Educational Psychology
Jessica Summers
Department Head, Educational Psychology

Our graduate programs prepare students for productive roles in research, teaching, and many other areas in which educational psychology is applied. We apply psychological science to improve the learning process and promote educational success for all students.

We offer both an M.A. in educational psychology and a Ph.D. with a major in educational psychology.

Student programs in each area are individualized with a wide range of courses, internships, and research offerings.

The nature of graduate study

A graduate program consists of more than coursework. Although coursework is important, we expect that students will avail themselves of other opportunities to become scholars in their chosen fields. Coursework provides some background for this scholarship, but students must go beyond course requirements to adequately prepare for productive roles in educational psychology.

Students are expected to seek opportunities for research experience and other individualized studies to augment their coursework. In particular, we recommend that all graduate students engage in research as part of their graduate studies. We believe that students should formulate their own research questions, learn the canons of the field, and conceptualize, conduct, and disseminate original research. Our faculty are active and committed educators who help students refine and publish their research.

We offer many opportunities for gaining valuable teaching, research, assessment, and evaluation skills. The university provides support and opportunities, but the main responsibility for taking advantage of the opportunities belongs to the student.

Faculty advisors

Students initially are assigned to temporary advisors based upon scholarly interests. The support of the advisor or potential advisor is a major factor in selecting a student for admission or financial assistance. Faculty interests include a wide range of areas in educational psychology, and the advisor plays an important role in program planning. Once a student selects an advisor, he or she is encouraged to work closely with the advisor in determining a course of study to fulfill the student's educational goals. Students are expected to maintain consistent contact with their faculty advisors. Students may change their advisors or committee members at appropriate times.

Rebecca Friesen headshot
Student Spotlight
Rebecca Friesen, MEd, PhD

Rebecca Friesen graduated from our EDP program in 2022. Dr. Friesen received the Outstanding Graduate Award from the College of Education. She is currently a Research Scientist at CEARE housed in EDP at The University of Arizona and conducts research and evaluation. She is a wonderful example of our EDP graduate program. Watch her video to learn more about her educational journey.