Educational Psychology

The Master of Arts (M.A.) and Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) degrees in Educational Psychology may be taken with concentrations in the areas of: Cognition, Instruction, and Learning Technology; Educational Technology (M.A. only); Giftedness, Creativity, and Talent Development; Research Methods, Measurement, and Evaluation; Counselor Education and Counseling Psychology; School Psychology; and Special Education. The Ph.D. in Educational Psychology does not have a related area or foreign language requirement.

Cognition, Instruction and Learning Technology M.A. and Ph.D.

The Cognition, Instruction and Learning Technology (CILT) program approaches learning and instruction from an applied view of the Learning Sciences and aims to prepare scholars and practitioners who are well versed in different perspectives on teaching and learning and capable of critically evaluating the effectiveness of instructional technologies and techniques across different populations and contexts (including virtual, traditional face-to-face, and blended). The M.A. and the Ph.D. requirements in CILT conform to the Graduate School requirements. Specific programmatic requirements and course sequences for M.A. and Ph.D. students are described below.

Master of Arts. Requires a minimum of 30 credits comprised of core (see below) and elective courses. Two different options exist for students who seek the master’s degree. These options pertain to a thesis (Plan A) or non-thesis (Plan B) option, related to a student’s graduate plan of study. For Plan A, students complete a reduced plan of coursework (21 credit hours) plus nine credits of Master’s thesis research (GRAD 5950 or 5960) and defense of a research-based thesis. “Plan B,” the non-thesis option, requires a 30 credit plan of coursework, followed by a comprehensive examination. In general, the thesis option is preferred, especially if the student intends to complete doctoral degree requirements. The list below represents courses typically included in the plan of study for the CILT M.A. degree. Waivers and substitutions for these courses are allowed with approval from the student’s primary advisor and advising committee.

Master of Arts Core Courses: EPSY 5510; one credit of EPSY 5515; EPSY 5520, 5530, 5601, 5602, 5605, 5607, and 5220.

Doctor of Philosophy. The Ph.D. program is structured to prepare scholars and practitioners whose primary interests involve issues of cognition, instruction, learning, and technology. Although the Cognition, Instruction and Learning Technology (CILT) Ph.D. program is designed to encourage full-time graduate study, several students work part-time in the community. In most cases, these part-time positions are related to the student’s graduate program and consequently may even enhance the student’s skills, professional maturity, and overall educational goals. Students are expected to complete all required courses and complement required coursework with elective coursework related to their specific research interests and professional goals. In addition to required coursework, students are required to pass a comprehensive examination and defend a dissertation proposal before their advisory committee and readers. Students must complete all other dissertation requirements as specified by the Educational Psychology Department and the Graduate School. The list below represents courses typically included in the plan of study for the CILT Ph.D. degree. Waivers and substitutions for these courses are allowed with approval from the student’s primary advisor and advising committee.

Doctor of Philosophy Core Courses: EPSY 5510; two credits of EPSY 5515; EPSY 5220, 5520, 5530, 5540, 5602, 5605, 5607, 5610, 5613, 5621, 6601; a minimum of 15 credits of GRAD 6950.

Counselor Education and Counseling Psychology M.A. and Ph.D.

The Counseling Program offers two graduate-level degrees: a Master of Arts (M.A.) degree in Educational Psychology in the area of Counselor Education and Counseling Psychology, and a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in the area of Counselor Education and Counseling Psychology. (In addition, the Counseling Program offers a Sixth-Year Diploma). The M.A. prepares students to be fully-certified School Counselors in the State of Connecticut and are accredited by the State of Connecticut and the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP). The Ph.D. program prepares students for research and teaching careers in Counselor Education or related fields. All programs in the Counseling Program emphasize educational equity and academic access and opportunity as related to eliminating cultural oppression.

Master of Arts Counselor Education and Counseling Psychology Requirements. In addition to the Graduate School requirements, students in the Master of Arts (M.A.) program in Counselor Education and Counseling Psychology must complete the following requirements. Continuation in the Master’s level Counselor Education and Counseling Psychology Program is based on ongoing acceptable performance in meeting all the following criteria: earn grades of “B” or better in each of the counseling courses and seminars; maintain a GPA of 3.0 or higher in their counseling and related program coursework; demonstrate the ability to work successfully with K-12 students in field placement settings throughout the program. Site supervisors evaluate students by using a program designed evaluation instrument aligned with program standards. Students must receive consistently positive evaluations from site supervisors to continue in the program. The M.A. Degree in Counselor Education and Counseling Psychology requires a minimum of two full academic years, defined as four semesters of approved graduate-level study with a minimum of 51 credits. To qualify for National Certification and the Licensed Professional Counselor exam, students must complete 60 credit hours in their Master’s Degree Program of Study. Thus, courses beyond the minimum 51 credits needed to graduate in the Counselor Education and Counseling Psychology M.A. Program can be of your own choosing.

Practicum. Students complete supervised counseling practicum experiences that total a minimum of 100 clock hours over a full academic term that is a minimum of 10 weeks.

Internship. All school counseling students will complete a supervised internship. As of December 1, 2017, the Connecticut State Department of Education will accept a minimum of 700 clock hours of internship over 10 school months to fulfill this requirement.

Final Examination. Students must pass a Comprehensive Exam in order to graduate from the Counselor Education and Counseling Psychology Program. The National Counselor Exam (NCE) is optional, and required only if students want to become nationally certified.

Required Courses: EPSY 5108, 5195, 5301, 5304, 5306, 5307, 5308, 5314, 5315, 5316, 5317, 5318, 5319, 5320, 5406, and 5601.

Doctor of Philosophy in Counselor Education and Counseling Psychology. The Ph.D. program is designed to be completed in two to four years, depending on experience as a school counselor. Due to course sequencing, students are normally only admitted for the Fall semester. Before entering the program, all students must possess at least a Master’s degree in counseling, preferably school counseling. This degree in counselor education is geared towards students finding jobs in academia as a faculty member, or in other capacities on a college or university campus. Students choose from among the following specializations based on their interests and career goals: social justice and educational equity; program evaluation; qualitative and quantitative research methodology; gifted and talented education; positive behavioral supports; primary prevention; and licensure as a professional counselor.

Teaching. To build their credentials as future professors, all Ph.D. students will be encouraged to teach (under supervision) in order to gain skills in this area.

Seminar. Doctoral students will be expected to participate in a bi-weekly repeating doctoral seminar.

Required Courses. Ph.D. students are required to complete 15 credit hours in measurement, research and evaluation. These courses include: EPSY 5605, 5607, and 6601. In addition, doctoral students are required to take EPSY 5510.

Dissertation. Ph.D. students must complete a comprehensive examination, prepare a dissertation proposal, and then conduct, write, and defend their dissertation research.

Master of Arts in Educational Technology

The Master’s degree with an area of concentration in Educational Technology features the “two summers M.A.” online option and campus-based programs. For those students who already hold a Master’s degree, they may apply to the Sixth-Year Diploma program which requires 30 credits beyond the Master’s degree. The graduate program in Educational Technology prepares educators to put theory into practice in service to the wise integration of technology in formal and informal learning environments.

Master of Arts in Educational Technology Requirements. The M.A. in Educational Technology requires 30 credits. For the “two summers” online option, students work in a cohort program to complete their degree by following the program requirements. For on-campus students, two different options exist: a thesis (Plan A) or non-thesis (Plan B) option related to a student’s graduate plan of study designed in concert with a major advisor. For Plan A, students complete a reduced plan of coursework (21 credit hours) followed by nine credits of Master’s thesis research (GRAD 5950 or 5960) and defense of a research-based thesis. Plan B, the non-thesis option, requires a 30 credit plan of coursework, followed by a successful completion of a comprehensive examination. In general, the thesis option is preferred, especially if the student intends to complete doctoral degree requirements. The list below presents courses often included in the plan of studies for the Master’s degree program.

“Two Summers” Master of Arts Courses: EPSY 5198, 5215, 5220, 5225, 5235, 5245, 5339, 5510, 5520, 5601.

On-Campus Master of Arts Suggested Courses: EPSY 5220, 5510, 5515, 5520, 5530, 5601, 5602, 5605, 5607.

Giftedness, Creativity, and Talent Development M.A. and Ph.D.

There are two graduate degrees in Educational Psychology with an area of concentration in Giftedness, Creativity, and Talent Development: the Master of Arts (M.A.) and Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.). The M.A. program prepares individuals for specialization in teaching in gifted and talented programs, as well as for leadership roles in creativity and gifted education as program coordinators, curriculum development specialists, and regional or state gifted education agency directors. The program of study includes coursework on strategies and program models for developing student talent and field experiences in school settings. The Ph.D. program is intended for persons who wish to become researchers, state department consultants, authors, university professors, and other types of leaders in the fields of gifted education, creativity, and talent development. Specific course requirements for the M.A. and Ph.D. programs in this area of concentration include those listed below as well as requirements determined by the student’s advisory committee consistent with the minimum requirements.

Master of Arts in Giftedness, Creativity, and Talent Development. The M.A. degree requires satisfactory completion of at least 30 credits maintaining at least a “B” average. The required courses include those listed below; the remaining credit hours come from elective courses approved by the student’s major advisor.

Required Courses: EPSY 5092, 5194, 5601, 5710, 5720, 5750; at least one of the following, at the direction of the major advisor, EPSY 5740, 6770.

Required Examinations: Students must complete required computer-based examinations near the completion of their required coursework. Passing scores on the examinations are required for degree completion.

Doctor of Philosophy in Giftedness, Creativity, and Talent Development. The Ph.D. program includes requirements for coursework, examination, and research as outlined below. It does not have a related area or foreign language requirement, unless one is specified by the advisory committee. Some courses below may be waived based on prior graduate course experience, as documented through program faculty review of the student’s transcript.

Required Courses: EPSY 5510, 5605, 5607, 5621, 5710, 5720, 5850, 6601, 6770; at least 15 credits of GRAD 6950.

Seminar Requirements. Students are required to complete at least four semesters of EPSY 6194.

Additional Credit Requirements. Students are required to complete at least six additional credits of coursework specifically linked to gifted education or creativity content, as approved by the major advisor. These credits may include independent study.

Required Examinations. Ph.D. students are required to complete three components for their comprehensive examination: students must pass the M.A. level content examination within two attempts (unless previously passed as part of an M.A. degree); students must pass a program-required statistics examination within two attempts; and students must prepare a portfolio and sit for an oral examination with program faculty addressing how their portfolio demonstrates competence in the field and coherence toward further positions. Students must pass the oral examination within two attempts.

Dissertation Proposal. Students must submit a dissertation proposal and defend it before their advisory committee and readers. Students must complete all other dissertation requirements as specified by the Educational Psychology Department and the Graduate School.

Research Methods, Measurement, and Evaluation M.A. and Ph.D.

The Department of Educational Psychology offers two graduate degrees with a concentration in the area of Research Methods, Measurement, and Evaluation (RMME): The Master of Arts (M.A.) and the Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.). The M.A. program is designed for practitioners who wish to acquire foundational skills and knowledge in the areas of measurement and assessment, program evaluation, and quantitative research methodology. Some students who earn an M.A. continue into the Ph.D. program. The Ph.D. program is designed for individuals who wish to pursue applied, research, or teaching careers in educational measurement and assessment, program evaluation, or quantitative research methods. In addition to completing the required coursework described below, Ph.D. students are strongly encouraged to seek out research experiences through participation in faculty research grants and projects at the University of Connecticut as well as through summer internships in government and industry agencies engaged in testing, education research, or other research that requires an RMME background.

Master of Arts in Research Methods, Measurement, and Evaluation. Students must complete a minimum of 30 credits while maintaining a GPA of 3.0 or higher across core courses and earn a grade of “B” or better in every core course. M.A. students may choose to earn the degree either under Plan A (thesis) or Plan B (exam). Students who choose Plan A must complete at least 21 credits of required coursework, nine credits of Master’s thesis research (GRAD 5950 or 5960), and complete a thesis under the direction of their major advisor. An oral defense of the thesis is required. The thesis is graded pass/fail by the student’s advisory committee. Students may not defend the thesis until all required coursework is satisfactorily completed. Students who choose Plan B must complete at least 30 credits of required coursework and pass a comprehensive exam containing questions related to content covered in the core courses listed below. The student’s advisor may require oral defense of the exam. The passing grade on the exam is 70%. Students who fail the exam can retake the exam once. Students may not take the exam until all required coursework is satisfactorily completed.

Required Courses: EPSY 5510, 5601, 5602, 5605, 5607, 5621, 6601, 6621, totaling 21 credits. Content in all courses except EPSY 5510 is tested in the M.A. comprehensive exam.

Additional Coursework for Plan B. Students must choose from the following courses or alternative courses that are approved by the student’s major advisor, for an additional nine credits: EDCI 6000; EPSY 5610, 6623, 6637; EPSY 6601 if EPSY 5601 is taken; EPSY 6636, 6651, 6494.

Doctor of Philosophy in Research Methods, Measurement, and Evaluation. In addition to the Graduate School requirements, Ph.D. students must complete coursework requirements as described below and pass both a preliminary exam after completing a prescribed set of courses generally taken in the first full year of study and a general exam taken after all core courses are completed. Students also undergo an annual review at the end of each academic year. A minimum of 54 credits of coursework and three to six credits of independent study, internship or practicum credits is required for the Ph.D. If a student has already taken required courses at another University or as part of another degree program at the University of Connecticut, the requirement to complete 54 credits can be decreased if the major advisor and the advisory committee agree to the reduction or substitutions. However, all Ph.D. students in Research Methods, Measurement, and Evaluation (RMME) must complete at least 48 credits of doctoral coursework at the University of Connecticut. Ultimately, the student’s major advisor, in consultation with their advisory committee and the RMME program faculty, determine the degree requirements for each Ph.D. student. Students must maintain a minimum GPA of 3.5 in core courses and earn a grade of “B” or higher in every core course. A student who receives a grade lower than a “B” (including “B-“) will be required to repeat the course. Students who receive two or more grades of “C” or lower in a required course or a grade of “D” or lower in any courses may be asked to leave the program. Ph.D. students must show competency in EPSY 5601, 5605, and 5607, either by having previously taken the course or an equivalent, or by taking a competency exam. However, these courses do not count toward Ph.D. credits.

Required Core Courses: EPSY 5510*, 5602, 5610, 5613, 5621, 6601, 6611, 6615, 6619, 6621, 6623, 6636, 6637, 6638, 6639**, 6651, and 6655 totaling 51 credits.

* This requirement may be waived for students who have taken a graduate-level Educational Psychology or Learning course from another university and earned a grade of “B” or better.

** A suitable alternative course may be substituted, as approved by the student’s major advisor.

Additional Requirements. Students complete an additional nine credits for the Ph.D. degree. Students must complete three to six credits from the following elective courses or an alternative elective course that is approved by the student’s advisory committee: EDCI 6000; EPSY 6103; EPSY 6194 in any topical area; HDFS 5005; PP 5379. Students must complete three to six credits of independent study or practicum/internship. The following courses fulfill the independent study/practicum/internship credits: EPSY 5199 or 6494. Students who complete only three credits of additional coursework must complete at least six credits of independent study or practicum/internship. Students who complete six credits of additional coursework must complete at least three credits of independent study or practicum/internship. Internships may be academic year or summer experiences.

1st Year Preliminary Exam. The 1st year exam is taken after completing the sequence of “first year” and prerequisite courses within the RMME program and must be taken after completion of 15 credits.

General Examination. Ph.D. students must complete the following courses prior to taking the comprehensive exam: EPSY 5602, 5610, 5613, 5621, 6601, 6651, 6655, 6621, 6623, 6611, 6615, 6619, 6636, 6637, and 6638. The RMME program comprehensive examination must be taken within one calendar year of completing all of the required coursework. Further, the comprehensive examination must be passed in its entirety within five years of the beginning of the student’s matriculation in the degree program. Students may not take the general examination before the plan of study has been filed with the graduate school.

School Psychology M.A. and Ph.D.

There are two programs in School Psychology a Master of Arts (M.A.) degree, typically combined with a Sixth-Year Diploma in School Psychology, and a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) program.

Master of Arts in School Psychology. The combined Master’s/Sixth-Year Diploma program is designed to prepare qualified school psychologists to practice in public schools or related educational settings. It is accredited by the Connecticut State Board of Education and is approved by the National Association of School Psychologists and the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE). For certification, students must complete both the requirements for the Master’s degree described below, as well as the additional requirements for the Sixth-Year Diploma in School Psychology (described separately under Sixth-Year Diploma programs). The combined program requires a minimum of 75 semester hours of graduate coursework (including the practica and internship completed under the Sixth-Year Diploma). The Master’s degree is awarded after 30 semester hours of coursework. The Sixth-Year diploma is awarded after successful completion of the remaining semester hours of coursework and the practica and internship. The program is designed so that students can complete all Master’s/Sixth-Year program requirements in three years of full-time graduate study.

Required Courses: EPSY 5092 practicum, three semester hours per semester, for two semesters, for a total of six semester hours during the M.A. degree; EPSY 5340, 5403, 5404, 5420, 5510, 5602, 5605, 6469, and 6601.

The Ph.D. program in school psychology adheres to the scientist-practitioner model of graduate education in psychology, and prepares psychologists who work in education and/or health related settings in a variety of practice, teaching, and/or research roles. The program is accredited by the American Psychological Association and as such complies with the guidelines and principles for accreditation of programs in health service psychology as outlined by the American Psychological Association. The program is designed to be five academic years of full-time study; students typically take five to six years from the baccalaureate degree to complete all doctoral requirements. The program requires a minimum of 120 semester hours of coursework beyond the baccalaureate degree including the practica and internship (1500-hours), and 15 hours of dissertation research. To obtain a doctoral degree, the student must be enrolled full-time in the University of Connecticut program for at least three years, even if they already have a Master of Arts/Sixth-Year Diploma.

Dissertation Proposal-General Examination. All dissertation research must be directed by a member of the core faculty as the major advisor. Preparation and acceptance of the dissertation proposal should follow current Department and University guidelines. The student must orally present and defend the proposal to the advisory committee.

Final Examination. After being admitted to candidacy for the Ph.D. degree and completing the dissertation, a student must pass the final oral examination or dissertation defense. The decision regarding the student’s performance rests solely with the advisory committee.

Required Courses: In addition to the courses required for the Master of Arts degree/Sixth-Year Diploma listed above, all Ph.D. students must also satisfactorily complete the following courses: EPSY 5318, 5455, 5607, 5610, 6194; EPSY 6494 for a total of 24 semester hours across eight semesters; EPSY 6491 for a total of six to twelve semester hours; GRAD 6950 for at least 15 credits in the plan of study; PSYC 5140; PSYC 5570 or 6750.

Required Assessments for M.A. and Ph.D. Students.

Portfolios. The portfolio requirements and review process are described in detail in pre-internship and internship portfolio manuals. The pre-internship portfolio consists of work samples completed throughout the program in coursework and practica, professional documents, practicum and self-evaluations, and other relevant program-related documents.

Examinations. Students must pass the Master’s examination prior to being awarded the Master’s degree. The examination occurs near the end of the student’s first year and after the student’s plan of study has been approved by the Executive Committee of the Graduate School. The Master’s examination is constructed under the jurisdiction of the school psychology faculty and other Departmental faculty who were involved in the student’s first year of course instruction.

The Praxis Series. The Praxis Series – School Psychologist (code 5402) is administered by the Educational Testing Service. Students take the examination after admission to the Sixth-Year program; after completing approximately 42 hours of their coursework in the Master’s/Sixth-Year program; and prior to beginning their internship. The standardized examination provides an assessment of content in concert with national standards, and allows for the evaluation of our students relative to a nation-wide reference group.

Clinical Requirements for M.A. and Ph.D. Students. M.A. and Ph.D. students must complete the following clinical requirements.

Practica Requirements. The practica sequence was developed in accordance with American Psychological Association (APA) and National Association of School Psychologists (NASP) guidelines that require planned supervised experiences that include direct service and formally scheduled supervision. The field experiences are coordinated with coursework to allow students ample opportunity to combine their theoretical and practical knowledge in a supervised situation. Practicum experiences in a school or related educational setting are a required component of program completion and graduation. Students should refer to the “Program Handbook” and “Practica Syllabus” for information on practica hour requirements.

Internship Requirements. The internship in school psychology complies with APA and NASP standards. The internship is designed to enhance the development of competencies and professionalism and to be the culminating experience in the student’s program. The full description of the internship requirements is outlined in the document entitled “School Psychology Program Internship Manual.” To be eligible for internship, the student must have met all the following requirements prior to signing any contract or internship agreement with an internship site: completed all required coursework with no remaining incomplete courses; passed the Master’s Degree Qualifying Examination; completed all practica requirements; passed the Praxis-School PsychologyExamination; passed the Pre-Internship Portfolio; for doctoral students, successfully defended their dissertation proposals.

Special Education M.A. and Ph.D.

The Program in the Department of Educational Psychology (EPSY) offers two graduate degrees with an area of concentration in Special Education: a Master of Arts (M.A.) and the Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.). In addition, the Department of Educational Psychology offers a Sixth-Year Diploma (SYD). The Master’s program is designed for a broad range of professionals (e.g., general or special education teachers, graduates in related fields) to provide in-depth learning and experiences related to supporting children and adults with disabilities and at risk for learning and behavioral difficulties. This program provides advanced study in three areas: Literacy Supports for Students at Risk for Learning Difficulties; School-wide Positive Behavior Supports (SWPBS); and Transition and Postsecondary Supports. Students also may design an individualized plan of study with the approval of their advisor. The Doctoral Program is designed to enhance independent thinking and leadership qualities through an individualized program embedded in a thorough knowledge of theory and the existing literature and culminating in active research to guide, direct, and inform the field. It is designed to prepare professionals for leadership positions in research, scholarship, university teaching, and service.

Master of Arts Required Courses: EPSY 5092 for three to six credits; EPSY 5119, 5121; EPSY 5601 or equivalent, totaling 30 credits.

Doctor of Philosophy Requirements: Students complete EPSY 5510; four doctoral seminars (EPSY 6194); EPSY 5605, 5607, 6601; 15 credits of GRAD 6950. Doctoral students also identify an area of emphasis which provides an opportunity to develop expertise in a specialty area such as Literacy Supports for Students at Risk for Learning Difficulties, School-wide Positive Behavior Supports (SWPBS), or Transition and Postsecondary Supports.

The programs are offered by the Neag School of Education.