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Welcome to the Educational Psychology program at Penn State!

The science of learning, teaching, and assessment is at the core of Educational Psychology at Penn State. Students in our graduate program explore how people learn across the lifespan and ways that learning and teaching interconnect and reciprocally influence each other in formal and informal educational settings. Given our focus on the science of learning, teaching, and assessment, students are exposed to a variety of approaches to the design of empirical research, the creation of measures for latent variables, and the use of advanced statistical techniques. Our goal is to provide students the theoretical and methodological tools needed to conduct research on the development and assessment of model learning communities.

To accomplish this goal, we have adopted an Apprentice Scholar model that enables students to develop an extensive understanding of relevant research and to produce knowledge through their own research. As students in our program develop expertise, they learn to participate as members of a research community that is concerned with the nexus of learning, teaching, assessment, and research methodology. Graduate students in our program work within an intensive research apprenticeship that includes several key components:

  • Collaboration with faculty mentors on research initiatives and projects

  • Coursework in fundamental knowledge and skills

  • Advanced seminars and colloquia in specialized areas

  • Professional development seminar

Given the expertise of our program faculty, some students orient their studies and experiences with a greater depth in learning and teaching processes, while other students choose to place more emphasis on measurement and research methodology. Program faculty facilitate this process by helping students to select an emphasis area and develop their expertise.

Educational Psychology Degree Programs

Doctoral programs for all students are developed individually by the student working together with a faculty adviser and doctoral committee. Beyond meeting the requirements of The Graduate School, a program is expected to reflect a student's background and career interests. The major steps in a doctoral program include:

We offer two different master's degree programs. The M.S. program with thesis is primarily for students who will continue on through the doctoral program. The alternative without a thesis requirement is intended for students who plan to terminate their graduate study after obtaining an M.S. degree.

At the doctoral level, a minor is also possible in Educational Psychology. Like all University minors, it requires at least 15 credits of work within the program, including the courses EDPSY 406, EDPSY 421, and EDPSY 450, plus at least two other courses in Educational Psychology, in consultation with the minor advisor. The minor advisor should be appointed as early as possible. Anyone interested in this option should talk to a professor in Educational Psychology. If you would like to fill out the form for the Minor in Educational Psychology, please see the program staff assistant in 125 CEDAR Building.

Tuition and Financial Aid

Visit Penn State's Tution and Financial Aid website to answer any future questions you  may have. 

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