Program Requirements

Ph.D. in Psychology
Concentration Area: Positive Developmental Psychology (72 units)

Positive Developmental Psychology Core Courses (20 units)

Psych 329: Foundations of Positive Psychology
Psych 333: Theories and Issues in Developmental Psychology (4 units)
Psych 351q: Applied Developmental Psychology

Plus choose two of the following:

  • Psych 331: Adult Development - Classic and Positive Perspectives (4 units)
  • Psych 332: Adolescent Development - Classic and Positive Perspectives (4 units)
  • Child Development - Classic and Positive Perspectives (4 units)

Positive Developmental Psychology & Related Electives (24 units)

Students are required to take an additional 20 units of Positive Developmental Psychology or related coursework, following an approved plan of study.

Recommended elective courses include:
Psych 330: Advanced Topics in Positive Psychology
Psych 350o: Positive Psychology Research Practicum (2-4 units)
Psych 350m: Creativity & Innovation (2 units)
Psych 350t: Positive Organizational Scholarship (4 units)
Psych 350w: Flow – the Positive Psychology Experience (2 units)
Psych 350x: Positive Contexts (4 units)
Psych 350y: Good Work (4 units)
Psych 352i: Evaluating Developmental Interventions (4 units)

To see a list of other courses which are typically offered in the Division of Behavioral and Organizational Sciences, click on the link.  Students are often encouraged to take elective courses in the School of Educational Studies, the Drucker-Ito School of Management, the Division of Politics and Economics, the School of Information Systems and Technology, the School of Arts and Humanities, the School of Mathematical Sciences, or the School of Religion.

Statistics & Methodology (20 units)

Psych 302: Research Methods (4 units)
Psych 306d: Directed Research Seminar: Applied Developmental Psychology (2 2-unit courses)
Psych 308a: Intermediate Statistics (2 units)
Psych 308b: Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) (2 units)
Psych 308c: Applied Multiple Regression (2 units)
Psych 308d: Categorical Data Analysis (2 units)
Psych 315 Sequence: 4 additional units of Advanced Methodology

Field/Teaching Experience (4 units)

Psych 310: Supervised Teaching Seminar (4 units) or Psych 450: Field Placement (4 units)

Transdisciplinary Core Course (4 units)

All Ph.D. students are required to enroll in a transdisciplinary core course from the “TNDY” course sequence during their first three semesters at Claremont Graduate University.  Details may be found by following this link to CGU's Transdisciplinary Course page.


In addition to 72 units of coursework, all Ph.D. students are required to complete a portfolio.  The portfolio is expected to represent a cohesive set of experiences that balance the student’s training in their area of specialization.  For more information about the portfolio, click on the link.

Oral Qualifying Examination

When the student has completed their qualifying core courses and has had their completed portfolio approved by their advisor, they are required to pass an oral qualifying examination to determine their competency in their area of specialization.  For further information about Oral Qualifying Exams, click on the link.


Once all other requirements are fulfilled, including all coursework, the portfolio, and the oral qualifying examination, students must submit a dissertation proposal for approval by their committee.  Once the proposal has been approved, the student may begin conducting research for the dissertation.  After data has been collected, early drafts of the dissertation are reviewed by the dissertation chair.  When a polished draft has been approved, it should be circulated to an approved Dissertation Committee, who must approve the final draft before it is submitted to an outside visiting examiner.  At least two weeks after the entire committee has reviewed the draft, the final oral examination is held.  Any final revisions requested by the Dissertation Committee must be completed and approved before the dissertation is submitted to the Registrar for publication and the student is awarded doctoral status.  Further guidelines regarding the doctoral dissertation may be found by following the link and looking under the heading "Ph.D. Forms."