Educational Psychology

Graduate Program HeadMatthew McCrudden
Program CodeEDPSY
Campus(es)University Park (Ph.D., M.S.)
Degrees Conferred

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)

Master of Science (M.S.)

Dual-Title Ph.D. and M.S. in Educational Psychology and Comparative and International Education

The Graduate Faculty

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The graduate program in Educational Psychology focuses on the study of learning, instruction, and measurement across the life span. The learning and instruction emphasis applies the study of cognitive psychology to research on learning and instruction in applied settings like schools. The course of study provides a strong foundation in psychological theory, principles related to instructional applications, and quantitative methodology. The measurement emphasis applies cognitive psychology and theories of measurement to test design, instrument construction, scale analysis, and measurement theory. The Educational Psychology program emphasizes the use of rigorous quantitative methodology in the scientific study of learning, instruction, and measurement in applied settings. Typically this program prepares individuals for professions in universities, research institutions, government agencies, and industry. Individuals interested in more clinical applications of psychology, such as counseling psychology or school psychology should contact those specific graduate programs in the University.

Admission Requirements

Applicants apply for admission to the program via the Graduate School application for admission. Requirements listed here are in addition to Graduate Council policies listed under GCAC-300 Admissions Policies.

Applicants are required to submit scores from the Graduate Record Examinations (GRE) verbal, quantitative, and analytic writing. Successful applicants typically score above 500 on both Verbal and Quantitative on the GRE, or above 153 on Verbal and above 144 on the Quantitative sections of the revised GRE. Typically applicants have at least a 3.0 junior/senior grade-point average (on a 4.0 point scale) and broad undergraduate background including college level mathematics. Exceptions may be made for students with special backgrounds, abilities, and interests. Applicants with a master's degree will be required to show strong performance in their graduate program. Applicants will also supply letters of reference and a written statement of their professional goals.

The language of instruction at Penn State is English. English proficiency test scores (TOEFL/IELTS) may be required for international applicants. See GCAC-305 Admission Requirements for International Students for more information.

Degree Requirements

Master of Science (M.S.)

Requirements listed here are in addition to Graduate Council policies listed under GCAC-600 Research Degree Policies.

Students in the master's degree program are required to take 30 credits, including:

Required Courses
EDPSY 421Learning Processes in Relation to Educational Practices3
EDPSY 450Principles of Measurement3
EDPSY 475Introduction to Educational Research3
EDPSY 505Statistical Applications in Educational Research3
Total Credits12

The 30 credits must be at the 400, 500, 600, or 800 level, and at least 18 of those credits must be at the 500 and 600 level, combined. Students will also take at least one foundational course in educational theory, philosophy, or individual differences. The remaining credits will be taken in a way to develop the student's area of specialization, in consultation with the student's adviser. The program offers two pathways, M.S. with a thesis, and an M.S. without a thesis. Students wishing to go on to the Ph.D. are required to complete the M.S. with thesis.

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)

Requirements listed here are in addition to Graduate Council policies listed under GCAC-600 Research Degree Policies.

Students in the doctoral degree program will select a major emphasis in either learning and instruction or measurement. Students in the doctoral program must complete the core required courses as listed in the Master of Science (M.S.) program. All students must also have at least one advanced-level course in learning and in measurement. Students will also have three courses spread across the foundational areas of:

  1. educational theory and history,
  2. philosophy,
  3. and individual differences.

Students must pass a qualifying examination to enter into the doctoral program, assessing their mastery of the content in the core courses. Students must also pass a comprehensive examination assessing their areas of specialization near the end of their doctoral studies. Students are also expected to develop and defend a theoretically based scholarly research proposal that will become their dissertation project. The doctoral program culminates in the production of and defense of the student's dissertation that is expected to be a publishable quality independent research study.

Minor

Requirements listed here are in addition to requirements for minors in Graduate Council policies listed under GCAC-600 Research Degree Policies and GCAC-700 Professional Degree Policies.

At the doctoral level, a minor is also possible in EDPSY. Like all doctoral minors, it requires at least 15 credits of work within the program; the specific requirements for the doctoral minor in Educational Psychology are EDPSY 421, EDPSY 450, and EDPSY 505, plus at least two other courses in EDPSY, in consultation with the minor adviser. The minor adviser should be a member of the Graduate Faculty and should be appointed to the student's Ph.D. committee as early as possible.

Dual-Titles

Dual-Title M.S. and Ph.D. in Educational Psychology and Comparative and International Education

Requirements listed here are in addition to requirements listed in GCAC-208 Dual-Title Graduate Degree Programs.

Admissions Requirements

Students must apply and be admitted to the graduate program in Educational Psychology and The Graduate School before they can apply for admission to the dual-title degree program. After admission to their primary program, students must apply for admission to and meet the admissions requirements of the Comparative and International Education dual-title program. Refer to the Admission Requirements section of the Comparative and International Education Bulletin page. Doctoral students must be admitted into the dual-title degree program in Comparative and International Education prior to taking the qualifying examination in their primary graduate program.

Degree Requirements

To qualify for the dual-title degree, students must satisfy the degree requirements for the degree they are enrolled in Educational Psychology, listed in the Degree Requirements section. In addition, students must complete the degree requirements for the dual-title in Comparative and International Education, listed on the Comparative and International Education Bulletin page

The qualifying examination committee for the dual-title Ph.D. degree will be composed of Graduate Faculty from Educational Psychology and must include at least one Graduate Faculty member from the Comparative and International Education program. Faculty members who hold appointments in both programs’ Graduate Faculty may serve in a combined role. There will be a single qualifying examination, containing elements of both Educational Psychology and Comparative and International Education. Dual-title graduate degree students may require an additional semester to fulfill requirements for both areas of study and, therefore, the qualifying examination may be delayed one semester beyond the normal period allowable.

In addition to the general Graduate Council requirements for Ph.D. committees, the Ph.D. committee of an Educational Psychology and Comparative and International Education dual-title Ph.D. student must include at least one member of the Comparative and International Education Graduate Faculty. Faculty members who hold appointments in both programs’ Graduate Faculty may serve in a combined role. If the chair of the Ph.D. committee is not also a member of the Graduate Faculty in Comparative and International Education, the member of the committee representing Comparative and International Education must be appointed as co-chair. The Comparative and International Education representative on the student’s Ph.D. committee will develop questions for and participate in the evaluation of the comprehensive examination.

Students in the dual-title program are required to write and orally defend a dissertation on a topic that is approved in advance by their Ph.D. committee and reflects their original research and education in Educational Psychology and Comparative and International Education. Upon completion of the doctoral dissertation, the candidate must pass a final oral examination (the dissertation defense) to earn the Ph.D. degree. The dissertation must be accepted by the Ph.D. committee, the head of the graduate program, and the Graduate School.

Student Aid

Graduate assistantships available to students in this program and other forms of student aid are described in the Tuition & Funding section of The Graduate School’s website. Students on graduate assistantships must adhere to the course load limits set by The Graduate School.

All applicants are considered for Graduate Assistantships that are available in the program. Typically these assistantships provide tuition waiver plus a stipend.

Courses

Graduate courses carry numbers from 500 to 699 and 800 to 899. Advanced undergraduate courses numbered between 400 and 499 may be used to meet some graduate degree requirements when taken by graduate students. Courses below the 400 level may not. A graduate student may register for or audit these courses in order to make up deficiencies or to fill in gaps in previous education but not to meet requirements for an advanced degree.

Educational Psychology (EDPSY) Course List

Learning Outcomes

Master of Science (M.S.) - Thesis

  1. Students demonstrate appropriate breadth and depth of knowledge in the science of learning.
  2. Students demonstrate the ability to apply theory and methods in the science of learning to analyze educational contexts.
  3. Students demonstrate the ability to evaluate and synthesize theory and methods in the science of learning to execute research.
  4. Students demonstrate the ability to think critically and analytically about disciplinary knowledge in oral and written communication.
  5. Students have knowledge of and conduct themselves according to ethical and professional standards.

Master of Science (M.S.) - Non-Thesis

  1. Students demonstrate appropriate breadth and depth of knowledge in the science of learning.
  2. Students demonstrate the ability to apply theory and methods in the science of learning to examine educational contexts.
  3. Students demonstrate the ability to evaluate and synthesize theory and methods in the science of learning to generate educational applications.
  4. Students demonstrate the ability to think critically and analytically about disciplinary knowledge in oral and written communication.
  5. Students have knowledge of and conduct themselves according to ethical and professional standards.

Doctor of Philosophy

  1. Students demonstrate appropriate breadth and depth of knowledge in the science of learning.
  2. Students demonstrate the ability to apply theory and methods in the science of learning to generate novel insights into educational contexts.
  3. Students demonstrate the ability to evaluate and synthesize theory and methods in the science of learning to generate novel hypotheses and research.
  4. Students demonstrate the ability to think critically and analytically about disciplinary knowledge in oral and written communication.
  5. Students have knowledge of and conduct themselves according to ethical and professional standards.

Contact

Campus University Park
Graduate Program Head Matthew T McCrudden
Director of Graduate Studies (DGS) or Professor-in-Charge (PIC) Matthew T McCrudden
Program Contact

Paul M Smith
125D CEDAR Building
University Park PA 16802
pms5249@psu.edu
(814) 863-4452

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