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.

Saeideh (Saida) Heshmati, PhD headshot
Student Spotlight
Saeideh (Saida) Heshmati, PhD

Saeideh (Saida) Heshmati, PhD, graduated from Uarizona in EdP in 2015.  Dr. Heshmati is an assistant professor of psychology at Claremont Graduate University. She is a positive developmental psychologist interested in how optimal development unfolds over time in diverse samples, especially in at-risk adults. Watch her video to learn more about her educational journey.