students walking near the UCR sign and Bell Tower

Educational Psychology

Educational Psychology Ph.D. Program

Multiple career options are available to you when you earn a Ph.D. in Educational Psychology. Graduates of the program become educational researchers and university teachers. In addition, many take leadership positions with government agencies and private industry. We offer students an integrative research and training program with strengths in cognitive development, quantitative, and qualitative methods. Many of our faculty conduct research in classrooms with teachers and students to better understand how to improve current educational practice. Furthermore, many of our faculty are also involved in interdisciplinary efforts with faculty from other departments at UC Riverside, such as the Bourns College of Engineering, working to examine how to improve disciplinary educational practices (e.g., computer science education). 

UC’s Riverside campus in inland Southern California is ideally located for students to conduct research among the dynamic and ethnically diverse K-12 student populations in the region. As a Ph.D. student, you will collaborate with professors and other doctoral students on grant-funded research projects designed to enhance learning and the educational experience for students not only throughout California, but nationwide.

This program is not designed for school counselors or school psychologists. If you are interested in becoming a school psychologist, please see our Ph.D. School Psychology program.

Specialization Overview


  • Start Term: Fall only
  • Program Length: Approximately 5 years
  • Units: 60 minimum
  • Format: In-person instruction on Riverside campus
  • Schedule: Each class meets once a week 4-7pm (Monday-Thursday)
  • 94% of students receive multi-year fellowships

Steps to Degree Completion

  1. Complete coursework
  2. Written qualifying exam
  3. Oral qualifying exam/pre-proposal
  4. Proposal approved by dissertation committee
  5. Dissertation and final defense

Students admitted to the Ph.D. program are often offered a multi-year fellowship which covers tuition and health insurance and provides a stipend and/or paycheck during the academic year. It is recommended that students complete the program full time to meet the fellowship requirements working as a Teaching Assistant (TA) or Graduate Student Researcher (GSR). These duties require students to be available Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. for 15-20 hours per week.

Quarterly costs may be viewed here




This specialization offers two tracks. Track 1 is Cognition, Instruction, and Student Learning; Track 2 is Quantitative Methods. Students choose one track in consultation with faculty advisor.

Curriculum Overview


Career Opportunities

Students are eligible to become:

  • Researchers in Higher Education Institutions

Recent graduates are:

  • Director of Institutional Research
  • Research Analyst/Associate
  • Lecturer/Postdoc
  • Educational Consultant
  • Consultant

Let us help you with your search