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Washington State University
College of Education

Educational Psychology – Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Educational Psychology

Research. Evaluation. Measurement. Learning & Cognition

Our Ph.D. program is designed for those seeking entrance into one of the following professional fields:

  • college or university teaching in the areas of general educational psychology and/or educational measurement, evaluation and research design
  • public school service in the role of a testing program director or coordinator of curriculum and program evaluation
  • industry positions in research and testing companies (e.g., ACT, ETS)
  • research and/or administration in research units such as the Northwest Regional Lab, American Institutes of Research, or an office of institutional studies at a college or university

We train students within educational psychology to develop strong methodological skills and a deep understanding of learning theory to work on challenging educational problems.  These students will have a deeper 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. The work in such areas may be rewarded, 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.

Student learning outcomes include:

  • ability to think critically, evaluate, understand, apply, and communicate scientific research
  • ability to evaluate and apply research designs
  • ability to evaluate and apply statistical and measurement principles to their area of research
  • aware and evaluate how diversity issues and protected populations influence research
  • development of professional identity appropriate for future career plans

This is a three to five year program that is only offered on the Pullman campus. To develop a level of expertise to be successfully prepared for the workforce generally requires 3-5 years beyond a master’s degree in a related area. Earning a Ph.D. requires much research experience and work in the field beyond completing coursework.  For credit requirements for the Ph.D. degree program and a list of specific curriculum please refer to the handbook.

Ph.D. Educational Psychology Handbook

This program has a rolling admission process. However, to be considered in our priority review process, the priority deadline for Fall/August start is December 15th each year and for Spring/January start is July 1st each year. For application info please see our Apply page.

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