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Washington State University
College of Education

Educational Psychology Overview

About us

Educational Psychology…..advancing theory and methods to better learning and performance.

Educational psychology is the study of how humans learn and retain knowledge, primarily in educational settings like classrooms. This includes emotional, social, and cognitive learning processes. Areas of focus might include teaching, testing and assessment methods, psychometrics, classroom or learning environments, and learning, social, and behavioral problems that may impede learning, technology in learning. Graduates work as professors, education specialists, learning analysts, program evaluators, and find positions in research institutions, school systems, the testing industry, government agencies, and private industry.

The mission of Educational Psychology at WSU is to produce successful professionals in educational psychology who have strong methodological skills, understanding of researchable topics, the ability to develop a research program, effectively communicate and work with a wide variety of professionals, and skills to understand nuance and ambiguity in the work environment.

We train students within educational psychology to be excellent consumers and producers of research in order to address challenging educational problems.  These students gain a deep understanding of learning theory and methods to allow them to contribute to both theory and practice in the domain in which they select to work.  The work in such areas may be awarded, for example, by the  ability to make contributions to the improvement of educational settings (e.g., schools, universities), to have a direct influence on individuals through the development of programs, methods, and tools to meet their needs, or to provide information to individuals who shape policy. Thus, we seek individuals who will first meet challenging academic standards for entrance and show promise for success in the exciting field of educational psychology.

Our programs

Our program offers two degree options with a specialization in Educational Psychology; the Master of Arts (M.A.) and the Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.). The M.A. and Ph.D. programs culminate with the writing and oral defense of a formal thesis or dissertation. Students pursuing a master’s degree can expect to complete the program in two years and doctoral students can expect to finish in three to five years beyond the master’s degree.

The core requirements in Research, Evaluation, Measurement, Learning and Cognition provide students with a solid academic foundation. Programs afford some flexibility to tailor course work to individual student preferences and research options. Through faculty and student partnerships across campus, the program provides an exciting, interdisciplinary atmosphere for course and field study.

Graduates in educational psychology can expect employment in private firms, school districts, universities, business, industry, or state agencies. For example, graduates work for: test companies as researchers, university as professors and researchers, and assessment offices across the United States.

Our Ph.D. program equips students with the knowledge of learning theories and strong methodological, evaluation and assessment skills to conduct research on diverse issues relevant to education and beyond. Students are expected to integrate theoretical understanding with research and internship opportunities offered by the university to solve educational problems and improve policy and practice. The Educational Psychology faculty are committed to mentoring graduate students to develop their own body of research, publish in top tier journals, present at conferences and gain career-related skills. Students can also obtain research methods certificates while completing their master’s work in the Learning and Performance Research Center as well as research laboratories directed by Educational Psychology faculty.


For more information, you can email us at or complete this short survey and a faculty member will contact you.