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Overview

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?

Career Overview

Many graduates of educational psychology programs go on to work as mental health counselors in school or health care settings. School psychologists ensure that students with psychological disorders get the support and treatment they need.

Other educational psychology specialists choose more research-oriented careers, developing new methodologies to be applied in the classroom and reforming existing policies. They may work as part of universities, public school systems, private companies, or nonprofits dedicated to education reform and evaluation practices.

A background in educational psychology also qualifies people for jobs as program evaluators, who often work for state departments of education, academic departments, and private institutions. There is also a demand for educational psychologists who focus on special education instruction and administration in classroom settings or private, supplemental settings.

Career/Licensing Requirements

To work as a counselor in public schools, it is necessary to obtain a school counselor credential. Credential requirements vary by state; however, most require counselors to have met minimum education requirements, have worked as a counselor or teacher, and hold a valid state teaching license.

Salary Information

Starting salaries will vary based on the type of employer, but generally speaking new educational psychologists can expect to earn between $35,000 and $50,000.

Related Links

American Psychological Association
Find the latest news, accredited schools, educational resources and scholarships in the field of educational psychology with the American Psychological Association.

Journal of Educational Psychology
Keep up with the latest developments with the American Psychological Association’s educational psychology newsletters.




SAMPLE CURRICULUM

  • The Following Sample Curriculum Is Based On A General Educational Psychology Track Theories And Research In Educational Behavior And Development

  • Advanced Educational Psychology

  • Advanced Educational Psychology: Instructional Design Media And Technology Applications To

  • American Educational Thought

  • Foundations Of Cognition And Instruction

  • Foundations Of Cognition And Instruction

  • Foundations Of Educational Psychology

  • Historical Foundations Of Education

  • Instruction

  • Internship/Fieldwork

  • Program Evaluation In Education

  • Psychological Measurement Application Techniques And Theory

  • Psychology Of Child Development

  • Psychology Of Learning

  • Psychology Of Motivation

  • Psychology Of Personality And Individual Differences

  • Psychology Of Small Groups

  • Social Foundations Of Education

  • Statistical Methods In Education And Psychology

  • Statistical Methods In Educational Psychology