Educational Psychology & Research Curriculum & Admission Requirements

program structure


Students complete one school core course requirement, 15 credit hours of degree-required core courses, and 24 credit hours in elective specialization courses. The academic coursework is designed to develop the knowledge base necessary for effective research and scholarship development.

Supervised College Teaching Experience

All Ph.D. students in EPR are expected to have college teaching experience. This experience is often gained through Graduate Teaching Assistantships.

Residency requirement

Doctoral students must be enrolled full-time for at least two semesters in a row during their doctoral training. Consecutive full-time enrollment for two semesters can be attained from Fall, Spring, and Summer semesters.

program structure

Comprehensive examination

Upon completion of all coursework, the student is eligible for the comprehensive examination. The comprehensive examination consists of both a written and oral part and test the student's knowledge of the areas of the coursework; ability to reason, evaluate and draw supportable conclusions within the context of the subject area; and knowledge of current issues and trends within the field.


The purpose of the dissertation is to study one educational psychology & research problem or specialty in depth. The student is expected to generate original knowledge in a specialized field and contribute to resolving important problems or questions within the field of educational psychology & research.

Graduate Admission

Applicants must have a bachelor’s degree in educational psychology & research or a closely related field with at least a 3.5 grade point average on a 4.0 scale. International applicants are strongly encouraged to complete the application process well in advance of the application deadlines, in order to ensure adequate time for processing of visa related paperwork. Meeting minimum admission standards does not guarantee admission to the program. Applicants are welcome to contact one (or more) of the faculty members in the department prior to applying for the doctoral program, however it is not required.

Application Deadlines

Jan. 5
Fall or summer semester application deadline

Program Curriculum

Graduate students pursuing the Ph.D. in Educational Psychology and Research at KU will need to select a program area of emphasis in Development & Learning (D&L) or Research, Evaluation, Measurement, and Statistics (REMS). The student will work closely with an advisor to determine a plan of study. The curriculum requirements outlined below are the minimum required for the degree. To be adequately prepared for an intended career, the student’s advisor may encourage additional coursework or opportunities which may include presenting and/or publishing scholarly papers.

Course requirements

Development & Learning (D&L) Area of Emphasis

  • EDUC 800—Education as a Field of Study (3 CR)
  • EPSY 800—Development During Youth and Adulthood (3 CR)
  • EPSY 802—Child Development (3 CR)
  • EPSY 807—Theories and Research in Human Learning (3 CR)
  • EPSY 818—Social Development (3 CR) [can sub PSYC 825]
  • EPSY 836—Behavior & Systems Neuroscience (3 CR)
  • EPSY 837—Neuroscience of Achievement Motivation (3 CR)
  • At least 1 course in professional development (e.g., college teaching, grant writing)
  • EPSY 810—General Linear Models (3 CR)
  • EPSY 822—Educational Scales, Questionnaires, & Sampling (3 CR)
  • A course in qualitative methods (e.g., ELPS 871, C&T 808)
  • One additional quantitative research course (e.g., EPSY 803, EPSY 812)
  • [Note: Up to two relevant courses (6 CR) from the master’s degree can be used to satisfy research skills requirements]
  • Students may use their specialization courses / electives to pursue topics of interest related to their study of human development and learning.
  • Possible specialization courses include:

Please note, this is a potential plan of study. Please consult with your faculty advisor before enrolling.

additional requirements

  • Dissertation Defense: 3 credit hours

Please note, this is a potential plan of study. Please consult with your faculty advisor before enrolling.

additional requirements

  • Dissertation Defense: 3 credit hours

Application Checklist

Ph.D. in Educational Psychology & Research

Applicants are required to submit the following materials and meet the following requirements before the application deadline:


  • Online application

    Complete through the KU Office of Graduate Admissions

  • Transcripts

    One official copy of academic transcripts from each college or university attended

  • English translation of transcripts

    Official transcripts from an international university must include an English translation

  • Resume or CV

  • Statement of intent

    Please describe: 1) Why you are interested in this degree program, including what skills, competencies, and experiences you hope to gain in the program, 2) Your career goals and how this degree program relates to your career goals (that is, how you see this program preparing you to meet your career objectives), 3) Prior relevant educational, work, and research experiences, 4) One research topic or issue that you would like to pursue in this program, including the faculty member with whom you would like to work, if known.

  • Online letters of recommendation

    Names and email addresses of persons to be asked to complete letters of recommendation who can provide a thorough evaluation of one’s abilities at the graduate level

  • Proof of English proficiency

    Non-native English speakers must demonstrate English proficiency

  • Financial document (international students only)

    Required by U.S. government in order to issue the I-20 or DS-2019

  • Application fee

    $65 for U.S. residents; $85 for international applicants.

  • Writing sample

    A writing sample of your best academic work.

Program Faculty

Mary D Fry
Mary D Fry
David M Hansen
David M Hansen
Department Chair, Professor
Sean Joo
Sean Joo
Assistant Professor
Neal Martin Kingston
Neal Martin Kingston
University Distinguished Professor, Educational Psychology, Director, Achievement and Assessment Institute (AAI), Vice Provost, Jayhawk Global and Competency-Based Education
Haiying Long
Haiying Long
Vicki Peyton
Vicki Peyton
Teaching Professor
Darrell Phillips
Darrell Phillips PhD, CMPC, CSCS
Adjunct Sport Exercise
Rafael Quintana
Rafael Quintana
Assistant Professor