Educational Psychology

Chair: Dan Morrow
Director of Graduate Studies: Kiel Christianson
Graduate Admissions Information:  Myranda Crist
210 Education Building
1310 South Sixth Street
Champaign, IL 61820-6990
Phone: (217) 333-2245

Major: Educational Psychology
Degrees offered: Ed.M., M.S., M.A., C.A.S., Ph.D.
Graduate Concentrations: African American Studies (available to all on-campus degrees), Second Language Acquisition and Teacher Education (Ph.D. only)

Graduate Degree Programs

The Department of Educational Psychology offers admission to doctoral programs in the following areas of specialization:

  • Cognitive Science of Teaching and Learning (CSTL)
  • Developmental Studies
  • Studies in Interpretive, Statistical, Measurement, and Evaluative Methodologies for Education (QUERIES)
  • Counseling Psychology

Students entering without a master’s degree must first complete the requirements for a Master of Science (including a master’s thesis).

The Department offers admission to a terminal on-campus Master of Science (M.S.) degree with a focus on Studies in Interpretive, Statistical, Measurement, and Evaluative Methodologies for Education (QUERIES).  There is no admission to terminal masters degrees in Cognitive Science of Teaching and Learning (CSTL), Developmental Sciences, or Counseling Psychology areas of specialization.


The department accepts applications for the Ph.D. degree, from both applicants who have completed their bachelor's degrees and those who have a master's degree. Students who enter the program without a prior master's incorporate their master's class work and research into their doctoral program, and earn a master's degree as the first step toward their Ph.D (satisfying the "Early Research Project" requirement). The department does not accept applications for master's degrees in CSTL, Developmental Sciences, or Counseling Psychology.


Doctoral applicants must submit a complete application for university admission, including three letters of reference, transcripts from all schools where undergraduate and graduate degrees were awarded or expect to be awarded prior to the application enrollment term, and other items listed in the department Web site. Applicants to our doctoral program apply for Fall enrollment. Current deadlines are posted on our department Web site

Doctoral candidates are admitted into one of four divisions:  CSTL, Developmental Sciences, QUERIES and Counseling Psychology. When making admission decisions, division committees consider academic performance (e.g., grade-point average, GPA), GRE scores, letters of recommendation, and statement of purpose. Preference is given to those with research experience and research interests that are aligned with existing research programs in the Department.

Master’s candidates are only admitted into QUERIES.

Grade Point Average

The preferred department standard for grade point average is 3.5 on a 4.0 scale. The University calculates undergraduate GPAs on the last two years of grades for degreed applicants and in the last one year for students who have not yet completed their bachelor's degree. Graduate GPAs are calculated on the total of all graduate level courses taken beyond the undergraduate degree.

Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL)

International applicants must have demonstrated English language competence with TOEFL scores of greater than 610 (paper and pencil test), greater than 253 (computer-based test), or greater than 102 iBT. An IELTS score of greater than 6.5 overall, with at least 6 in each sub-section, can be substituted for the TOEFL score. Students who are accepted with lower scores will be required by the University to enroll on a limited status basis for at least their first semester.

Area of Study Affiliation

All applicants to the Educational Psychology doctoral program must specify one of four areas in which they wish to study:

  • Cognitive Science of Teaching and Learning (CSTL)
  • Counseling Psychology (Counseling);
  • Developmental Sciences
  • Studies in Interpretive, Statistical Measurement, and Evaluative Methodologies for Research (QUERIES)

Detailed information about each area and about the research interests of the faculty can be found on the department Web site.

Although all Ph.D. students are admitted to a specific area of study, the actual coursework, research, and faculty often overlap area boundaries. Departmental policy makes it possible for a student to change advisers and affiliation from one area to another when interests and research foci become more clearly defined or change. Many faculty members are affiliated with more than one area of study.

Faculty Research Interests

The faculty's research agendas span a wide range of topics related to the study and application of psychological principles to develop and inform educational interventions and facilitate human development across the life span. Faculty conduct basic and translational research that explores the cognitive, life-span developmental, social-emotional, and socio-cultural factors that affect behavior, learning, and achievement in educational, clinical, and community contexts. They also engage in research on approaches to educational inquiry and the development of quantitative, qualitative and evaluative methodologies that underpin the development of evidence-based, policy-relevant studies. Faculty research profiles are available on the department Web site.

Center, Programs, and Institutes

Department faculty are affiliated with both research centers and institutes in the College of Education and the university more broadly, including the Adult Learning Lab, the Center for Education in Small Urban Communities, the Center for Advanced Study, the Beckman Institute, the Center for the Study of Reading, the Social Development Consortium, and others.

Facilities and Resources

The Department of Educational Psychology puts a high priority on working with its graduate students to secure fellowships and other awards.

The College of Education also has many resources to assist graduate students through their academic career. The Bureau of Educational Research works with students to secure research funding. The Council on Teacher Education entitles candidates seeking a Professional Educator License and provides accreditation of professional education programs. Each student completing a degree program is assigned a graduate adviser, who is available to assist the student with planning the program of study and determining degree requirements, courses and timelines for degree completion.

Information on University resources can be found at

Financial Aid

Financial aid in the form of assistantships, scholarships, fellowships, and tuition waivers can be found throughout the college and campus. Please note: Graduate students employed as Staff by the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign are not eligible for a College of Education Award or Scholarship. Campus opportunities can be found at the Graduate College and the Office of Student Financial Aid.

The department does not require a separate financial aid application.

Master of Education in Educational Psychology

Educational Psychology offers an online professional Master of Education (Ed.M.) degree specialization in Evidence-Based Decision Making. Admissions requirements are somewhat different and applicants should consult the college's on-line program Web site for current admissions criteria and specific course requirements.

Psychological Foundation Course
EPSY 400Psyc of Learning in Education4
Social and Philosophical Foundation Course
EPS 415Technology & Educational Reform4
EPSY 480Educational Statistics4
EPSY 486Principles of Measurement4
EPSY 501Evaluation in Society4
EPSY 505Data, Evidence, & Decisions4
EPSY 507Econ Analysis & Ed Policy4
EPSY 590Advanced Seminar in Educ Psyc (Section CP)4
Total Hours32

Other Requirements:1

Minimum of 12 hours at the 500 level
Minimum GPA 3.0