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VCU Psychology Department

Can people have a "relationship" with the natural world?

Human behavior is at the root of the rapid pace of climate change. What leads people to perceive greater interdependence with the environment? How does their commitment to the environment predict pro-environmental behavior? read more...


What increases emergency visits in children with asthma?

How are family/culturally-based beliefs about asthma, caregiver quality of life, and emergency department use associated in pediatric asthma? read more...


Can we train students' brains to work more effectively?

Direct cognitive training in a school setting represents an important innovation for developing the underlying thinking skills needed for educational success. Can we make computers better "trainers"? read more...


Can you strengthen your character in six hours?

Religious and secular self-help experts have long helped people build character strengths. But can people achieve as much—or even more!—benefit by working through six-hour workbooks at home? read more...

Developmental Psychology

The Applied Developmental Psychology Program at Virginia Commonwealth University fosters scholarship, teaching, and outreach to our community with the goal of understanding developmental processes across the lifespan. We emphasize research and applied skills in human development with a special emphasis on development in its social context. We prepare doctoral-level students for university or college teaching and research settings or for professional work in applied settings such as primary prevention, early intervention, or youth support.

This Web site is designed to provide information about our program to students and colleagues interested in Developmental Psychology. We appreciate your interest in our program and hope that you will find the information to be useful. Please contact us if you have any questions or comments.

How to Apply

General information about graduate study at VCU can be obtained from the VCU Graduate School web site. Application for graduate study in psychology with an emphasis in developmental psychology should be initiated online from the VCU Graduate School admissions page. Please note that there is not a separate application for the program or department. A limited number of students (typically, one per year) will be admitted as Developmental/Clinical Students.

Deadline for applications to the Developmental program is January 10. We plan to bring in four new students in Fall 2014. The following faculty members are highly interested in a new student: Drs. Zewe Serpell, Marcia Winter, Wendy Kliewer, and Elizabeth Ayn Welleford (an affiliate member from Gerontology); there is some chance that Drs. Terri Sullivan and Geri Lotze will also consider a new student. Dr. Barbara Myers will not have a new student. Please look at the description of their research interests and consider how your interests make a match. You are encouraged to name at least one, and preferably two, faculty whose interests are a good match for you.

Applicants to the Developmental/Clinical program need to adhere to the Clinical Psychology program deadline of December 1. These applicants should direct their application to Clinical but indicate that they have an interest in being considered as a Developmental/Clinical student. They should also indicate whether, if not accepted for the dual program, they wish to be considered for Clinical only, Developmental only, or for consideration by both programs.

Contact Information

For additional questions, please contact Dr. Barbara Myers, Director of the Developmental Division.

Virginia Commonwealth University
Developmental Division
806 West Franklin Street
P.O. Box 842018
Richmond, Virginia 23284-2018