to complete this program.

What can I expect?

Each unit consists of readings, discussions, and other activities you will be expected to complete throughout the week. Assignments are due on Sundays, though not every course requires an assignment each week.

In each course, you will receive a detailed scoring guide that describes expectations for every graded assignment.

Grades are based on your participation in weekly reading discussions and completion of assignments. You will also be assessed on your ability to demonstrate an understanding of expected outcomes for your program or specialization. These outcomes are based on the needs and performance standards of your field or discipline.

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PhD in Developmental Psychology Online Program | Courses - Capella University

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