BS in developmental psychology

Pursue a degree with a stronger emphasis on research. Replace the second language requirement with additional courses in developmental psychology. With a combination of intensive training in developmental psychology and in-depth directed research, you’ll be prepared for graduate study or a career in a variety of different fields. Our program is offered through the College of Liberal Arts (CLA).


Our curriculum will help you build a strong foundation in developmental psychology, writing, and research methods. Complete directed research and have the option to complete an internship experience.

Core courses cover topics including:

  • Social and personality development
  • Biological foundations of development
  • Perceptual development
  • Cognitive development
  • Language development and communication
  • Global issues on children and youth in society
  • Infant development
  • Adolescent psychology
  • Development and interpersonal relationships

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

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

Directed research

As part of your program, you’ll complete 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

Each student is responsible for securing a directed research placement in consultation with their academic advisor.

Explore our labs

Internship experience

As a student pursuing a BS in developmental psychology, you can complete an internship experience, where 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. You’ll also have an opportunity to develop your career skills working with children and youth.

If you choose to do an internship for credit, you are responsible for securing an internship placement in consultation with your academic advisor. We encourage students to choose an internship location that matches their career interests.

Examples of internship sites include:

  • after-school programs
  • children's hospitals,
  • mental/behavioral health clinics
  • clinics/hospitals
  • early childhood centers
  • government agencies
  • homeless shelters
  • museums
  • non-profit organizations
  • school districts

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


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), you'll 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

Olivia Sheehan
ICD has provided me with a range of knowledge in the developmental field along with exposure/experience to lab work as well as clinical work. I am now more confident in my academic performance and in my career path.

Olivia Sheehan
BS 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