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Educational Psychology Ph.D.

Our society faces a number of critical educational issues these days:

  • How to make learning meaningful and authentic
  • How to develop critical thinking and creativity
  • How to support the application of learning in real-world contexts
  • How to effectively educate special populations, including minorities and gifted students
  • How to foster self-directed learning
  • How to effectively assess student learning

All these issues fall under the purview of Educational Psychology. Educational Psychology is the study of human learning and motivation. It encompasses investigations of cognition and the brain; the influence of affect, goals, and interest on learning; the role of assessment in learning; the psychology of teaching; the effectiveness of instructional interventions; the relationship between cognition and technology; the social psychology of learning organizations; and methods for conducting educational research. It addresses such issues in school contexts, work contexts, and everyday contexts such as the home or museums.

The Ph.D. program at UNC prepares individuals to become leaders in addressing these issues. Students are trained in the art of reading, writing, and empirically researching such issues through coursework and collaboration on research projects with faculty members. Our program is flexible, and we help students design a course of study that best suits their needs. Faculty members take pride in mentoring students and building lasting professional relationships with them. A Ph.D. in Educational Psychology will prepare individuals to, among other things:

  • Teach and conduct research at universities
  • Work at research centers
  • Serve as training consults for businesses
  • Lead professional development efforts for schools and districts
  • Work in state departments of education
  • Work in other educational institutions such as the Educational Testing Service

Details on procedures, policies, and expectations are found in the Educational Psychology PhD Handbook.

Read the School of Psychological Sciences Student Academic Integrity Policy

Learn more about the Educational Psychology Society

Take a look at the recent publications from our graduate students