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Grad Program: Educational Psychology

 
Basic Information

Understanding the intricacies of childhood development and the process of human learning is an important pursuit as schools face new and complex challenges. People working in the field of educational psychology study current educational policies and methods of instruction and develop new ways of teaching and evaluating students. The field presents opportunities to drive education reform, address the needs of underserved student populations, research student motivation, and explore society's influence on the learning process.

There are many subdivisions in the field of educational psychology, including therapeutic intervention, education evaluation, counseling, and cognitive theories. Other specific concentrations include policy analysis, literacy or math acquisition, alternative forms of schooling, learning disabilities, technology in schools, and health education.

Research comprises a large part of any educational psychology program. Students complete fieldwork or internships as part of their training. A wide range of research topics fall under this field, including questions surrounding multicultural education, literacy or math acquisition, alternative forms of schooling, learning disabilities, technology in schools, and health education.

Degree Information

For the most part, a master’s degree in educational psychology is a stepping-stone for doctoral study. Generally, students seek out general education psychology courses that allow them to get a feel for the specialized areas they may want to pursue in their post-master’s study. Those students not seeking a doctorate sometimes choose a specialized track, such as cognitive technologies and educational evaluation.

Doctoral students have a research-focused curriculum. They seek to find effective methods of instruction while paying close attention to a child’s psychological needs. Fieldwork gives researchers the opportunity to test and improve their hypotheses while seeking to better the instruction and training given to both students and teacher.

Questions to Ask Yourself When Choosing a Degree Program
  • How much time is allotted for independent research and fieldwork?
  • What areas have former students researched?
  • What types of research projects is the faculty engaged in?
  • Do most master’s students go on to do doctoral work in the field?
  • What are the elective choices? Does the program emphasize interdisciplinary coursework in departments such as sociology, public policy, anthropology, and economics?

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