Educational Psychology

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Learning and cognition/
educational technology MA and PhD

Make improvements in education through psychology, science, and technology

As a student in the program, you’ll study the psychological processes critical to education. Research in our program focuses on cognitive development, including high-level cognition and factors shaping and enhancing learning throughout the lifespan. Our faculty and students explore the basic mechanisms of thinking and learning in academic disciplines through precise, controlled laboratory experiments. We also put our reserch to work—in local schools on programs to improve students' reading, science, and mathematics outcomes as well as informal learning environments.


  • Faculty (Ph.D only)
  • Research associates at universities
  • Research scientists at companies
  • Researchers in:
    • Government agencies
    • Research and development centers
    • Other educational settings (e.g., K-12 school research offices)


A master's degree is not required to apply for the doctoral program.

Master's of Arts (PhD)

MA curriculum (33-34 credits)

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

PhD curriculum (72 credits)

What you'll study

  • Cognitive and learning processes
  • Scientific reasoning
  • Mathematical thinking
  • Reading comprehension
  • Narrative text comprehension
  • Creativity and intelligence
  • Socio-scientific misconceptions and biases
  • Development and use of learning technologies
  • Lab-, classroom-, and community-based research


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


Fellowships & 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.


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

How to apply

Alumni profile

"One of the best part of my graduate school experience was the cohort I was in. I took classes and worked on projects along with a group of peers. These friendships are still part of my life and I collaborate on research projects with two members of my cohort."

Virginia Clinton headshot.

Virginia Clinton, PhD '11 Assistant professor, University of North Dakota

Read more about Virginia's experience.

Faculty and instructors

William M. Bart headshot

William M. | Lab

  • Relationships among cognition, instruction, and testing
  • Gifted and talented education
  • Chess expertise
David DeLiema headshot


  • 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 | Lab

  • Cognitive processes in reading comprehension
  • Change of pre-existing beliefs and misconceptions
  • Technology-based comprehension interventions and assessments
Keisha Varma

Keisha | Lab

  • Cognitive processes in science learning
  • Scientific visualizations and student learning outcomes
  • Teacher knowledge development and effective teaching practice
Sashank Varma headshot

Sashank Varma Program coordinator, Bonnie Westby Huebner Chair | Lab

  • Understanding of abstract mathematical concepts
  • Cognitive bases of computational thinking
  • Cognitive science models of higher cognition
Steve Yussen headshot

Steve | Lab

  • Memory and comprehension of stories
  • Narrative exchanges between children and parents (e.g., storybook reading, reminiscence)
  • The role of culture on narrative storytelling and memory
Martin Van Boekel headshot

Martin Van Boekel

  • Cognitive biases (ie., hindsight bias)
  • Source credibility
  • Informal learning environments (ie. school-organized sports)