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Current Student FAQ

Students should review the curriculum, program policies and course details provided on the Curriculum Overview, Graduate Handbook, MS Thesis/Project and Qualifying Exam pages. Below are answers to the most commonly asked questions; however, you should follow up with the Program Director for more details specific to your experience.

FAQ

  • How do I figure out which courses I should take?

    You should review both the Curriculum Requirements and Course Mapping links provided on the Curriculum Overview. Also, the Graduate Handbook provides detailed information about the required courses for the Developmental Science Degree.

  • How do I know what courses are being offered in the upcoming semesters?

    Information about upcoming course offerings are located on the Current Course Offerings page of this website.

  • What courses am I required to take?

    60 credits are needed to fulfill Pre- Candidacy (prior to taking qualifying exams) requirements. This means that prior to taking qualifying exams, students must have completed the required program courses. Specifically Developmental Science Doctoral Program students are required to take the following courses:


    1. Common core courses (9 credits comprised of the following Statistics/Methodology courses or other courses approved by the program director):

    • PSY 5939 Special Topics in Psychology: Quantitative Methods I
    • PSY 5939 Special Topics in Psychology: Quantitative Methods II
    • PSY 5246C: Multivariate Analysis in Applied Psychological Research

    2. Developmental Science Theory and Methods Requirement (9 credits comprised of the following 3 credit courses):

    • DEP 5608 Theoretical Perspectives in Developmental Psychology
    • DEP 5796 Developmental Methods
    • PSY 5605: History & Systems

    3. Development Science Breadth Requirement (3 credits drawn from the following list of 3 credit courses, or other courses approved by the program director):

    • DEP 5099 Proseminar in Infancy, Childhood, and Adolescence
    • DEP 5405 Proseminar in the Psychology of Adulthood and Aging
    • DEP 5936 Integrating Theory and Research in Developmental Science

    4. Biological Breadth Requirement (3 credits drawn from the following list of 3 credit courses, or other courses approved by the program director):

    • DEP 5058 Bio-Behavioral Development
    • EXP 5667 Cognitive Neuroscience

    5. Cognitive Breadth Requirement (3 credits drawn from the following list of 3 credit courses, or other courses approved by the program director):

    • DEP 5065: Cognitive Development
    • DEP 6645: Cognition and Language

    6. Social Breadth Requirement (3 credits drawn from the following list of 3 credit courses, or other courses approved by the program director):

    • DEP 5725 Seminar in Psychosocial Development
    • DEP 7096 Seminar in Psychology of Life-Span Social Development
    • SOP 5058 Proseminar in Social Psychology

    7. Supervised research/independent study/field experience/internship courses (18 credits)

    8. Electives (6 credits approved by the program director)

    9. Master’s Project (6 credits of supervised research)

    10. Comprehensive exam

    11. PSY 7980 Ph.D. Dissertation (15 credits)

    Please be aware that outside of the classes in the Common Core Statistics/ Quantitative Sequence, all other courses offered through the Developmental Science program are run on a two-year rotating schedule. This means if you miss taking a required or core content course you will have to wait two years before it is offered again. So you should take required courses when they are offered. Otherwise you may delay your progress in the program.

  • What are consider the Common Core Statistics/Quantitative Methods Sequence Courses?

    These are called Common Core because they are taken by students in all programs across the Department of Psychology. These statistical and quantitative methods focused courses should be taken in sequence as their content builds upon the prior classes material.

    Common core courses (9 credits comprised of the following Statistics/Methodology courses or other courses approved by the program director):

    • PSY 5939 Special Topics in Psychology: Quantitative Methods I
    • PSY 5939 Special Topics in Psychology: Quantitative Methods II
    • PSY 5246C: Multivariate Analysis in Applied Psychological Research


    PLEASE NOTE: There are additional quantitative and statistical methods courses offered through the Department of Psychology (e.g. Structural Equation Modeling, Longitudinal, Categorical). While very useful and an important part of some students' training program, these are not required and do not fulfill the Developmental Science Program's Common Core Statistics- Quantitative Sequence requirements. Rather, these courses can count toward a students' elective courses requirements.

  • What are considered required developmental and breadth courses?

    These are courses that draw upon foundational research relevant to each concentration area. Current approved courses include:

    Developmental Science Theory and Methods Requirement (9 credits comprised of the following 3 credit courses):

    • DEP 5608 Theoretical Perspectives in Developmental Psychology
    • DEP 5796 Developmental Methods
    • PSY 5605: History & Systems

    Development Science Breadth Requirement (3 credits drawn from the following list of 3 credit courses, or other courses approved by the program director):

    • DEP 5099 Proseminar in Infancy, Childhood, and Adolescence
    • DEP 5405 Proseminar in the Psychology of Adulthood and Aging
    • DEP 5936 Integrating Theory and Research in Developmental Science

    Biological Breadth Requirement (3 credits drawn from the following list of 3 credit courses, or other courses approved by the program director):

    • DEP 5058 Bio-Behavioral Development
    • EXP 5667 Cognitive Neuroscience

    Cognitive Breadth Requirement (3 credits drawn from the following list of 3 credit courses, or other courses approved by the program director):

    • DEP 5065: Cognitive Development
    • DEP 6645: Cognition and Language

    Social Breadth Requirement (3 credits drawn from the following list of 3 credit courses, or other courses approved by the program director):

    • DEP 5725 Seminar in Psychosocial Development
    • DEP 7096 Seminar in Psychology of Life-Span Social Development
    • SOP 5058 Proseminar in Social Psychology

    See the Curriculum Requirements link provided on the Curriculum Overview Page for more information

  • What are considered elective courses?

    Up to 6 credits of the Developmental program's curriculum consists of elective courses; these are courses not considered breadth/required developmental courses that are directly relevant to the student's program of study. Each student determines a set of elective courses in consultation with their faculty adviser. Often graduate level courses approved for transfer in to our program are typically counted toward the student's elective requirements.

    The Current Course Offerings page provides students with information on course possibilities within the department. Students can also choose electives from the full array of courses offered in other FIU academic departments and through the University of Miami exchange program (see below).

  • In what order should I take these courses?

    The simple answer is that courses can be taken in any order EXCEPT those in which the content builds upon content from a previous class. Specifically, you are strongly encouraged to take the quantitative course requirements in the following order:

    • PSY 5939: Special Topics- Quantitative Methods l (Part 1 of the Common Core Statistics/ Quantitative Sequence; Fall Semester of 1st Year)
    • PSY 5939: Special Topics- Quantitative Methods II (Part 2 of the Common Core Statistics/ Quantitative Sequence; Spring Semester of 1st Year)
    • PSY 5246C: Multivariate Analysis in Applied Psychological Research (Fall Semester of 2nd Year)

    Those students who have received permission to waive these courses because of prior training are not required to take these courses in this order. However, only the Program Director and Graduate Program Director can authorize the waiving of required courses (see below).

    Further, students typically complete their 18 credits of Supervised Research/ Independent Study over the summer semesters (6 credits per summer). Like most departments in the university, the Developmental Science program does not offer formal classes during the summer. So this is the best time to utilize these credits by working on a specific project with your mentor.

    Again, you should be aware that outside of the classes in the Common Core Statistics/Quantitative Sequence, all other courses offered through the Developmental Science program are run on a two year rotating schedule. This means if you miss taking a required or core content course you will have to wait two years before it is offered again. So you should take the courses when they are offered so you do not delay your progress toward graduation.

  • When should I complete all of my required courses?

    These courses should be finished by the end of your second year and prior to the start of your third year in the program. You are required to complete these courses prior to taking qualifying exams. You will not be eligible to take qualifying exams if you have not successfully completed these courses.

  • Can I take courses offered by other programs, departments or schools in the university?

    You can take courses outside of the program and department; in many cases it is encouraged and a necessity. However, these should be taken only after consulting with a faculty advisor. This is because the faculty advisor will need to sign a memo indicating that these courses are appropriate for your degree and research program focus. Courses taken outside of the program, department and university typically count toward the required elective courses.

  • Can I take courses offered at institutions outside of FIU?

    Currently, FIU doctoral students have the opportunity to complete up to six credits at the University of Miami (UM) as members of an exchange program between FIU and UM. The program gives students a larger selection of courses from which to choose and allows students at UM and FIU to take advantage of the educational and research opportunities at both institutions.

    You can choose from any course at UM provided the course is not already offered at FIU and it is not a limited-access course or a course carrying additional fees (e.g. online course). If you participate in the program you will pay FIU rates for tuition and fees for the courses you take at UM; students with an assistantship will have the tuition fees covered by their tuition waivers. Students are limited to taking a maximum of six graduate credits in the exchange.

    Interested students should use this link to complete an application. Courses taken at UM not be recognized by the Developmental Science program or FIU without a completed and approved program application on file with the Graduate School.

  • Can I transfer in graduate level courses I took prior to entering the program?

    Yes, graduate level courses where you earned a grade of B or higher can be transferred in and count toward your degree requirements. First, you need to provide a copy of the syllabus. Then you work with your faculty advisor to determine what are the equivalent courses in our curriculum; typically they fulfill elective requirements or replace a course we offer with matching content. Your advisor will send a memo to the program director to approve these courses for transfer, along with the syllabus of the prior course. The Developmental Science Program director will determine if the course you would like to transfer meets curriculum expectations. If the Developmental Science Program Director agrees, she/he will send a memo to the Graduate Program Director to confirm that these courses have been evaluated as meeting requirements for the Developmental Science degree.

  • Can I take qualifying exams the same semester I am finishing the required course curriculum?

    If you wish to take qualifying exams during the same semester you are taking required (e.g., breadth/core) courses, you must contact the Program Director by the fourth week of the same semester. If you wish to take qualifying exams before you have met the 60 pre-candidacy credit requirement, you must contact the Program Director by the fourth week of the same semester. You must make this request, in writing to the Program Director, and include your faculty advisor in the email.