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Psychology - Developmental (BA)


Psychology is the scientific study of behavior and mental processes. It differs from other fields that are concerned with the human condition in that it uses the scientific method. Psychologists attempt to understand the workings of individuals, animals and groups. Psychologists work in a variety of settings including universities and colleges, clinics and hospitals, business and industry, government agencies, law enforcement and the military. Psychology can be an academic or research discipline or an applied science.

The Psychology Department offers three majors: Psychology, Developmental and Industrial/Organizational. All psychology students are required to take a common core of courses in the foundations of psychology.

The Bachelor of Arts with a major in Developmental Psychology is designed for those students who wish to prepare themselves for careers in various helping professions immediately upon graduation. A Developmental Psychology major prepares students for careers in child care, human services and family life education. Through practica and special projects, a student can acquire expertise in working with a particular population. The Developmental Psychology major, with supporting courses, is designed to meet the academic requirements for provisional certification as a family life educator (CFLE) from the National Council on Family Relations.

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    Degree/Major Requirements

    To obtain this undergraduate degree, the student must fulfill the requirements of the University Core Curriculum, the requirements for the program major and have completed a minimum of 126 credit hours.

    Requirements for the Major (34-38 credits)

    • PYC 1000 Introduction to Psychology (3 credits)
    • PYC 2500 Developmental Psychology (3 credits)
    • PYC 3330 Human Relationships and Parenting (3 credits)
    • PYC 3510 Family Development (3 credits)
    • PYC 4400 Cross-Cultural Socialization (3 credits)
    • PYC 4510 Psychology of Death and Dying (3 credits)
    • PYC 4730 Basic Practicum (1-5 credits)
    • PYC 4910 Research in Developmental Psychology (3 credits)

    One of the following (3 credits):

    Two of the following (6 credits):

    • PYC 2340 Child Development: Infancy and Early Childhood (3 credits)
    • PYC 2360 Middle Childhood and Adolescent Development (3 credits)
    • PYC 2560 Adult Development and Aging (3 credits)

    One of the following (3 credits):

    • STA 2250 Statistics (3 credits)
    • PYC 2010 Research Methods I (3 credits)
    • PYC 3410 Psychology of Personality (3 credits)

    Certification in Family Life Education from NCFR* (No longer accepting new students)

    Note: The program is no longer accepting new students seeking NCFR certification.
    Those students who are currently working toward NCFR certification must complete their coursework
    to apply for NCFR certification no later than Oct. 31, 2020.

    A Certified Family Life Educator has skills and knowledge to enrich individual and family life. They have studied how families work; the interrelationship of families and society; human growth and development throughout the life span; the physiological and psychological aspects of human sexuality; the impact of money management on daily family life; the importance and value of parent education; the effects of policy and legislation on families; the ethical considerations in professional conduct; and how to teach and develop family life curricula.

    Students who have completed the CFLE requirements are eligible for provisional certification from the National Council on Family Relations upon earning the B.A.* and for full certification after working for two years post-degree in a family-related field. Developmental Psychology is an Approved Program of the National Council on Family Relations.

    Family Life Education Provisional Certification

    Required core and supporting courses for Family Life Education Provisional Certification offered through the National Council on Family Relations. (See Developmental Psychology advisor.)

    *Note: The National Council on Family Relations sponsors this national program to certify family life educators. University of Detroit Mercy's Developmental Psychology Program graduates previously enrolled in this program can receive provisional certification by submitting their transcripts to NCFR no later than Oct. 31, 2020. Contact your Detroit Mercy advisor for information on where to submit your transcripts.

    NCFR Certification in Family Life Education for Developmental Psychology majors (24 credits)

    University Core Courses (9 credits):

    • ETH 3590 Ethics and Public Policy (3 credits)
    • CJS 4830 Family Violence: Spouse and Child Abuse (3 credits) OR ADS 4170 Substance Use Disorders in Youth (3 credits)
    • PYC 2750 Human Sexuality  (3 credits)

    Required Supporting Courses (15 credits):

    • ADS 4360 Family Theory and Therapy (3 credits)
    • BUS 2900 Wealth Management and Financial Planning (3 credits)
    • CST 2040 Interpersonal Communication (3 credits)
    • ETH 3580 Health Care Ethics (3 credits)
    • LEGA 2300 Family Law (3 credits)

    Developmental Psychology Courses:

    • PYC 2500 Developmental Psychology (3 credits)
    • PYC 3330 Human Relationships and Parenting (3 credits)
    • PYC 3510 Family Development (3 credits)
    • PYC 4400 Cross-Cultural Socialization (3 credits)
    • PYC 4730 Basic Practicum (1-5 credits)

    Note: Students with other Detroit Mercy majors or bachelor's degrees from other institutions must complete the full NCFR Approved Program (39 credits).


    Minor in Developmental Psychology

    The University of Detroit Mercy minor in Developmental Psychology provides students with an overview of psychology across the lifespan. The Developmental Psychology minor educates students in infant and child development, middle childhood, adolescence and old age, as well as the dynamics of families and family life. Adding this minor to the undergraduate degree complements and enhances any major by providing an understanding of developmental psychology and the scientific method.

    The Developmental Psychology minor is an 18-credit program (six courses) designed to give students a broad exposure to child and family development as a scientific and professional discipline. In addition to Introduction to Psychology, students will take two courses covering infancy through adolescence, as well as two courses on the dynamics of human relationships, parenting, and family life and a course on the psychology of death and dying.

    Visit the Developmental Psychology minor page for more information.

Program Contact Information

Department Chair: Linda Slowik, Ph.D.
Reno Hall, Room 244
McNichols Campus

Telephone: 313-993-1623
Fax: 313-578-0507

Department Website

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