The Developmental Area of the Department of Psychology offers a program of study leading to the M.A. and Ph.D. degrees. Graduates of the program use their knowledge in a variety of settings including universities, hospitals, community agencies, and industry. The faculty members in the area have a wide range of research and theoretical interests. New students are admitted to work with a specific faculty member. Students also have the opportunity to interact with more than one member of the area to add breadth and depth to their training.

The training is research oriented, and thus the graduate program strives to provide students with a solid foundation in developmental theory and research methodology. From the first term on campus students are encouraged to undertake a program of increasingly independent research. The variety of course offerings within the university, and a low student-faculty ratio, allow graduate training to be tailored to the needs and interests of individual students. Typically there are about 12 students in the graduate program in developmental psychology. A developmental lunch seminar is held during the school term to allow students and faculty to interact around intellectual issues in a more informal setting. As well, there are numerous occasions for social get-togethers among the faculty, post-doctoral fellows, and graduate students in the Developmental Area.


M.A. Program

The M.A. program requires the completion of two courses in statistics, four courses in developmental psychology, one breadth course in psychology (but outside developmental), and a thesis. The M.A. program is intended to be completed in 2 years.

Ph.D. Program

The Ph.D. program requires the completion of two further courses in developmental psychology, two breadth courses, comprehensive exams, and a dissertation. The Ph.D. program is typically completed in 3-4 years after the M.A.


The Developmental Area has extensive research facilities housed in the psychology building. Most of the Developmental Area labs are equipped with observation galleries, and other specialized facilities and equipment.

In addition to conducting research in their laboratories on campus, many of the developmental faculty also conduct research in the community. Several faculty members in developmental psychology work with children in day cares and elementary schools in the Vancouver area. Others work with families in the community or newborn infants and their parents at the B.C. Women's or Children's Hospitals. Thus students get the opportunity to work in diverse settings.


Andrew Baron (Assistant Professor), Ph.D. Harvard, June 2009

Susan Birch (Associate Professor), Ph.D. Yale, 2004

D. Geoffrey Hall (Professor & Coordinator of the Developmental Program), Ph.D. Harvard, 1991

J. Kiley Hamlin (Canada Research Chair & Assistant Professor ),  Ph.D. Yale, 2010

Lawrence Walker (Professor & Director of the Graduate Program), Ph.D. Toronto, 1978

Janet Werker (Canada Research Chair & Professor), FRSC, Ph.D. UBC, 1982


Ann Cameron (Honorary Professor Emeritus), Ph.D. London U.K., 1967

Michael Chandler (Professor Emeritus), Ph.D. California-Berkeley, 1966

Stanley Coren (Professor Emeritus), FRSC, Ph.D. Stanford, 1968

James Enns (Distinguished University Scholar & Professor), FRSC, Ph.D. Princeton, 1984

Peter Graf (Professor), Ph.D. McMaster, 1981

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