The Developmental Psychology program is part of the Department of Psychology in the BGSU College of Arts and Sciences.

BGSU developmental psychology doctoral student working with children as she studies change over the lifespan.
  • Doctorate Available
  • Doctorate Available

Doctorate in

Developmental Psychology

The BGSU combined master’s and doctorate in developmental psychology provides a challenging, yet supportive environment in which you can acquire a strong foundation in theory, research and methodology in developmental psychology across the life span. 

Most students meet the requirements for the master's en route to the doctorate. We do not generally admit students who only seek a master's degree.

In collaboration with a diverse faculty, you will actively engage in an individualized program of study. You will receive training that prepares you for careers in academic and applied settings.

If you are interested in applying to our clinical program, please review the BGSU psychology applicant data, internship placement, or matching, data and graduation rates for the past seven years.

Join us in ​​advancing psychological knowledge

Developmental psychologists are interested in how people change throughout their lifespans, considering biological, cognitive, emotional, social and cultural factors. 

Traditionally, the field of developmental psychology has focused on childhood and adolescence, but as life expectancies have increased, developmental psychologists have become increasingly interested in adulthood and aging.

The primary goal of this doctoral program is the development of scientists capable of advancing psychological knowledge. The BGSU developmental psychology program is research-oriented and you will be encouraged to become involved in research early in your first year of graduate training.

The program is characterized by both an emphasis on extensive academic training in general psychology and an early and continuing commitment to research.

Although each graduate student will seek an area in which to develop their expertise, you will be expected to be knowledgeable about many areas. You’ll also be encouraged to pursue interests that cross conventional specialty lines.

Stand Out in courses

  • Aging Processes
  • Childhood Attitudes to Food and Body
  • Coping and Exposure to Trauma
  • Social Cognitive Development
  • Psychological Measurement Theory
  • Statistical Methodology
  • Longitudinal and Lifespan Modeling

The BGSU Psychology doctorate program has a 100 percent APA/CPA-accredited internship placement record for five years running.


Each student normally works in close association with a sponsor or chairperson whose special competence matches the student's interests. You will be free to pursue research interests with any faculty member and in any area(s) you choose. Both basic and applied psychological research are well represented within the department.

The student-faculty ratio is low, permitting extensive supervision and individual attention to student growth and development while studying developmental psychology.  

One of the major strengths of our program is the extent to which students and faculty share interests with those in other areas. Students frequently work closely with faculty from as many as three areas or interests during their time at BGSU.


The BGSU doctorate in psychology believes the traditional, but essentially false, distinctions between scholar and practitioner can be blurred.  

This approach results in graduates with wide-ranging experience in clinical settings and solid foundations in research, methodology and experiment design.  

The resulting alumni body is distributed across academic and clinical settings, and contributes directly to patient outcomes and the progression of the developmental psychology discipline.

GO FAR In Your Career

  • Developmental Psychologist
  • Clinical Psychologist
  • Educational Psychologist
  • Social Worker
  • Research Psychologist
  • Industrial Psychologist

BGSU has one of Ohio’s most active psychology research programs.

BGSU Arts and Sciences white

The Developmental Psychology program is part of the Department of Psychology in the BGSU College of Arts and Sciences.

Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of the doctoral degree, students in Psychology are expected to be able to:

  • Achieve competencies in graduate-level statistical methods
  • Achieve competencies in graduate-level psychological research methods
  • Achieve competencies that reflect the breadth of psychology
  • Achieve competencies in program specific/core knowledge areas
  • Acquire direct experience in teaching 
  • Acquire direct experience in mentored research  
  • Design, implement, evaluate and summarize the results of at least two independently conceived research projects 
  • Develop professional relationships and roles outside of the classroom 
  • Acquire skills in dissemination of research findings to the scientific community

Bowling Green State University [BGSU] is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.  BGSU has been accredited by the Higher Learning Commission since 01/01/1916. Questions should be directed to the Office of Institutional Effectiveness.

The Developmental Psychology program, Industrial/Organizational Psychology program and Experimental Psychology (Neural & Cognitive Sciences) program will go through Program/Cluster Review during the Academic Year 2020/21.

Our doctoral program in clinical psychology has been continuously accredited by the American Psychological Association since 1971.

Bowling Green State University programs leading to licensure, certification and/or endorsement, whether delivered online, face-to-face or in a blended format, satisfy the academic requirements for those credentials set forth by the State of Ohio.

Requirements for licensure, certification and/or endorsement eligibility vary greatly from one profession to another and from state to state. The Clinical Psychology, Ph.D. program requires professional licensure.

Requirements for licensure, certification and/or endorsement eligibility vary greatly from one profession to another and from state to state. The Developmental Psychology program does not lead to professional licensure.

Under the Higher Education Act Title IV disclosure requirements, an institution must provide current and prospective students with information about each of its programs that prepares students for gainful employment in a recognized occupation.

The Psychology program is not a recognized occupation that requires a Gainful Employment disclosure.

* Job placement and salary information was compiled by the Office of Academic Assessment through the Graduation Survey from AY2015-2018. The data are gathered around the time of Commencement and a follow-up survey six months post Commencement. For the salary question, data for programs with fewer than fifteen responses are not included. Salaries for those programs are from the National Association of Colleges and Employers Summer 2019 Survey. For questions regarding the data, contact

Updated: 05/02/2023 03:57PM