Developmental Psychology Concentration

Catalog Year: 2022-2023

Banner Code: LA-BA-PSYC-DVLP

Students study behavior as it relates to health and well-being, child and adolescent development, education, social situations, the workplace, and the use of technology. Due to Mason’s proximity to Washington, D.C. the department is especially active in research that informs public policy and national defense. Students who graduate from this program go on to work in a wide range of fields and positions, including human resources, data analysis, user interface design, and social media and marketing.

The Bachelor of Arts in Psychology focuses on liberal arts and general education courses, including a foreign language requirement, within the psychology field.

The University Catalog is the authoritative source for information on program requirements and courses. The Schedule of Classes is the authoritative source for information on classes scheduled for this semester. See the Schedule for the most up-to-date information and see Patriot web to register for classes. Requirements may be different for earlier catalog years. See the University Catalog archives.

Honors in the Major

Highly-qualified students may apply to graduate with honors in the major. To be eligible for admission, psychology majors must have completed at least 50 credits and have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.25 and a minimum GPA of 3.40 in psychology courses.

If accepted, students must take a sequence of three courses, which culminates in the successful completion and presentation of an independent honors thesis.

To graduate with honors, students must earn a minimum GPA of 3.50 in their honors courses and maintain a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.25 and a minimum GPA of 3.40 in psychology courses.

Degree Requirements

Total credits: minimum 120

Students should be aware of the specific policies associated with this program, located on the Admissions & Policies tab.

Students may choose to complete a concentration in forensic psychology, human factors and applied cognition, work and organizational psychology, clinical psychology, developmental psychology, educational psychology, or health psychology. Courses required for a concentration may simultaneously satisfy other degree requirements. The concentrations in forensic psychology, human factors and applied cognition, and work and organizational psychology meet the applied psychology requirement.

Students who have limited technology skills are encouraged to take IT 104 Introduction to Computing (Mason Core).

Core Courses in the Major

Basic Courses in Psychology

Students must have a minimum GPA of 2.00 in these courses with a minimum grade of 1.67 (C-) in each one. Courses taken to fulfill these requirements may simultaneously satisfy a concentration.

Introductory Course  
PSYC 100 Basic Concepts in Psychology (Mason Core) 3
Foundational Courses  
PSYC 231 Social Psychology (Mason Core) 3
PSYC 317 Cognitive Psychology 3
Select one option from the following: 3-6
Option 1:
Developmental Psychology (Mason Core)  
Option 2:
Select two from the following:
Child Development  
Adolescent Development  
Psychological Factors in Aging  
Research Methods Courses 1  
PSYC 300 Statistics in Psychology 4
PSYC 301 Research Methods in Psychology 4
Biopsychology 2  
Select one from the following: 3 3-6
PSYC 375& PSYC 376
Brain and Sensory Processes
and Brain and Behavior
Professional Development  
Select one from the following: 3
Psychology: College to Career  
Psychology in the Community  
Community Engagement for Social Change (Mason Core) 4  
Clinical Practicum in Psychology 4  
Psychology Honors II  
RS: Psychology Honors III  
Special Topics (with Undergraduate Associate Chair Approval)  
Total Credits 26-32

Applied Psychology Courses

Applied Psychology
Students pursuing the BA without concentration complete two courses from the following with a minimum grade of C- in each: 6-7
Psychological Tests and Measurements  
Abnormal Psychology  
Industrial and Organizational Psychology  
Human Factors Psychology  
Applied Cross-Cultural Psychology (Mason Core)  
Mental Illness and Criminal Justice  
Community Engagement for Social Change (Mason Core) 1  
Clinical Practicum in Psychology 1  
Total Credits 6-7


Concentration in Developmental Psychology (DVLP)

The concentration in developmental psychology may be of interest to students who are planning to attend graduate school in developmental psychology or a related field, such as human development and family studies, school psychology, or clinical child psychology. Students who are considering a career in school psychology or education may also find this concentration advantageous.

Students pursuing the BA with this concentration take 12 credits. Students must earn a minimum GPA of 2.00 in all coursework applied to the concentration.

Students who successfully complete the Psychology Department Honors Program (PSYC 490 Psychology Honors I, PSYC 491 Psychology Honors II, and PSYC 492 RS: Psychology Honors III) with an honors thesis/project focused on developmental psychology may, with approval of their thesis committees and the associate chair for undergraduate studies, substitute their honors work for one course in the concentration.

PSYC 211 Developmental Psychology (Mason Core) 3
PSYC 313 Child Development 3
Select two courses from the following: 6
Adolescent Development  
Applied Cross-Cultural Psychology (Mason Core)  
Behavior Disorders of Childhood  
Psychological Factors in Aging  
Independent Study in Psychology 1  
Special Topics 1  
Total Credits 12

Electives in the Major

Students complete the 37 required credits with electives in psychology (PSYC) with the following restrictions.

  • A maximum of 6 credits of PSYC 327 Psychology in the Community and PSYC 328 Psychology in the Community Laboratory may be applied to required psychology credits.
  • A maximum of 6 credits of PSYC 260 Basic Research Methods in Psychology, PSYC 350 Directed Reading and Research in Psychology, and PSYC 460 Independent Study in Psychology may be applied to required psychology credits.
  • No more than 9 credits of PSYC 327 Psychology in the Community, PSYC 328 Psychology in the Community Laboratory, PSYC 260 Basic Research Methods in Psychology, PSYC 350 Directed Reading and Research in Psychology, and PSYC 460 Independent Study in Psychology can be taken without written permission of the department chair.
  • No more than 6 credits of D may be applied toward this requirement.

PSYC 465 Pioneering Ideas in Psychology is strongly recommended for all students who plan to attend graduate school in psychology.

Writing-Intensive Requirement

The university requires all students to complete at least one course designated "writing intensive" in their majors at the 300 level or above. Students majoring in psychology may fulfill this requirement by successfully completing PSYC 301 Research Methods in Psychology, PSYC 304 Principles of Learning, or PSYC 309 Sensation, Perception, and Information Processing. Students who receive transfer credit for a research methods course must take PSYC 304 Principles of Learning or PSYC 309 Sensation, Perception, and Information Processing unless the transfer course has been approved as writing intensive.

Additional Electives

Any remaining credits may be completed with elective courses to bring the degree total to 120.

Upper Level Requirement

Students seeking a bachelor’s degree must apply at least 45 credits of upper-level courses (numbered 300 or above) toward graduation requirements.

College Level Requirements for the BA Degree

In addition to the Mason Core program, students pursuing a BA degree must complete the coursework below. Except where expressly prohibited, a course used to fulfill a college level requirement may also be used simultaneously to satisfy other requirements (Mason Core requirements or requirements for the major).

Philosophy or Religious Studies
Select 3 credits from the following: 3
Social and Behavioral Sciences
Select 3 credits of social and behavioral sciences from the following (additional to the Mason Core social and behavioral sciences requirement) 1 3
HIST 2  
Or choose from the following GGS courses:  
Major World Regions (Mason Core)  
Human Geography (Mason Core)  
Introduction to Geoinformation Technologies  
Political Geography (Mason Core)  
Geography of Resource Conservation (Mason Core)  
GGS 304
Population Geography (Mason Core)  
GGS 305
Economic Geography  
Urban Geography  
Geography of the United States  
Geography of Latin America  
Geography of Europe  
Geography of North Africa and the Middle East  
Geography of Eastern Europe and Russia  
Urban Planning  
Geography of Virginia  
Foreign Language
Intermediate-level proficiency in one foreign language, fulfilled by: 1  
Or achieving a satisfactory score on an approved proficiency test
Or completing the following ASL three course sequence:
EDSE 115
American Sign Language (ASL) I  
EDSE 116
American Sign Language (ASL) II  
EDSE 219
American Sign Language (ASL) III  
Non-Western Culture

Select 3 credits of an approved course in the study of a non-Western culture (additional to the Mason Core requirement in global understanding)

Select 3 credits (additional to Mason Core Global Understanding requirement) 1  
ANTH 114 Introduction to Cultural Anthropology (Mason Core) 3
ANTH 300 Civilizations 3
ANTH 302 Peoples and Cultures of Latin America (Mason Core) 3
ANTH 307 Ancient Mesoamerica (Mason Core) 3
ANTH 308 Peoples and Cultures of the Middle East (Mason Core) 3
ANTH 309 Peoples and Cultures of India (Mason Core) 3
ANTH 313 Myth, Magic, and Mind (Mason Core) 3
ANTH 314 Zombies 3
ANTH 317 East Asian Cultures 3
ANTH 330 Peoples and Cultures of Selected Regions: Non-Western 3
ANTH 332 Cross-Cultural Perspectives on Globalization (Mason Core) 3
ANTH 381 Medical Anthropology 3
ANTH 396 Issues in Anthropology: Social Sciences (Mason Core) 3
ARAB 360 Topics in Arabic Cultural Production 3
ARAB 420 Survey of Arabic Literature 3
ARAB 440 Topics in Arabic Religious Thought and Texts (Mason Core) 3
ARTH 203 Survey of Asian Art (Mason Core) 3
ARTH 204 Survey of Latin American Art (Mason Core) 3
ARTH 206 Survey of African Art (Mason Core) 3
ARTH 318 Art and Archaeology of Ancient Egypt 3
ARTH 319 Art and Archaeology of the Ancient Near East (Mason Core) 3
ARTH 320 Art of the Islamic World (Mason Core) 3
ARTH 382 Arts of India (Mason Core) 3
ARTH 383 Arts of Southeast Asia (Mason Core) 3
ARTH 384 Arts of China (Mason Core) 3
ARTH 385 Arts of Japan (Mason Core) 3
ARTH 386 The Silk Road (Mason Core) 3
ARTH 482 RS: Advanced Studies in Asian Art 3
CHIN 318 Introduction to Classical Chinese (Mason Core) 3
CHIN 320 Contemporary Chinese Film 3
CHIN 325 Major Chinese Writers (Mason Core) 3
CHIN 470 Special Topics in Chinese Studies 3
DANC 118 Global Dance Perspectives I (Mason Core) 3
ECON 361 Economic Development of Latin America (Mason Core) 3
ECON 362 African Economic Development (Mason Core) 3
FREN 454 Topics in Caribbean Francophone Literature and Culture 3
GGS 101 Major World Regions (Mason Core) 3
GGS 316 Geography of Latin America 3
GGS 317 Geography of China (Mason Core) 3
GGS 325 Geography of North Africa and the Middle East 3
GGS 399 Select Topics in GGS 3
GOVT 328 Global Political Theory 3
GOVT 332 Government and Politics of the Middle East and North Africa 3
GOVT 333 Government and Politics of Asia 3
GOVT 338 Government and Politics of Russia 3
GOVT 340 Central Asian Politics 3
GOVT 341 Chinese Foreign Policy 3
GOVT 345 Islam and Politics 3
GOVT 433 Political Economy of East Asia 3
HIST 251 Survey of East Asian History (Mason Core) 3
HIST 252 Survey of East Asian History (Mason Core) 3
HIST 261 Survey of African History (Mason Core) 3
HIST 262 Survey of African History (Mason Core) 3
HIST 271 Survey of Latin American History (Mason Core) 3
HIST 272 Survey of Latin American History (Mason Core) 3
HIST 281 Survey of Middle Eastern Civilization (Mason Core) 3
HIST 282 Survey of Middle Eastern Civilization (Mason Core) 3
HIST 326 Stalinism 3
HIST 327 The Soviet Union and Russia Since World War II 3
HIST 328 Rise of Russia (Mason Core) 3
HIST 329 Modern Russia and the Soviet Union (Mason Core) 3
HIST 353 History of Traditional China 3
HIST 354 Modern China (Mason Core) 3
HIST 356 Modern Japan (Mason Core) 3
HIST 357 Postwar Japan (Mason Core) 3
HIST 358 Post-1949 China (Mason Core) 3
HIST 360 History of South Africa (Mason Core) 3
HIST 364 Revolution and Radical Politics in Latin America (Mason Core) 3
HIST 365 Conquest and Colonization in Latin America (Mason Core) 3
HIST 366 Comparative Slavery 3
HIST 367 History, Fiction, and Film in Latin America 3
HIST 387 Topics in Global History (Mason Core) 3-6
HIST 461 Arab-Israeli Conflict 3
HIST 462 Women in Islamic Society (Mason Core) 3
HIST 465 The Middle East in the 20th Century 3
JAPA 310 Japanese Culture in a Global World (Mason Core) 3
JAPA 340 Topics in Japanese Literature (Mason Core) 3
JAPA 380 Japan in Motion 3
KORE 300 Korean Culture and Society 3
KORE 320 Korean Popular Culture in a Global World 3
KORE 385 Introduction to Korean Linguistics 3
MUSI 103 Musics of the World (Mason Core) 3
RELI 211 Introduction to Religions of the "West" (Mason Core) 3
RELI 212 Introduction to Religions of Asia (Mason Core) 3
RELI 272 Islam 3
RELI 312 Islam 3
RELI 313 Hinduism (Mason Core) 3
RELI 314 Chinese Philosophies and Religious Traditions 3
RELI 315 Buddhism (Mason Core) 3
RELI 317 Daoism 3
RELI 318 Korean Philosophy and Religions 3
RELI 338 Qur'an and Hadith 3
RELI 342 Comparative Study of Mysticism 3
RELI 344 Muhammad: Life and Legacy 3
RELI 358 Islamic Thought (Mason Core) 3
RELI 367 Islamic Law, Society, and Ethics 3
RELI 368 Islam, Democracy, and Human Rights 3
RELI 490 Comparative Study of Religions (Mason Core) 3
RUSS 353 Russian Civilization (Mason Core) 3
RUSS 354 Contemporary Post-Soviet Life (Mason Core) 3

Mason Core

Some Mason Core requirements may already be fulfilled by the major requirements listed above. Students are strongly encouraged to consult their advisors to ensure they fulfill all remaining Mason Core requirements.

Foundation Requirements  
Written Communication (ENGH 101) 3
Oral Communication 3
Quantitative Reasoning 3
Information Technology and Computing 3
Exploration Requirements  
Arts 3
Global Understanding 3
Literature 3
Natural Science 7
Social and Behavioral Sciences 3
Western Civilization/World History 3
Integration Requirements  
Written Communications (ENGH 302) 3
Writing-Intensive 1 3
Synthesis/Capstone 2 3
Total Credits 40