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Twin Cities Campus

Child Psychology B.A.

Institute of Child Development
College of Liberal Arts
  • Program Type: Baccalaureate
  • Requirements for this program are current for Spring 2014
  • Required credits to graduate with this degree: 120
  • Required credits within the major: 37 to 42
  • Degree: Bachelor of Arts
Child psychology deals with behavioral development from the prenatal period to maturity in the areas of cognition, ethology, genetics, language, learning, perception, and social behavior. The Institute of Child Development, housed in the College of Education and Human Development, offers a bachelor of arts, a bachelor of science, and a minor in child psychology through the College of Liberal Arts. All undergraduate child psychology courses are considered CLA courses and count toward the CLA graduation requirements. Majors may not receive a second major or baccalaureate degree in psychology nor apply psychology, educational psychology, or child and adolescent psychiatry credits to the minimum 18 upper-level credits required outside the major. These credits fall neither inside or outside the major. The B.A. program places a stronger emphasis on the applied aspects of Child Psychology. Emphasizing a more applied approach to Child Psychology, the B.A. requires field study participation (or directed research experience), allowing students to gain practical experience in the field of Child Psychology. Students have the opportunity to take a course in Social Work, Youth Studies, Early Childhood Education, Public Health, or Cultural Anthropology. With a combination of intensive training in developmental psychology and a field study experience, the program prepares students for careers and additional training in such areas as early childhood education, counseling, and human service programs. Students are required to meet the second language requirement as determined by CLA.
Program Delivery
This program is available:
  • via classroom (the majority of instruction is face-to-face)
Admission Requirements
Students must complete 2 courses before admission to the program.
An introduction to psychology course must be completed before admission into the major. Students may formally declare the major with CPSY 2301 in progress.
For information about University of Minnesota admission requirements, visit the Office of Admissions website.
Required prerequisites
Preparatory Courses
PSY 1001 - Introduction to Psychology [SOCS] (4.0 cr)
or PSTL 1281 {Inactive} [SOCS] (4.0 cr)
CPSY 2301 - Introduction to Developmental Psychology [SOCS] (4.0 cr)
General Requirements
All students in baccalaureate degree programs are required to complete general University and college requirements including writing and liberal education courses. For more information about University-wide requirements, see the liberal education requirements. Required courses for the major, minor or certificate in which a student receives a D grade (with or without plus or minus) do not count toward the major, minor or certificate (including transfer courses).
Program Requirements
Students are required to complete 4 semester(s) of any second language. with a grade of C-, or better, or S, or demonstrate proficiency in the language(s) as defined by the department or college.
Students may earn no more than one undergraduate degree in child psychology: a B.A. or a B.S. or a minor. Students may combine the B.A. in child psychology with the minor in psychology. Beginning fall 2012, all incoming CLA freshman must complete the appropriate First Year Experience course sequence. Specific information about this collegiate requirement can be found at:
Foundational Courses
Take two courses for a total of 7-8 credits.
CPSY 3308W - Introduction to Research Methods in Child Psychology [WI] (4.0 cr)
EPSY 3264 - Basic and Applied Statistics [MATH] (3.0 cr)
or SOC 3811 - Social Statistics [MATH] (4.0 cr)
or STAT 3011 - Introduction to Statistical Analysis [MATH] (4.0 cr)
Core Courses
Take a minimum of six courses and 18 credits. Note: other courses may count toward the ANTH 3003/CPSY 4993/PUBH 3004/SW 1001 requirement only with previous adviser approval.
CPSY 4331 - Social and Personality Development (3.0 cr)
Take 1 or more course(s) from the following:
· ANTH 3003 - Cultural Anthropology (3.0 cr)
· CPSY 5241 - Field Experience in Early Childhood Education (3.0 cr)
· PUBH 3004 {Inactive} (4.0 cr)
· SW 1001 {Inactive} (3.0 cr)
Take 1 or more course(s) from the following:
· CPSY 4302 - Infant Development (3.0 cr)
· CPSY 4303 - Adolescent Psychology (3.0 cr)
· CPSY 4334W {Inactive} [WI] (3.0 cr)
· CPSY 4336 - Development and Interpersonal Relationships (3.0 cr)
Take 1 or more course(s) from the following:
· CPSY 4311 - Behavioral and Emotional Problems of Children (3.0 cr)
· CPSY 4313W - Disabilities and Development [WI] (4.0 cr)
Take 2 or more 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)
Field Study or Directed Research
Take a minimum of 2 credits.
CPSY 4996 {Inactive} (1.0-4.0 cr)
or CPSY 4994 - Directed Research in Developmental Psychology (1.0-4.0 cr)
Senior Project
Honors students should consult the Honors UHP Program Sub-plan for senior project requirements.
CPSY 4347W - Child Psychology Capstone [WI] (3.0 cr)
Program Sub-plans
A sub-plan is not required for this program.
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PSY 1001 - Introduction to Psychology (SOCS)
Credits: 4.0 [max 4.0]
Course Equivalencies: PSTL 1281/Psy 1001/Psy 1001H
Typically offered: Every Fall, Spring & Summer
Scientific study of human behavior. Problems, methods, findings of modern psychology.
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 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, Developmental Psychology major
EPSY 3264 - Basic and Applied Statistics (MATH)
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Course Equivalencies: EPsy 3264/EPsy 5261
Typically offered: Every Fall, Spring & Summer
Introductory statistics. Emphasizes understanding/applying statistical concepts/procedures. Visual/quantitative methods for presenting/analyzing data, common descriptive indices for univariate/bivariate data. Inferential techniques.
SOC 3811 - Social Statistics (MATH)
Credits: 4.0 [max 4.0]
Typically offered: Every Fall, Spring & Summer
This course will introduce majors and non-majors to basic statistical measures and procedures that are used to describe and analyze quantitative data in sociological research. The topics include (1) frequency and percentage distributions, (2) central tendency and dispersion, (3) probability theory and statistical inference, (4) models of bivariate analysis, and (5) basics of multivariate analysis. Lectures on these topics will be given in class, and lab exercises are designed to help students learn statistical skills and software needed to analyze quantitative data provided in the class. prereq: Undergraduates with strong math background are encouraged to register for 5811 in lieu of 3811 (Soc 5811 offered Fall terms only). Soc Majors/Minors must register A-F.
STAT 3011 - Introduction to Statistical Analysis (MATH)
Credits: 4.0 [max 4.0]
Course Equivalencies: AnSc 3011/ESPM 3012/Stat 3011/
Typically offered: Every Fall, Spring & Summer
Standard statistical reasoning. Simple statistical methods. Social/physical sciences. Mathematical reasoning behind facts in daily news. Basic computing environment.
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
ANTH 3003 - Cultural Anthropology
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Course Equivalencies: Anth 3003/GloS 3003
Typically offered: Every Fall, Spring & Summer
Topics vary. Field research. Politics of ethnographic knowledge. Marxist/feminist theories of culture. Culture, language, and discourse. Psychological anthropology. Culture/transnational processes.
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 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 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 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 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 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.
CPSY 4347W - Child Psychology Capstone (WI)
Credits: 3.0 [max 2.0]
Grading Basis: A-F only
Typically offered: Every Fall & Spring
Synthesize important themes and concepts from the CPSY undergraduate experience. Use knowledge of developmental psychology and research methods to complete various capstone assignments throughout the course. Students may find and evaluate high-quality empirical articles; write a literature review; create a hypothesis and design a behavioral coding system; work with peer research partners to collect data in the Lab School; and/or present work to peers and instructors in a professional format. Prereq: CPSY senior and completion of CPSY 3308W (or approved equiv)
CPSY 3360H - Child Psychology Honors Seminar
Credits: 2.0 [max 2.0]
Prerequisites: CPsy honors student
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Every Fall
Acquaints students with the various research projects and activities in the Institute for Child Development and in related departments. Faculty are invited to discuss their research projects with seminar participants. prereq: CPsy honors student