2023-24 Catalogs

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Graduate Certificate in Lifespan Development

Developmental psychology and lifespan developmental studies include the scientific study of psychological changes that occur over the life course. Therefore, developmental studies are inherently interested in many of the same questions of other areas of psychology, education, family studies, etc., but by investigating the ways in which particular psychological processes change and develop from infancy to adolescence, and through to adulthood. The purpose of the graduate certificate in lifespan development is to provide students in other areas of psychological study, or human behavior broadly defined, a better understanding of the ways in which psychological functions change with age, as well as the challenges and special considerations that are a part of research with children and adolescents and how they may be different from those of working with adults. 


The requirements for acceptance and completion of work for the certificate are as follows:

  1. The student must be enrolled and in good standing in a doctoral-level program at MU (available to degree-seeking students only).
  2. A request to be included in the certificate program must be made in advance of final completion of courses to Nicole Campione-Barr, PhD. This can be done via e-mail or hard copy, however, the request must also be approved by the student’s major advisor. 
  3. A formal plan of study must be submitted to the Graduate School no later than the semester prior to graduation. This must be signed by the certificate coordinator (Nicole Campione-Barr) and the director of graduate studies of the student’s major department.
  4. Students must complete a minimum of 15 credit hours to be awarded the certificate, following the below guidelines:
Core Courses: students are required to take 3 core courses
PSYCH 8410Psychology of Development3
or H_D_FS 8210 Theories of Human Development
PSYCH 8420Cognitive Development3
or H_D_FS 8420 Cognitive Development
PSYCH 8440Social and Emotional Development3
or H_D_FS 8440 Social and Emotional Development
Options within the Department of Psychological Sciences, and Human Development and Family Studies are listed below. Other pre-approved options are listed and include courses in Communication Sciences and Disorders, Educational School and Counseling Psychology, Social Work, and Special Education. Courses other than those listed may be appropriate, but should be approved prior to registration.
Developmental psychology such as PSYCH 7420
Studies in Developmental Psychology
Research in Psychology - Non-Thesis
Research in Psychology - Non-Dissertation
Foundations of Youth Development
Black Families
Topics in Human Development and Family Science
Family Dynamics and Intervention
Developmental Perspectives on Health and Illness
Family Theories
Youth Development
Advanced Seminar on Multicultural Families
Adolescence and Emerging Adulthood
Life Course Perspective
Remarriage & Stepfamilies: Development, Dynamics, & Intervention
Gendered Relations in Families
Family Interaction
Children, Families and Public Policy
Problems in Human Development and Family Science
Research in Human Development and Family Science
Child and Adolescent Development in Schools
Lifespan Development
Foundations of Career Psychology
Cultural Backgrounds and Learning
Mental, Emotional, and Behavioral Disorders in Youth
Developmental Psychopathology and Exceptionality
Language and Development in Infancy
Developmental Language Disorders
Helping Strategies With Children and Adolescents
Language Development of Exceptional Students
Advanced Studies in Developmental Disabilities

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Need for Certificate Program

For students within the child clinical psychology Ph.D. program of study there is a need for some students to gain greater exposure to developmental studies. Currently, the department of Psychological Sciences offers a dual child clinical and developmental psychology degree program. This program is extremely rigorous, however, and students and faculty within the Department of Psychological Sciences have identified a need for more in-depth study in developmental science without the commitment of a second degree. In creating the certificate program, however, it was determined that graduate students in other related fields may also wish to pursue further study in lifespan development. In particular, students in education, social work, communication science and disorders, and additional areas within psychology may benefit from greater understanding of developmental processes which could be gained through the required and elective course work outlined in this certificate program. 

Impact on Current Programs of Study

The impact to current programs of study is expected to be relatively minimal other than the inclusion of potentially a few more students enrolled in the aforementioned classes. 

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Advisory Committee Members

Debi Bell, Psychological Sciences
Nicole Campione-Barr, Psychological Sciences
Marilyn Coleman, Human Development & Family Studies
Larry Ganong, Human Development & Family Studies
Jean Ispa, Human Development & Family Studies
Amanda Rose, Psychological Sciences

Participating/Affiliated Faculty - Various faculty from the following departments:

Psychological Sciences
Human Development and Family Studies
Communication Science and Disorders
Educational, School, and Counseling Psychology
Special Education
Social Work


When needed, advising will be provided to students by lifespan development certificate coordinator (Nicole Campione-Barr), in conjunction with the student’s major advisor.

Dr. Nicole Campione-Barr, Coordinator
Lifespan Development Graduate Certificate Program
204D McAlester Hall
email: campionebarrn@missouri.edu
phone: (573) 884-1681

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