BA in developmental psychology

Build a liberal arts foundation and pursue a degree that emphasizes an applied approach to developmental psychology. Take courses in areas such as social work, youth studies, early childhood education, public health, or cultural anthropology. Complete an internship or directed research experience. With a combination of training in developmental psychology and an internship or research experience, you’ll be prepared for careers or additional training in areas like early childhood education, counseling, and human service programs.

Our program is offered through the College of Liberal Arts (CLA). Students are required to meet CLA’s second language requirement of completing four semesters of any second language.


Our curriculum will help you build a strong foundation in developmental psychology, writing, and applied statistics and methods. Complete an internship experience or directed research.

Select from courses on topics including:

  • Social and personality development
  • Global issues on children and youth in society
  • Early Childhood Education
  • Disabilities and development
  • Perceptual development
  • Cognitive development
  • Development and interpersonal relationships
  • Language development
  • Infant development
  • Adolescent psychology

View the full curriculum for a BA in developmental psychology (University Catalog)

View syllabi of previous child psychology courses (Google folder - UMN login required)

Complete an internship or directed research

As a child psychology student pursuing a BA degree, you’ll complete an internship or directed experience. Each student is responsible for securing an internship or directed research placement in consultation with their academic advisor.


During an internship experience, you’ll work with children in a community setting. Through your internship, you’ll apply what you’ve learned in child psychology courses to real-world experiences. Internship sites may include:

  • after-school programs or summer camps
  • clinics/hospitals
  • early childhood centers
  • homeless shelters
  • museums or libraries
  • non-profit organizations

Learn more about completing an internship experience (Google site - U of M login required)

Directed research

During directed research, you’ll work as a research assistant (RA) for a lab at the Institute of Child Development. RAs are responsible for various tasks, depending on the lab. Tasks may include:

  • coding and tabulating data
  • scheduling and confirming appointments
  • sitting with siblings during research experiments
  • performing library research
  • assisting with or running research participant interviews
  • assisting in planning and carrying out studies

Explore our labs


Choose to pursue an honors sequence as part of your developmental psychology major. Honors students complete both an honors seminar (CPSY 3360H) and an honors thesis course (CPSY 4994V), in addition to the Honors requirements outside the major. During the thesis course, students carry out their honors research project in arrangement with an ICD faculty member.

Learn more about the University Honors Program

Learning abroad

Consider learning abroad as part of your developmental psychology major. As a learning abroad student, you’ll have the chance to immerse yourself in a different culture, advance your education, and experience child development across cultures through classes and internships in places like France, Denmark, London, or Australia.

Visit our learning abroad page to explore program options

Did you know that ICD administers its own study abroad program? In the Cross-Cultural Experiences in Education and English Teaching in Brazil program (CPSY 5981), co-teach in an early childhood, elementary, or junior high classroom, spend three weeks learning Portuguese in the coastal city of Salvador, and then live in a smaller city where you'll teach English.

Explore the program

We're driven to make a difference

Emily Stone
Taking classes through ICD has been amazing because I am pushed by my professors and peers and fully supported by them at the same time. Everyone in ICD has so many experiences to share, it adds to my learning in the best way!

Emily Stone
BA in developmental psychology student

Tuition and funding

Visit OneStop Student Services to learn more about tuition and financing.

Visit the College of Liberal Arts (CLA) financial aid and scholarships page to find out more about CLA-specific opportunities.

Anne D. Pick Award for Outstanding Child Development Major

The Anne D. Pick Award honors Professor Anne Pick’s commitment to undergraduate students and their education. Students who major in developmental psychology at ICD are eligible to receive the Anne D. Pick award. Recipients of the award receive a certificate and a scholarship of $500 and up to $750 in travel/research funds. Students also have their name inscribed on a plaque at ICD. Students who have reached their maximum financial aid award aren't eligible for the $500 scholarship, but are eligible for up to $750 in travel/research funds. Learn more

Get started

First-year student admissions

First-year student admissions are handled through the University Admissions Office. You're considered a first-year student if you graduated high school and are starting your first-year of college at the U of M.

Additional deadline information

Application checklist

Transfer admissions

If you're interested in transferring to CLA, review their transfer admissions website.

You're considered a transfer student if you've registered or enrolled at a college, university, or any other school after graduating from high school. Current UMN students who are not in CLA are also considered transfer students.

Declare or add a major

Are you a current U of M student who'd like to declare or add a developmental psychology major? Please visit our developmental psychology student resources Google site for further information (U of M login required).

If you'd like to add a minor in developmental psychology, visit our developmental psychology minor page for information on requirements and the declaration process.

Major declaration video thumbnail

Google site - U of M login required