Educational Psychology

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Psychological foundations of education

Parent playfully tosses toddler up into the air, while playing outside.
Assistant Professor David DeLiema and colleagues were recently awarded a grant to explore parent-child discussions during outdoor play. Read more on DeLiema's research.

Note: Due to the various impacts of the COVID-19 global pandemic, the psychological foundations of education program will NOT require the GRE in the application for admissions for the fall 2022 cohort.

Understand the way people think, learn, and teach

As a student in the program, you’ll study the psychological processes critical to education. Research in our program focuses on cognitive and social-emotional development, including high-level cognition and factors shaping and enhancing learning throughout the lifespan. Our faculty and students do not just conduct laboratory experiments—we also put our research to work: in local schools on programs to improve students’ reading and science outcomes and with members of our diverse communities to help our neighbors succeed at school and work.

Careers

  • Faculty (PhD only)
  • Research scientists at universities and companies
  • Government agencies
  • Other educational settings (e.g., K-12 school research offices)
  • Human and social service organizations
  • Health care organization evaluator/researcher
  • Research and development centers

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Dates and deadlines

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Programs and degrees

Graduate

Masters and PhD students choose between two areas of emphasis:

Learning and cognition / educational technology
(MA, PhD)

  • Study how people think and learn
  • Research how people learn with technology and design research-based technologies to improve learning

Social psychological and developmental processes
(MA, PhD)

Study how social processes contribute to the success of schools and other educational organizations

Graduate minor

The Department of Educational Psychology offers a minor in educational psychology with an emphasis in psychological foundations of education.

Certificates

Learning sciences post baccalaureate certificate

Shape your teaching and research through better understanding of how people learn. As a student in our new learning sciences certificate program, you’ll study learning theories, methodologies, designs, and evidence-based practices central to teaching and conducting research that supports the learning process.

Talent development and gifted education certificate

Develop, implement, and supervise programs to teach gifted and talented students in K-12 and postsecondary schools and other settings

Tuition

Visit the College of Education and Human Development's Finance and Funding page for information on tuition.

Funding

Fellowships and awards

Submit your application materials by December 1, and you’ll automatically be considered for Graduate School fellowships and departmental awards based on scholastic achievement. Notification of awards will be sent in March.

Graduate assistantships

Get paid to work as a teaching assistant, graduate instructor or research assistant. Graduate assistantships are available through the department, College of Education and Human Development, and the University.

Note: Applicants who complete their applications by the March 1 deadline will be less likely to receive graduate assistantships than students who meet the December 1 deadline.

Financial aid

Visit OneStop Student Services for more information on available financial aid.

Scholarships

Visit the College of Education and Human Development’s Awards page for scholarship information.

Diversity

The Department of Educational Psychology is deeply committed to increasing the diversity of our undergraduate and graduate programs, of our teaching and learning, of our research and clinical practice, and of our outreach and service across fields of educational psychology. Visit our diversity page to learn more about our commitment to diversity and resources for supporting diversity and inclusion.

Sarah Carlson headshot
The Department of Educational Psychology at the University of Minnesota is one of the best in the field.

Sarah Carlson, PhD '11
Assistant professor, Georgia State University
Read more about Sarah's experience
Other psychological foundations alumni profiles

Faculty and instructors

William M. Bart headshot

William M. Bartbartx001@umn.edu | Lab

  • Relationships among cognition, instruction, and testing
  • Gifted and talented education
  • Chess expertise
Jeffrey Bye headshot

Jeffrey Byejbye@umn.edu

  • Math teaching and learning
  • Mathematical cognition
  • Causal learning
  • Reasoning
  • Open source programming
  • Computational modeling
David DeLiema headshot

David DeLiemaddeliema@umn.edu

  • Productive failure
  • Playful learning
  • Embodied cognition
  • Spatial reasoning
  • Social interaction
Panayiota Andrea Kendeou headshot

Panayiota Andrea KendeouDirector of graduate studies, Guy Bond Chair in Reading
kend0040@umn.edu | Lab

  • Reading comprehension
  • Cognitive processes
  • Learning at scalre
  • Technology
  • Misinformation
Geoffrey Maruyama headshot

Geoffrey Maruyama geoff@umn.edu | Lab

  • Achievement processes in schools and other organizations
  • Connections between social processes and educational success
  • Research and community partnerships in challenged communities and urban settings
Keisha Varma

Keisha VarmaProgram coordinator, associate vice provost, Office of Equity and Diversity
keisha@umn.edu | Lab

  • Cognitive processes in science learning
  • Scientific visualizations and student learning outcomes
  • Teacher knowledge development and effective teaching practice
Martin Van Boekel headshot

Martin Van Boekel vanbo024@umn.edu | Lab

  • Cognitive biases (ie., hindsight bias)
  • Academic feedback
  • Memory strategies for improving learning in the classroom
  • Informal learning environments (ie. school-organized sports)