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The role of an educational psychologist is integral to ensuring that students succeed in the classroom. Primary duties include monitoring students and developing teaching methods to address learning and behavioral issues. Educational psychologists also work with school officials to develop curricula and positive learning environments.
This page explores common components of an online master's in educational psychology program, including typical courses, top programs in the U.S., financial assistance, and potential career paths. Read on to learn more.
What Are the Best Online Master's in Educational Psychology Programs of 2021? Here Are Our Top 5:
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|1||University of Georgia||Athens, GA|
|2||Florida State University||Tallahassee, FL|
|3||Texas A & M University||College Station, TX|
|4||Ball State University||Muncie, IN|
|5||The University of Alabama||Tuscaloosa, AL|
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An online master's in educational psychology qualifies graduates for careers as educational psychologists, educational researchers, college and career counselors, and teachers at some community colleges. Most of these positions work with institutions to develop effective teaching strategies and to help students with learning or behavioral issues succeed academically.
The earning potential in this field varies by position. For example, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that psychologists earn a median annual salary of $79,010, while school and career counselors earn $56,310 per year.
2021 Best Accredited Online Master's in Educational Psychology Programs
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University of Georgia
|Athens, GA||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 86%||
Based in Athens, UGA considers itself "the birthplace of American public higher education." The university boasts many degree programs that train students by using rigorous hands-on experiences and research.
Graduate students interested in educational psychology can earn an online master's in educational psychology with an emphasis in applied cognition and development. Concluding with a practicum, the program focuses on understanding human motivations and analytical development. Students may also choose a secondary specialization in learning with technology, learning across the lifespan, qualitative approaches to education, or development of high intellectual capability. Participants join a cohort of 10 learners.
UGA is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
Program Name: M.Ed. in Educational Psychology - Applied Cognition and Development
GPA: 2.6 minimum required
Contact the School
Florida State University
|Tallahassee, FL||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 83%||
Located in Tallahassee, FSU boasts Nobel laureates, Pulitzer Prize winners, and other decorated professionals among its faculty. Online students learn from the same esteemed teachers as those on campus.
Students pursuing an online master's in educational psychology with a major in learning and cognition forego the traditional thesis pursued on-campus. Instead, they follow a course-only curriculum and develop an area of specialization with their advisor after completing the initial 15 credits of core courses. The program also trains students about research and data analysis, ensuring they have a rigorous scholarly foundation. Students who take two classes per semester can graduate in five semesters (including one summer term).
FSU is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
Program Name: Master's in Educational Psychology With a Major in Learning and Cognition
GPA: 3.0 minimum required
Contact the School
Texas A & M University
|College Station, TX||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 82%||
Located in College Station, Texas A&M offers an online master's in educational psychology with an emphasis in school counseling. The program culminates in a 12-credit, two-term practicum that includes 400 hours of practice in a public or private school setting. Students also complete classes like consultation in special education and counseling techniques for school counselors.
The program highly prefers applicants who have at least two years of professional experience as certified educators when they apply. This ensures graduate eligibility for school counselor certification in the state of Texas.
Texas A&M is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
Program Name: Master of Education in Educational Psychology With an Emphasis in School Counseling
GPA: 3.0 minimum preferred
Contact the School
Ball State University
|Muncie, IN||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 63%||
Located in Muncie, Indiana, Ball State offers a research-based online master's in educational psychology. Students can graduate in 18 months, and the degree program specifically teaches graduates to train other educators.
The curriculum provides students with a well-rounded grasp of theories in research methodologies, statistics, testing, and assessments. Students also choose one of five separate specializations: human development, neuropsychology, gifted and talented, applied behavior, or a customizable option. In total, participants complete 18 credits of core coursework and 12 credits of elective/specialization coursework.
Ball State is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
Program Name: Master of Arts in Educational Psychology
GPA: 2.75 minimum required
Contact the School
The University of Alabama
|Tuscaloosa, AL||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 72%||
Located in Tuscaloosa, UA offers an online master of arts in educational psychology with an emphasis in learning and assessment. Designed for both education professionals and noneducators, the program focuses on developing a solid foundation in cognition, learning sciences, and program evaluation.
Participants take classes like development of self-regulation and lifespan development. They also complete nonthesis research and a capstone project. Graduates can go on to pursue careers in youth counseling and education. The program also functions as a transitional pathway to earning a doctorate in the field.
UA is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, and this education psychology program is accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education.
Program Name: Master of Arts in Educational Psychology - Learning and Assessment
GPA: 3.0 minimum required on an applicant's last 60 credits
Contact the School
Online Master's in Educational Psychology Program Overview
The exact components of an online master's in educational psychology program vary by school. However, a typical program requires 30-36 credits and takes about two years to complete.
Common courses include lifespan development, tests and measurements, and self-regulation and motivation. These courses teach the fundamentals students need to understand key human processes and mitigate possible issues to create positive learning environments for every type of student.
The curriculum of an online master's in educational psychology trains candidates to observe students and institutions, helping them identify issues and develop effective educational strategies. Most programs prepare students to pursue careers upon graduation, although some career options — such as educational psychologist or school counselor — may require additional certification.
Overall, graduates with a master's in educational psychology qualify for lucrative and rewarding positions. However, earning a doctorate or pursuing a speciality may open up additional advancement opportunities and increase a worker's earning potential.
Common Master's in Educational Psychology Degree Courses
- Qualitative Design and Analysis
Students in this course apply qualitative research methods to design, measure, and analyze their research. Coursework explores creating hypotheses, understanding probability, sampling, and using statistics to analyze data. The aim is to teach students the tools they need to develop effective research methods and generate meaningful insights.
- Introduction to Educational Psychology
This course outlines principles of learning, motivation, and assessment. Its goal is to train students to use commonly accepted practices to design effective curricula and develop adaptation strategies to meet student needs.
- Lifespan Development
This course explores human development processes and milestones from infancy through adulthood. Students learn about current theories and how to apply them to real-life situations. Curricula may prepare learners to pursue a specific career, such as elementary school psychologist or college counselor.
- Tests and Measurements
Students learn how to select, prepare, administer, and interpret tests. These may include psychological or educational tests a school uses to diagnose a student's learning or behavioral issues. Coursework typically uses practical examples to determine the best tests and criteria to use in a given scenario.
- Self-regulation and Motivation
This course examines the principles of effective motivation techniques that help students self-regulate and remain engaged in the classrooms. Specific learning or behavioral issues (e.g., hyperactivity disorder) may be emphasized. Coursework may also include an overview of effective rewarding techniques.
Related Master's in Educational Psychology Degree Concentrations
- Gifted or Talented
This concentration focuses on theories and methods related to identifying, working with, and motivating students who possess above-average abilities. Coursework may include creative thinking principles and developing curricula for gifted students.
- Research and Evaluation
A degree with this concentration focuses on research principles and methods, training students to gather, analyze, and interpret data to enhance educational methods and strategies. This concentration is well suited for students seeking positions in research/administration or as consultants for organizations.
- Human Development
This specialization expands on basic educational psychology to consider the human developmental process. It typically offers an in-depth look at the key concepts of motivation and learning. Programs also explore how outside influences, such as family and culture, may impact a student's learning.
- Adult Education
A concentration in adult education allows students to focus their studies on the principles of adult learning. This includes exploring adult development and the professional issues adult learners may face when they re-enter school. Coursework may also provide a framework for creating lesson plans that cater to busy adult students.
- Family Policy and Program Administration
This concentration focuses on developing grant writing skills and advancing a student's knowledge of common educational and governmental policies. The program prepares students for careers in administration or directing programs within institutions. Students also learn the skills they need to communicate with students, their families, and school officials.
Online Master's in Educational Psychology Admission Requirements
Most graduate programs require students to possess a minimum GPA in previous college coursework. This minimum varies by school, but many programs require at least a 3.0. Verify your previous school transcripts to ensure you meet a program's standards before applying.
Standardized Test Scores
Many online master's in education psychology programs require students to submit GRE or GMAT test scores. Research which test scores your target program requires, if any.
Statement of Purpose
Graduate applications may require students to submit a statement of purpose or essay that explains their personal, professional, and academic goals. Length varies from 500 words to two pages.
Graduate programs may want students to possess some work experience in educational psychology or a related field. If so, applicants must submit a resume showing their previous places of employment, names of immediate supervisors, and daily tasks. Some programs may require a minimum number of hours, so students should reach out to admissions offices before applying.
Letters of Recommendation
It is common for schools to request up to three letters of recommendation from previous employers, teachers, and/or other qualifying persons. An applicant's recommendation letters should come from people who can attest to their work ethic, experience, and passion for the field.
Online Master's in Educational Psychology Career Paths
An online master's in educational psychology program develops advanced observation and diagnostic skills that may qualify graduates for high-level positions. Common career paths include educational psychologist, educational researcher, and school or career counselor.
Many positions, including educational psychologist and school counselor, may require additional state certification. Licensing requirements vary by state, so graduates must research their state's regulations carefully.
Finally, many clinical and teaching positions require a doctorate. Prospective students should determine their target career before applying to schools to ensure they select a graduate program that aligns with their goals.
Frequently Asked Questions
- What can you do with a master's in educational psychology?
Educational psychology degree-holders may pursue a career as an educational psychologist, school counselor for elementary or college students, or a career counselor. Other potential positions include educational researcher or community college professor.
- Can you be a school psychologist without a master's in educational psychology?
In most cases, a master's in educational psychology and state certification are the minimum requirements needed to work as a school psychologist. You may find entry-level employment as an assistant or in administration without a master's degree, although your advancement and earning potential may be limited.
- What does an educational psychologist do?
An educational psychologist's primary role is working with students who have learning or behavioral issues. They observe students in the classroom and develop ways to tailor lesson plans to help them succeed. These professionals typically work in educational settings and interact with students, parents, and district officials to create and maintain positive learning environments.
- How long does it take to earn a master's in educational psychology?
The typical online master's in educational psychology program takes two years to complete. A few factors impacting the length of a program may include a student's course load and a program's internship or practicum requirements.
- What is the salary for an educational psychologist?
According to PayScale, degree-holders with a master of arts in educational psychology earn an average salary of $60,000. However, a worker's earning potential is impacted by their location, experience, and organization (e.g., private vs. public).
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