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.

years to complete
unit minimum
students receive multi-year fellowships

Program Overview

UCR doctoral students on campus

Some of the courses you may take include:

EDUC 200: Human Differences
EDUC 211A: Cognitive Development
EDUC 214A: Introduction to Quantitative Methods
EDUC 240: Educational Psychology

See our full curriculum overview.

Students in the program follow these 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

Recent graduates are:

  • Researchers in Higher Education Institutions

Meet the Educational Psychology Faculty

We encourage prospective students to reach out to faculty whose research interests align with their own.

Featured Ed Talk

There has been a national emphasis on increasing the number of individuals that pursue and succeed in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) disciplines. Dr. Kinnari Atit, assistant professor in the Graduate School of Education, talks about the importance of working with STEM experts to understand how to develop students' spatial skills, a set of cognitive skills necessary for STEM learning.

Related Research

Faculty research areas include:

  • Cognition
  • Quantitative methods
  • STEM teaching and learning
  • Teacher and school evaluation and improvement



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