The Educational Psychology program area prepares masters and doctoral students for careers in research institutes, academic settings, and a variety of other educational research settings. Majors may concentrate in a content area within educational psychology that is flexibly tailored to their unique professional objectives. The program offers two specializations: Applied Developmental Science and Gifted Education.
Applied Developmental Science is designed specifically for students who desire a research-intensive interdisciplinary doctoral training experience. The program focuses primarily on youth and their educational and social contexts as well as theoretically-driven and scientifically-based approaches to modifying those contexts. The purpose of the program is to address the need for high-quality researchers in the field of education sciences who are capable of and interested in answering pressing questions concerning children and youth. Training is interdisciplinary in perspective, methodologically rigorous, and relevant to practice and policy. Masters (M.Ed.) graduates are prepared to work in school and research settings. Doctoral graduates (Ph.D.) are qualified to become university professors or work research institutions.
Gifted Education prepares students to become experts in the study and education of gifted and talented individuals. Students focus on characteristics and needs of gifted children, methods of teaching gifted individuals, creativity and problem solving, assessments, development and evaluation of gifted programs, and current research in gifted education. Graduates may be employed as gifted education specialists in public or private schools, private foundations, state or federal agencies, and universities. Masters (M.Ed.) graduates are prepared to conduct assessments, develop curricula, and prepare instructional strategies for working with gifted students. Doctoral graduates (Ph.D. or Ed.D.), because of their in-depth study and research expertise, are qualified to become university professors and assume leadership roles in the field of gifted education.