Dec 03, 2021  
UofM 2019-2020 Graduate Catalog 
UofM 2019-2020 Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Educational Psychology and Research, (PhD)

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PhD Degree Programs

The PhD degree program in Educational Psychology and Research is designed to prepare advanced educational leaders for university teaching, applied research, or other professional roles in the areas of human development (infant, child, and adolescent development; adult development and aging), learning (motivation and cognitive processes applied to education), educational research methods and statistics, measurement and program evaluation.

Since the purpose of doctoral-level training is to prepare students to conduct research in a specialized area, individuals with no interest in research should not apply to this major.

Program objectives are: (1) ability to contribute to the professional field through research presentations and writing; (2) preparation for careers as academicians in institutions of higher education, applied researchers and/or scholarly work; (3) development of leadership skills for professional organizations and the ability to contribute to the field through professional service activities.

Program Admission

Applicants to the PhD program are evaluated two times a year. Completed application packets must be received by November 1 for spring semester admission, and April 1 for fall admission. Applications for international students are only accepted in the fall (November 1 deadline). Late submissions may be considered on an individual basis, but will normally be deferred to the following semester. The admission committee may request a personal interview. Multiple criteria will be used when considering applicant admission, including, but not limited to, undergraduate and graduate grade point average, GRE scores, personal goals statement, relevant employment history, and letters of recommendation. The number of students admitted to the PhD program will depend on availability of adequate faculty supervision. Admission forms are available in the departmental office. The completed application must include:

  1. Letters of recommendation from at least three persons familiar with the applicant’s academic background and aptitude for graduate work, specifying in detail the applicant’s capabilities for graduate study and for future performance and scholarship.
  2. A statement of 500-1000 words indicating the intended area of concentration, the applicant’s present interests and career goals, research and applied interests, and prior research and applied experience.
  3. A willingness to be interviewed by members of the Educational Psychology & Research faculty, should that be required.

Program Requirements

Credit Hours:

A minimum of 54 hours of graduate credit beyond the master’s degree.

Core Competency:

All students upon admission into the doctoral program need to demonstrate competencies in the departmental core domains (research methods; human development; and learning and cognition) as prerequisites for further coursework. Students may demonstrate their competency by (a) having earned at least a 3.0 in a master’s level course in each of the above domains, or (b) passing proficiency exams. Doctoral students without proficiency in any of these core domains must complete the appropriate entry level course before more advanced coursework. These entry level courses will not count toward the minimum of 54 hours required.

Core (24 credits):

Research (18 credits):


All doctoral degree students are expected to be active in collaborative research with members of the faculty. This includes the research-based residency project approved by the major advisor that must result in a paper submitted to a refereed journal or a refereed professional conference.

Concentration in Educational Psychology or Educational Research (15 credits):

Courses to be taken within the area of concentration will be planned with the major advisor.

Electives to be taken outside of the major (3 credits)

Comprehensive Examination:

Upon completion of coursework and residency project each doctoral student will complete a three-part open-book written comprehensive examination covering both the educational research and the educational psychology components of their program. The written examination will cover the three key subject areas of the student’s concentration. Each part will be administered by one of the student’s advisory committee and will be coordinated by the student’s advisor. An oral examination will follow the written examination.

Dissertation and Final Defense (12 credits-EDPR 9000):

A dissertation acceptable to the faculty is a requirement for all doctoral students. The dissertation must embody the results of an extended research effort that is an original contribution to the existing body of research within the area of concentration. The dissertation should reflect the candidate’s ability to conduct independent research and interpret in a logical manner the facts and phenomena revealed by the research.The dissertation research may be written up in one of two ways.  Students may elect either to write a traditional five-chapter dissertation or to write two journal articles and submit them with the approval of the committee for journal reviews. Upon completion of the dissertation, each student will orally defend the research undertaken.

NOTE: Students should familiarize themselves with the Thesis/Dissertation Preparation Guide before starting to write.

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