What You Should Know About This Degree
As the name implies, educational psychology is rooted in the understanding of how individuals learn and retain information. However, one does not need to be an educator, or in an education-related field, to benefit from a degree in educational psychology.
Educational psychologists conduct research that applies to learning processes and outcomes at all stages of human life, not just the traditional school years. Their findings can be used to inform teaching methods within traditional classrooms, but they can also be applied in workplaces, community organizations, government agencies, and more.
Because of the versatility of this degree, it’s important to consider what your career goals are, and how a degree in educational psychology will help achieve them. If you have a particular area of educational psychology you want to focus on, such as cognitive development, it can be helpful to select a program with an orientation towards that topic.
While there are jobs available to individuals with master’s degrees in educational psychology, a doctoral degree is the terminal degree in the field of psychology. If your goal is advanced research or teaching at the collegiate level, you will likely have to pursue a PhD after completing your master’s. This is another key opportunity to think about your career trajectory, and prepare yourself for the time and financial commitments ahead.
Here are some questions to ask when researching Master’s in Educational Psychology programs:
- Am I eligible for this program? While most programs accept students from all educational and professional backgrounds, some require students to have previous coursework in psychology, taken either as part of an undergraduate degree, or independently prior to enrollment. Confirm prerequisites and how to complete them before applying.
- How are courses in this program delivered? Online courses are typically delivered either synchronously or asynchronously. Students attend synchronous courses remotely, but at set meeting times. In asynchronous courses, students can access lessons and assignments on their own time. Find out how the program delivers its courses, so you can choose the type of program that best fits into your schedule.
It’s also important to look at the admissions deadlines and requirements for programs, so you can gather the required materials and submit them in a timely fashion. You can typically find this information on the program’s website, or by contacting their admissions department.
Now is also when you should start thinking about how you will finance your graduate degree. Speak with financial aid counselors at the schools you’re applying to about loans, scholarships, assistantships, and other financial aid options.