Master of Arts with an Emphasis in Educational Psychology

This program exposes students to emerging psychological research and theory, preparing them for a wide range of professional positions in education, government, and industry.

The master's program provides a foundational understanding of the concepts, methods, and theories related to the field of educational psychology. Students hold undergraduate degrees from diverse academic fields. Many are experienced educators who have chosen graduate work in Educational Psychology to increase their knowledge and skills. The program exposes these students to knowledge emerging from psychological research and theory, preparing them for a wide range of professional positions in education, government, and industry.

For other students, master's work provides a level of entry into a doctoral program in Educational Psychology. All students learn how psychology is relevant to educational issues. The master's program offers specialized courses in the areas of the psychology of teaching and learning, human development, and measurement, statistics and research methodology.

The master's degree program of study for each student is planned by the student in consultation with a faculty advisor who must approve the program. The choices for the course of study are determined by the student and advisor based on prior preparation, professional aspirations, scholastic needs, and personal preferences. Because usefulness of courses varies depending on the student’s background, the program of study depends in part upon the student’s entry-level competencies.

The master's degree requires a minimum of 30 units, with at least 27 of these units taken in Educational Psychology. Usually these 30 units include not only coursework but also a supervised research experience. For most students, the master's program represents a broader scholarly exploration of educational psychology. For students who intend doctoral study --the M.A. research will yield a written thesis.

Comprehensive Option

In the M.A. Comprehensive Option, the student’s understanding of the field is demonstrated in two ways: 1) Prepare and present an integrative review of literature, or 2) Conduct and report a research study.

Thesis Option

(3-6 units EDP 910) Master of Arts degree candidates pursuing the thesis option complete research for a master's thesis. Students establish a three-member committee (one member of this committee may be selected from outside the department), with the director serving as the committee chair. The director should be chosen by the end of the second semester of study. The director's function is to advise the student about selection of a topic, development of a thesis research or project proposal, and progress of the research or project. After developing a detailed plan that includes both the integrative review of literature and the research study, the student presents the proposed plan to the committee. When the plan is approved, the student proceeds to develop a thesis or project to be presented at the time of the oral defense.

M.A. Handbook


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