The University of Alabama Educational Psychology Program admits candidates to the master’s (MA), Educational Specialist (EdS), Doctor of Education (EdD) and PhD graduate degree programs. The mission of the program is to provide students with a thorough understanding of the theory and research related to learners, learning, and developmental processes.  All degree programs reflect this mission and prepare students for careers as faculty members within academic settings, researchers in agencies or businesses, and school practitioners. The program invites applications from all potential students, especially those in underrepresented populations.

The MA in Educational Psychology provides an advanced introduction to the field. Students may select a thesis or nonthesis option. There are also two MA options offered in collaboration with educational research. These options are:  learning and evaluation (thesis and nonthesis options) and program evaluation (nonthesis only). In addition, the program offers a learning and assessment MA in an online format designed for practitioners interested in developing a strength in educational research as it relates to the learning process and assessment practices within educational settings. (For further information, see  

See the Admission Criteria section of this catalog for more information.

Admission Requirements

Statement of purpose and letters of recommendation consistent with goals of the program, GRE score of at least 300 or a MAT score in the 50 percentile or above and a GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale are needed for regular admission.

Summary of Degree and Program Requirements

A major part of graduate training is successful participation in courses. Coursework requirements for the MA degree options in Educational Psychology are listed in this booklet. The MA degree requires 30 graduate credit hours.

Coursework requirements are found in “Program Planning Records.” Each student is expected to maintain a Program Planning Record with his/her/their adviser in order to monitor completion of coursework requirements.

Each student is appointed a temporary faculty adviser upon initial acceptance into the program. A student may select a permanent adviser after beginning coursework. Advisers assist students with planning coursework, registering for courses, completing program planning records, portfolio evaluations and other activities.

Program Outcomes

All degree requirements in the Educational Psychology Program are carefully designed and sequenced according to program outcomes. Program outcomes are the areas of knowledge and skill students are expected to demonstrate upon successful completion of the coursework and other training activities. Students provide evidence of each program outcome during the required portfolio evaluations. Program outcomes for the MA degree in Educational Psychology are listed in this booklet.

Transfer of Credit and Use of Previous Graduate Work

The University of Alabama allows students to transfer equivalent courses from other accredited institutions where the student was enrolled in the graduate school. Up to one-half of the required coursework, exclusive of thesis or dissertation credit, may be transferred from another institution. Credits may be transferred only if they were earned during the six-year period prior to admission to the program. Transfer of courses must be approved by the student’s adviser. The Dean of the Graduate School must also approve transfer of courses. The Graduate School form to request consideration of transfer of credits is located in the Student Handbook.

Limits on Coursework

Educational Psychology Program requirements exclude credit for undergraduate study, study which is remedial, or study which is designed to remove deficiencies in meeting requirements for program admission. In addition, the program limits the number of courses not open exclusively to graduate students to no more than one-third of a student’s program.

Continuous Portfolio Reviews

All students in the Educational Psychology Program are required to participate in a continuous portfolio review process in order to monitory student progress and determine that program outcomes are being achieved. A general description of the portfolio review process, including a portfolio checklist and rating scale, is located in the Student Handbook. Specific requirements for portfolios for the M.A. degree are located in this booklet.

Research Participation

All students in the Educational Psychology Program are expected to obtain skills in research. Each student is expected to join a faculty member’s research team during the first semester of graduate study. Masters’ and Ed.S. students take a number of research courses and are encouraged to participate in research projects during courses and field experiences.

Comprehensive Examinations

All degree students in the Educational Psychology Programs are required to successfully complete written comprehensive examinations before the degrees will be granted. The specific procedures for comprehensive examinations for the M.A. degree are designed in collaboration with the student's advisor. The examinations are completed independently on a “take-home” basis, and require students to integrate knowledge and skills obtained during coursework and other training activities. Each student is allowed to take comprehensive examinations only twice.