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Twin Cities Campus

Developmental Psychology Minor

CLA Dean's Office
College of Liberal Arts
  • Program Type: Undergraduate minor related to major
  • Requirements for this program are current for Spring 2023
  • Required credits in this minor: 16
Developmental psychology (formerly child psychology) studies behavioral development across the lifespan. Complete coursework in topic areas including social and emotional development, cognitive development, language development, emotional and behavioral disorders, and biological development. Supplement your major by gaining expertise in child development, and prepare for graduate study or a meaningful career in a field that impacts the lives of children, youth, and families. The Institute of Child Development offers a bachelor of arts (BA), a bachelor of science (BS), and a minor in developmental psychology through the College of Liberal Arts (CLA).
Program Delivery
This program is available:
  • via classroom (the majority of instruction is face-to-face)
Admission Requirements
For information about University of Minnesota admission requirements, visit the Office of Admissions website.
Required prerequisites
Introduction to Child Psychology
This requirement may be in progress in order to declare the minor.
Take exactly 1 course(s) totaling exactly 4 credit(s) from the following:
· CPSY 2301 - Introduction to Developmental Psychology [SOCS] (4.0 cr)
or CPSY 3301 - Introduction to Developmental Psychology [SOCS] (4.0 cr)
or CPSY 3301H - Honors Introduction to Developmental Psychology [SOCS] (4.0 cr)
Minor Requirements
Students may earn no more than one undergraduate degree in Developmental Psychology: a BA, a BS, or a minor. Students may combine the Developmental Psychology minor with the BA or the BS in Psychology.
Core Course
Take exactly 1 course(s) totaling exactly 3 credit(s) from the following:
Social Development
Take 0 - 1 course(s) from the following:
· CPSY 4331 - Social and Personality Development (3.0 cr)
· CPSY 4336 - Development and Interpersonal Relationships (3.0 cr)
· Cognitive Development
Take 0 - 1 course(s) from the following:
· CPSY 4341 - Perceptual Development (3.0 cr)
· CPSY 4343 - Cognitive Development (3.0 cr)
· CPSY 4345 - Language Development and Communication (3.0 cr)
· Biological Development
Take 0 - 1 course(s) from the following:
· CPSY 4329 - Biological Foundations of Development (3.0 cr)
Electives
No single course may count twice in the minor.
Take 9 or more credit(s) from the following:
· CPSY 1301 - Nature-Based Learning in Early Childhood (3.0 cr)
· CPSY 1334 - Global Issues on Children and Youth in Society [CIV] (3.0 cr)
· CPSY 2310 - Special Topics in Child Development (1.0-4.0 cr)
· CPSY 3308W - Introduction to Research Methods in Child Psychology [WI] (4.0 cr)
· CPSY 3401 - Children, Youth, and Media (3.0 cr)
· CPSY 3601 - Introduction to Child Life Theory and Practice (3.0 cr)
· CPSY 4302 - Infant Development (3.0 cr)
· CPSY 4303 - Adolescent Psychology (3.0 cr)
· CPSY 4310 - Special Topics in Developmental Psychology (1.0-4.0 cr)
· CPSY 4311 - Behavioral and Emotional Problems of Children (3.0 cr)
· CPSY 4313W - Disabilities and Development [WI] (4.0 cr)
· CPSY 4314 - Trauma-Informed Care Practices in Early Childhood (3.0 cr)
· CPSY 4315 - Practicum in Early Childhood Trauma-Informed Care (2.0 cr)
· CPSY 4329 - Biological Foundations of Development (3.0 cr)
· CPSY 4331 - Social and Personality Development (3.0 cr)
· CPSY 4336 - Development and Interpersonal Relationships (3.0 cr)
· CPSY 4341 - Perceptual Development (3.0 cr)
· CPSY 4343 - Cognitive Development (3.0 cr)
· CPSY 4345 - Language Development and Communication (3.0 cr)
· CPSY 5241 - Field Experience in Early Childhood Education (3.0 cr)
· CPSY 5252 - Facilitating Social and Emotional Learning in Early Childhood Education (3.0 cr)
· CPSY 5253 - Facilitating Cognitive and Language Learning in Early Childhood Education (3.0 cr)
· CPSY 5254 - Facilitating Creative and Motor Learning in Early Childhood Education (2.0 cr)
· CPSY 5261 - Early Learning in Infancy and Toddlerhood (3.0 cr)
· Experiential Electives
If selected as an elective, take no more than 3 credits combined from either of the following courses.
Take 0 - 3 credit(s) from the following:
· CPSY 3896 - Internship in Child Psychology (1.0-4.0 cr)
· CPSY 4994 - Directed Research in Developmental Psychology (1.0-4.0 cr)
 
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CPSY 2301 - Introduction to Developmental Psychology (SOCS)
Credits: 4.0 [max 4.0]
Course Equivalencies: CPsy 2301/ 3301/ H
Typically offered: Every Fall, Spring & Summer
This course will examine normative physical, social, and cognitive development from the prenatal period through adolescence. The major goals include fostering an understanding of the usefulness of a developmental approach to psychological issues, familiarizing students with current research and methodology in developmental psychology, and engaging students in the experiences of developmental psychology through observation and analysis of child behavior. PSY majors should take the cross-listed course CPSY 3301.
CPSY 3301 - Introduction to Developmental Psychology (SOCS)
Credits: 4.0 [max 4.0]
Course Equivalencies: CPsy 2301/ 3301/ H
Typically offered: Every Fall, Spring & Summer
This course will examine normative physical, social, and cognitive development from the prenatal period through adolescence. The major goals include fostering an understanding of the usefulness of a developmental approach to psychological issues, familiarizing students with current research and methodology in child psychology, and engaging students in the experiences of developmental psychology through observation and analysis of child behavior. This course is intended for non-Child Psychology/Early Childhood majors. Those majors should take the cross-listed course CPSY 2301.
CPSY 3301H - Honors Introduction to Developmental Psychology (SOCS)
Credits: 4.0 [max 4.0]
Course Equivalencies: CPsy 2301/ 3301/ H
Grading Basis: A-F only
Typically offered: Every Spring
This course will examine normative physical, social, and cognitive development from the prenatal period through adolescence. The major goals include fostering an understanding of the usefulness of a developmental approach to psychological issues, familiarizing students with current research and methodology in developmental psychology, and engaging students in the experiences of developmental psychology through observation and analysis of child behavior. This course is intended for University Honors Program students both within and outside of the Developmental Psych/Early Childhood programs.
CPSY 4331 - Social and Personality Development
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Every Fall & Spring
Development of social relations and personality; research, methodology, and contrasting theoretical perspectives. Survey of findings on interpersonal relationships, the concept of self, prosocial and antisocial behavior, and acquisition of social roles. prereq: CPSY 2301 / 3301 or equiv
CPSY 4336 - Development and Interpersonal Relationships
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Every Fall
Processes and functions of interactions with personal relationships across the lifespan; analysis of theory and research on developmental changes and influences.
CPSY 4341 - Perceptual Development
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Typically offered: Every Fall
Study how children learn to perceive and experience the world. Explore different approaches to studying brain function and the development of the sensory and perceptual systems and processes with focus on infant perception and the neurobiology of how the senses work. Cover a variety of developmental disorders of sensation and perception: learn about normal brain function by studying abnormal brain function. prereq: CPSY 2301 / 3301 or equiv
CPSY 4343 - Cognitive Development
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Every Fall & Spring
Introduction to the scientific study of cognitive development (children's thinking) from infancy through adolescence. Focus on research and practical applications. Specific topic areas include infant perception and cognition, attention and memory development, language and symbolic thinking, social cognition, executive function. prereq: CPSY 2301 or 3301 or equivalent
CPSY 4345 - Language Development and Communication
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Every Spring
How do children acquire language? Learn about acquisition of phonology (the sound system of the language), semantics (the meaning of units in the language), syntax (the structure of sentences), morphology (the structure of words, phrases, and sentences), and pragmatics (language use). Study English learning along with the acquisition of other spoken and signed languages. prereq: CPSY 2301 / 3301 or equiv
CPSY 4329 - Biological Foundations of Development
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Every Spring
Evolutionary theory and behavioral genetics applied to understanding of development of human behavior; formation of species-typical adaptive behavior and individual differences in infancy, childhood, and adolescence. prereq: CPSY 2301 / 3301 or equiv
CPSY 1301 - Nature-Based Learning in Early Childhood
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Every Fall
This course is intended for undergraduate students throughout the University of Minnesota to develop an understanding of the connection between early childhood, development, and nature-based learning and play. Students will learn, through an exploration of national standards and guidelines as well as current research, best practices for connecting children and nature.
CPSY 1334 - Global Issues on Children and Youth in Society (CIV)
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Typically offered: Every Fall
Study of hot topics currently faced by children and youth around the world, including focuses on homelessness, acculturation, mental health, substance abuse, war and political violence, immigration, and legal issues. Provides an introduction to science, ethics, and ramifications in civic life of current, controversial issues concerning child or youth development. Examines topics of concern and interest to parents, society, and young people and how developmental science informs these issues and policies as well as the decisions and actions of citizens. Students will also learn how research is translated and disseminated so that it can inform policy and practice.
CPSY 2310 - Special Topics in Child Development
Credits: 1.0 -4.0 [max 12.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Periodic Fall & Spring
Topics vary by semester.
CPSY 3308W - Introduction to Research Methods in Child Psychology (WI)
Credits: 4.0 [max 4.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Every Fall & Spring
Explore developmental research methodology by learning about observational research and experimental designs. Critically evaluate research articles, learn to report research, and understand the difference between science and pseudoscience. Gain awareness of the ethical and practical issues that developmental psychologists face when they work with children. prereq: CPSY 2301 / 3301 or equiv
CPSY 3401 - Children, Youth, and Media
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Typically offered: Spring Odd Year
This course will examine a variety of questions related to children?s and adolescents? use and understanding of the media, and address the role of the media in cognitive, social, and emotional development. Pre-req: CPSY 2301 OR CPSY 3301 OR PSY 1001
CPSY 3601 - Introduction to Child Life Theory and Practice
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Every Fall & Spring
This course will provide an introduction to the child life profession with a strong focus on patient and family-centered care. This course will meet the required topics of study as identified by the Child Life Council. The major learning objectives include 1) gaining an understanding of the fundamental theories that support patient and family-centered care and child life practice, 2) identifying how illness, injury, and hospitalization impacts a child's development and their family, 3) gaining an understanding of the Official Documents of the Child Life Council, 4) examining the elements of therapeutic play in a clinical setting, and 5) identifying techniques to prepare a child and their family for healthcare encounters. prereq: any introductory course in the areas of Child Development, Psychology, Human Development, Family Systems (CPSY 2/3301 strongly recommended)
CPSY 4302 - Infant Development
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Every Fall
Perceptual, motor, emotional, social, and cognitive development during the first two years of life; the developing infant in his or her social and physical environment. prereq: CPSY 2301 or equivalent or instructor consent
CPSY 4303 - Adolescent Psychology
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Every Fall & Spring
Overview of development in the teenage years/second decade of life. Interactions of adolescents with family, school, and society. prereq: PSY 1001 or equivalent
CPSY 4310 - Special Topics in Developmental Psychology
Credits: 1.0 -4.0 [max 12.0]
Typically offered: Every Fall & Spring
Description is specific to each topics title.
CPSY 4311 - Behavioral and Emotional Problems of Children
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Every Fall
Study abnormal psychology and atypical development in children and adolescents. Focus on behavioral and emotional problems, disorders and diagnoses, psychopathology contrasted to normal development. Understand symptoms, causes, course, and prevention of common disorders, excluding physical and sensory handicaps. prereq: CPSY 2301 / 3301 or equiv
CPSY 4313W - Disabilities and Development (WI)
Credits: 4.0 [max 4.0]
Typically offered: Every Spring
Surveys all areas of exceptionality. Mental, hearing, vision, physical, speech, language handicaps. Learning disabilities. Autism. Emotional/behavior disorders. Giftedness. Study the related legal rights, policies, and education accommodations for students with disabilities. prereq: Psy 1001
CPSY 4314 - Trauma-Informed Care Practices in Early Childhood
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Typically offered: Every Spring
The course offers a unique experience for students to dig deeply into current research about trauma, resilience, and child development. Students will also have the opportunity to explore how, as practitioners, our ideas about best practice and quality care must be shaped by and around what we are learning about the lasting impact of trauma. Throughout the course, students will explore how race, class, and gender influence and intersect with our understanding of ?best practice? as we help students develop a trauma-informed approach to working with children and families. This course offers students the opportunity to learn how theory influences practice in a variety of community settings that serve diverse populations. Students taking this course also have the option to enroll concurrently in CPSY 4315. CPSY 4315 is designed as a practicum experience to be taken concurrently with CPSY 4314. Students taking the course will be able to work in a community setting with children ages 0-5. Students will collaborate with teachers who are experts in working with children and families who have experienced trauma. CPSY 4315 offers students the opportunity to put theory into practice in a community setting that serves a diverse population.
CPSY 4315 - Practicum in Early Childhood Trauma-Informed Care
Credits: 2.0 [max 2.0]
Grading Basis: S-N only
Typically offered: Every Spring
This course is designed as a field-based practicum to be taken concurrently CPSY 4314. Students may not register only for 4315. Students taking the course will be able to work in a community setting with children ages 0-5. Students will collaborate with teachers who are experts in working with children and families who have experienced trauma. The course, in conjunction with CPSY 4314, offers a unique experience for students to dig deeply into current research about trauma, resilience, and child development and put that knowledge to immediate use in a quality early childhood education environment. Students will also have the opportunity to explore how, as practitioners, our ideas about best practice and quality care must be shaped by and around what we are learning about the lasting impact of trauma. Throughout the course, students will explore how race, class, and gender influence and intersect with our understanding of ?best practice? as we help students develop a trauma-informed approach to working with children and families. This course offers students the opportunity to put theory into practice in a community setting that serves a diverse population.
CPSY 4329 - Biological Foundations of Development
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Every Spring
Evolutionary theory and behavioral genetics applied to understanding of development of human behavior; formation of species-typical adaptive behavior and individual differences in infancy, childhood, and adolescence. prereq: CPSY 2301 / 3301 or equiv
CPSY 4331 - Social and Personality Development
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Every Fall & Spring
Development of social relations and personality; research, methodology, and contrasting theoretical perspectives. Survey of findings on interpersonal relationships, the concept of self, prosocial and antisocial behavior, and acquisition of social roles. prereq: CPSY 2301 / 3301 or equiv
CPSY 4336 - Development and Interpersonal Relationships
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Every Fall
Processes and functions of interactions with personal relationships across the lifespan; analysis of theory and research on developmental changes and influences.
CPSY 4341 - Perceptual Development
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Typically offered: Every Fall
Study how children learn to perceive and experience the world. Explore different approaches to studying brain function and the development of the sensory and perceptual systems and processes with focus on infant perception and the neurobiology of how the senses work. Cover a variety of developmental disorders of sensation and perception: learn about normal brain function by studying abnormal brain function. prereq: CPSY 2301 / 3301 or equiv
CPSY 4343 - Cognitive Development
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Every Fall & Spring
Introduction to the scientific study of cognitive development (children's thinking) from infancy through adolescence. Focus on research and practical applications. Specific topic areas include infant perception and cognition, attention and memory development, language and symbolic thinking, social cognition, executive function. prereq: CPSY 2301 or 3301 or equivalent
CPSY 4345 - Language Development and Communication
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Every Spring
How do children acquire language? Learn about acquisition of phonology (the sound system of the language), semantics (the meaning of units in the language), syntax (the structure of sentences), morphology (the structure of words, phrases, and sentences), and pragmatics (language use). Study English learning along with the acquisition of other spoken and signed languages. prereq: CPSY 2301 / 3301 or equiv
CPSY 5241 - Field Experience in Early Childhood Education
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F only
Typically offered: Every Fall & Spring
This course offers a great introduction to the early childhood experience for those interested in working with young children. Helpful first course to explore Early Childhood major (can also count in CPSY BA). Students will review early development and learn how this knowledge is applied in educational and early care settings. Spend time observing early childhood programs through field experiences around the city.
CPSY 5252 - Facilitating Social and Emotional Learning in Early Childhood Education
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F only
Typically offered: Every Spring
This course explores social and emotional development throughout the early childhood (0-8) years. Explore the variety of ways that social interactions and emotional understanding occur in young children with a special emphasis on the role of adults in facilitating these processes. Students will encounter a blend of theory and application as they learn to promote children's mental health, understand special circumstances such as trauma, and respond to challenging behaviors across early learning settings. prereq: CPSY 2301 or equiv or inst consent. For Early Childhood or ECSE students.
CPSY 5253 - Facilitating Cognitive and Language Learning in Early Childhood Education
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F only
Typically offered: Every Fall
This is a required methods course for students in the Early Childhood Education major (Licensure and Individualized-Studies Tracks) and the Early Childhood Education Initial Licensure Program. It is intended to prepare students to work with and teach typically and non-typically developing children from birth to age 8. Through lecture, videos, small group projects, hands-on exploration of materials and actual implementation of course principles with children, students will practice and learn to: -carefully observe children to identify their individual learning characteristics. -assess children?s developmental characteristics in the cognitive and language domains. -plan relevant and appropriate curriculum to foster growth and development in the areas of cognition, language, and literacy. -write goals and lesson plans focusing on the curriculum areas of math, science, language and literacy. -document and reflect on children?s learning and development. prereq: CPSY 2301 or equiv or inst consent. For Early Childhood or ECSE students.
CPSY 5254 - Facilitating Creative and Motor Learning in Early Childhood Education
Credits: 2.0 [max 2.0]
Grading Basis: A-F only
Typically offered: Every Spring
Learn how young children develop creativity and motor skills from birth - age 8. Engage in hands-on exploration of creative classroom materials and reflection. Complete action-oriented and applied assignments with small groups of children in early childhood education settings. prereq: CPSY 2301 or equiv or inst consent. For Early Childhood and ECSE students.
CPSY 5261 - Early Learning in Infancy and Toddlerhood
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Typically offered: Periodic Summer
This course provides an understanding of infant and toddler development. It offers multiple perspectives and current research related to the timetable of infant and toddler development, as well as the role of caregivers, environment, and culture in development. Special attention will be given to policies/programming that concern infants, toddlers, and their families. Students will be expected to understand the nuanced and varied ways in which development unfolds, including areas of exceptionalities, as well as explore the roles of professionals and community members in supporting infant and toddler development.
CPSY 3896 - Internship in Child Psychology
Credits: 1.0 -4.0 [max 12.0]
Grading Basis: S-N only
Typically offered: Every Fall, Spring & Summer
Students secure an internship in the realm of child psychology/development. A student may only earn credit for a given internship through one course at a time. Corresponding online coursework includes written reflections, journals, and career development activities. Credits are variable based on hours at your site: - 1 credit - 45 hour minimum (average 3-4 hours per week) - 2 credit - 90 hour minimum (average 5-7 hours per week) - 3 credit - 135 hour minimum (average 8-9 hours per week) - 4 credit - 180 hour minimum (average 10-12 hours per week) Students and their supervisors must submit a completed internship contract via Goldpass in order to register. http://goldpass.umn.edu/ Contact the CPSY advisor with any questions.
CPSY 4994 - Directed Research in Developmental Psychology
Credits: 1.0 -4.0 [max 16.0]
Typically offered: Every Fall, Spring & Summer
Serve as an Research Assistant in an Institute of Child Development faculty lab. Help plan/implement/document scientific studies and gain experience in research methodology. Duties vary based on lab and faculty projects that term, and are individually arranged with corresponding faculty and lab representatives. To register: students must first secure their own placement in a faculty research lab; see ICD website and departmental advisor for assistance. Students then submit completed contract to CPSY advisor for a permission number to register.