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Developmental Psychology

The MS in Developmental Psychology from Bay Path University consists of 12 three credit courses including 160 hours of community-based fieldwork for a total of 36 credits. Courses are offered online and on campus in Concord, East Longmeadow and Sturbridge, Massachusetts. Most students complete the degree in one to two years while continuing to work full-time.


Courses are offered 100% online or a combination of online and on campus (offered in either ConcordEast Longmeadow, or Sturbridge, Massachusetts)

Curriculum & Schedules

Code Course Name Credit Hours
PSY501 Human Growth & Development 3

Examine the nature and needs of individuals at all developmental stages of life. Understand the major theories of physical, cognitive, affective, and social development and their application to Mental Health Counseling practice with attention to the impact of cultural and environmental factors.

PSY535 Ethics & Professional Conduct in Counseling 3

This course is designed to provide students with a practical awareness of ethical standards and codes of conduct in the field of psychology. Students will review and critically analyze case studies which incorporate such topics as ethical decision making, informed consent, confidentiality, boundary and relationship issues, professional competence, supervision, and multicultural and diversity issues. Students will demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the standards set by the code of ethics of the American Counseling Association and the American Mental Health Counselors Association, and of licensure and regulatory practices.

PSY550 Family Systems 3

This course will focus on family dynamics and family systems. Various family systems theorists such as Minuchin, Satir, and Haley will be reviewed and discussed. Specific attention will be given to issues of substance use within the family, including both working with someone with primary substance use and the effects of substance use on family structure. Students will be given the opportunity to practice various systemic interventions that promote healthy psychological development within the family system. The impact of culture, gender, and sexual identity will be examined.

PSY552 Bullying & Coercive Behavior 3

This course will examine the overwhelming evidence of how this anti-social behavior impacts the youth of today at home, in school, and in the community. Students will investigate the causes and kinds of bullying as well as how parenting styles either contribute to or empower the child against bullying. Strategies for the educator, psychology professional, and parent will be studied.

PSY620 Psychopathology 3

This course provides the students with an advanced understanding of relevant nomenclature and psychopathology from a developmental, biological, psychodynamic, cognitive, behavioral, interpersonal, and family/systems perspective. Students will learn how to interpret the multiaxial system of assessment and understand coding and reporting procedures outlined in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders IV-TR that are utilized in making a diagnosis of a mental disorder. Students will incorporate relevant research and case studies throughout the course to integrate the various perspectives within a clinical context.

PSY625 Applied Research Methods in Counseling 3

This course addresses research design and methodology as used by developmental psychologists. Emphasis is on the use of experimental and quasi-experimental designs, confounding factors that may bias results, assessment strategies, and data evaluation methods. By the completion of this course, the student will have formulated a research proposal, and will have completed a successful research project.

PSY654 Drugs, Medication & Society 3

This course will help the student understand the most commonly prescribed medications that are used in connection with behavioral health today. Current trends in psychopharmacological intervention will be studied and how such drugs will impact cognition, judgment, emotions, and motivation in the developing brain. In addition to commonly prescribed behavioral health medications, the use and abuse of mood altering chemicals will be discussed along with the nature and process of addictive drug seeking behaviors.

PSY657 Counseling & Co-Occurring Disorders 3

This course will enable the student to learn those counseling techniques and skills that are essential for working with clients who suffer from co-occurring disorders such as addiction and mental health problems. Students will develop an understanding of how clients can self-medicate underlying mental health and emotional problems by means of illicit drug use and abuse. With this understanding, the student will learn how to develop effective treatment plans for clients with co-occurring disorders.

PSY658 Psychological Assessment in Counseling 3

Students will learn to administer and interpret standardized assessments and screening tools used for the evaluation of infants, children, adolescents, adults, and the aging. Students will learn specific screening tools for substance use disorders as well as in-depth standardized assessments for alcohol and drug use. The course will focus on cognitive, projective and personality instruments as well as assessment of substance use disorders and attitude surveys. The importance of accurate report writing, as well as observational and interview skills will be emphasized.

PSY662 Counseling Theories & Practice 3

This course is designed to provide students with a broad understanding of the theory and application of contrasting theoretical models of counseling and forming helping relationships. Students will examine the theory and application of various counseling models through lecture, presentations, group discussion, experiential activities, readings and reflection. This course will address the therapeutic process and practical elements of the counseling interaction, and assist students in strengthening their own personal approach to the helping relationship. In addition, it will challenge students to conceptualize their own qualities that support and hinder the therapeutic helping relationship.

PSY663 Career Development: Theory and Practice 3

This course will focus on the dynamic relationship that can exist between a person’s culture and other related and associated issues in the employment arena. Topics will focus on career counseling, occupational development theories, educational planning, market research and vocational assessment tools as well as the use of technology as a tool in career counseling. Case studies will also be utilized.

PSY670 Fieldwork 3

The Master's Fieldwork experience, required of all students, develops knowledge and skills of professional psychology and provides opportunities to apply theoretical knowledge. Students select a setting appropriate to their field of study such as: schools, agencies, community centers, residential facilities, and correctional institutions. Students must obtain 160 clock hours of fieldwork experience under the joint supervision of the department and the organization.