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Master of Arts in Educational Psychology

The Department of Counseling and Learning Sciences has diversified the master of arts in educational psychology program, providing contemporary scholars with program opportunities that reflect today’s academic and community resource needs.  Three majors offered within the educational psychology program of study enable a wide variety of opportunities for the students. To learn more about these opportunities, select the appropriate link below:

Master of Arts in Educational Psychology: Major in Educational Psychology

The general major in educational psychology focuses on learning, development, instruction, and research. The program is dedicated to the preparation and placement of competent educational psychologists for positions in educational settings at all levels.

The Educational Psychology Master’s Program major in educational psychology offers a highly customizable course of study to prepare professionals to focus on teaching, learning, and human development in a wide variety of settings. With five required and five elective courses, courses of study are planned collaboratively to meet the student’s particular career needs and interests. Program faculty are dedicated to the preparation and placement of competent educational psychologists for positions in educational agencies at local, state, and federal levels; public and private human service centers; medical centers; business and industry; or to be well-prepared for doctoral study if they so choose.


Master of Arts in Educational Psychology: Major in Child Development and Family Studies

The major in child development and family studies immerses students into child developmental environments, providing holistic disciplines in child learning as well as family and community involvement. This major prepares students to work with children, adolescents, or families in educational, applied, or other clinical settings, as well as prepares students for doctoral-level studies in child development and family studies.

Child Development and Family Studies is not currently accepting applications.

The Master of Arts in Educational Psychology with a major in Child Development and Family Studies prepares students to work with children, adolescents, or families in educational, applied, or other clinical settings, as well as preparing students for doctoral-level studies. Relative to employment opportunities, students have obtained positions for which they generally would not have been competitive with an undergraduate degree unless accompanied by many years of related experience.

Upon graduation, graduates have been hired as directors of child care programs in corporations, hospitals, and the private sector. Some students have obtained positions as instructors and faculty members at four-year colleges and branch campuses of major universities teaching classes in child/human development and family studies. Others have become specialists in parenting and curriculum development for head start and similar agencies. Graduates have also obtained employment as parenting and family specialists in community-based family agencies and community health care agencies. Some graduate students have entered the program with teaching certificates and have used their master’s degree in CDFS to broaden the scope of their teaching in elementary and secondary education. Graduates have also successfully pursued positions as Extension agents through land-grant universities.

Salaries for CDFS graduates with masters degrees are highly variable depending on the nature of the position and the location of employment. However, salaries are generally higher than students with only the bachelors degree.

In addition to educational and applied careers, some students have entered the program with the aim of pursuing doctoral studies. Through rigorous coursework and the requirement to complete a research-based thesis, students are prepared to pursue doctoral studies in human development, family studies, sociology, special education, developmental psychology, counseling, and related fields.

Admission Requirements and Performance Standards

Ideally, prospective students should have completed an undergraduate curriculum in an area of specialization related to child development and family studies, such as psychology, sociology, education, or social work. A student whose undergraduate degree is in an unrelated field and/or who lacks preferred foundation courses for graduate studies in CDFS will likely be required to take supplemental undergraduate courses if accepted into the program.

All CDFS faculty members review every graduate application and jointly determine whether a student will be admitted as a regular graduate student, or not admitted into the program. A majority of faculty members must indicate acceptance and one faculty member must be able to serve as the major advisor to the student. Final approval for admission rests with the graduate coordinator of the CDFS program.

See program admission requirements

Program Requirements

Required coursework includes child development, family studies, statistics, research methods, elective hours, and thesis credits for a total of 33 hours. Six credits of electives are selected in consultation with the student’s faculty advisor and are based on the particular interests of individual students. For instance, students may take their electives in education psychology, curriculum and instruction, counseling and guidance, psychology, special education, sociology, women’s studies, social work, public administration, and related disciplines.

Six credit hours are assigned for the completion of the required research-based thesis. The student and his/her major professor determine the research topic with input from other committee members. The thesis requires six research credits, an extensive literature review, development of a research design with associated methodological procedures, data collection or use of faculty data sets, in-depth analysis of data, and analytic discussion of the results. Most students conduct quantitative/statistically-based theses. However, qualitative research designs are permitted, with appropriate rigorous application of qualitative research methods in the collection and interpretation of data. The format for a thesis must meet the requirements outlined in the CDFS Thesis Manual, available at theWVU Bookstore and is written in the style of the Manual of the American Psychological Association (5th ed.). Theses are electronically submitted upon their approval.


Master of Arts in Educational Psychology: Major in Program Evaluation and Research

The major in program evaluation and research is designed for individuals with interest in conducting research and evaluation projects for private and public educational organizations and agencies.  Emphasis is placed on developing proficiency in quantitative, qualitative, and mixed-methods inquiry, providing students with a breadth of methods to study a variety of educational, programmatic, and social research questions.

The Educational Psychology Master’s Program major in program evaluation and research is a unique offering within the state of West Virginia. Evaluators and researchers with a proficiency in quantitative, qualitative, and mixed-methods inquiry are in high demand. They study varied educational, programmatic, and social research questions on local, regional, and global scales.

Graduates of this program have secured high paying jobs conducting evaluation and research at a wide variety of nonprofit and for profit organizations. Graduates also have successfully matriculated into doctoral programs at major research universities. To foster this experience, the CEHS Program Evaluation and Research Center also offers competitive funded positions to highly motivated students who perform real-world hands-on program evaluations.

A plan of study (see a sample here) can easily be created to accommodate full-time or part-time students, as well as students pursuing a doctoral or second master's degree while completing the Educational Psychology emphasis in Program Evaluation and Research. Courses are offered in online and face-to-face formats so that this program can be completed at a distance or on-campus.

Required Courses (at least 30 credit hours including Thesis)

Foundation (21 credit hours)

  • EDP 611: Measurement/Evaluation in Educational Psychology 
  • EDP 612: Introduction to Research 
  • EDP 613: Statistical Methods I 
  • EDP 617: Program Evaluation 
  • EDP 618: Mixing Research Methodologies 
  • SCFD 615: Qualitative Research Methods 
  • SCFD 781/2/3: Seminar: The Nature of Inquiry (students will enroll in 1 unit per semester for 3 consecutive semesters)

Practicum (3 credit hours)

  • EDP 685: Practicum I (students will enroll for mentored research and/or evaluation experience with individual faculty; a second semester may be taken as an elective)

Electives (3 or more credit hours chosen from below)

  • EDP 600: Educational Psychology
  • EDP 614: Statistical Methods II
  • EDP 616: Non-Parametric Statistics
  • EDP 640: Instructional Design
  • EDP 685: Practicum II
  • EDP 711: Multivariate Methods I
  • EDP 713: Designing Single Case Research

Culminating Experience (3 credit hours)

  • EDP 698: Thesis

The sample plan of study below is designed for a student who wants to focus fulltime on completing this degree program as quickly as possible. However, this plan of study can easily be modified to accommodate part-time students and students pursuing a doctoral or second master’s degree while also completing the Educational Psychology emphasis in Evaluation and Research.

Several courses are currently offered in both online and face-to-face formats. While some courses are only offered face-to-face, we are working toward making additional courses available online.

Sample Plan of Study Educational Psychology Master’s Degree Emphasis in Evaluation and Research

Full-time Fast Track Plan of Study: Fall admission with Summer Coursework
Fall Semester 1
Course Number Course Title Credit Hours
EDP 612 Statistical Methods 3
EDP 613 Statistical Methods I 3
SCFD 615 Qualitative Research Methods 3
SCFD 781 The Nature of Inquiry part 1 1
Spring Semester 2
Course Number Course Title Credit Hours
EDP 611 Measurement/Evaluation in Educational Psychology 3
EDP 617 Program Evaluation 3
SCFD 782 The Nature of Inquiry part 2 1
SCFD 685 Practicum I or Elective 3
Summer Semester 3
Course Number Course Title Credit Hours
EDP 618 Mixing Research Methodologies 3
EDP 685 Practicum I or Elective 3
Fall Semester 4
Course Number Course Title Credit Hours
EDP 698 Thesis 3-6
SCFD 783 The Nature of Inquiry part 3 1
Student Competency Expectations as connected to Opportunities to Learn
Student Competency Expectations Opportunities to Learn
Demonstrate understanding of the philosophical and historical foundations of inquiry.
  • EDP 612: Introduction to Research
  • SCFD 781/2/3: Seminar: The Nature of Inquiry
Apply appropriate quantitative, qualitative, and mixed-methods research tools to answer practical educational, programmatic, and other social research questions.
  • EDP 611: Measurement/Evaluation in Educational Psychology
  • EDP 613: Statistical Methods I
  • EDP 617: Program Evaluation
  • EDP 618: Mixing Research Methodologies
  • EDP 685: Practicum I
  • EDP 698: Thesis
  • SCFD 615: Qualitative Research Methods
Apply appropriate program evaluation tools to conduct formative and summative evaluations of existing and prospective educational programs.
  • EDP 611: Measurement/Evaluation in Educational Psychology
  • EDP 617: Program Evaluation
  • EDP 618: Mixing Research Methodologies
  • EDP 685: Practicum I
  • EDP 698: Thesis
Demonstrate understanding of ethical issues in research and evaluation.
  • EDP 612: Introduction to Research
  • EDP 617: Program Evaluation
  • EDP 618: Mixing Research Methodologies
  • EDP 685: Practicum I
  • EDP 698: Thesis
  • SCFD 615: Qualitative Research Methods
Create informative reports of research and evaluation studies tailored appropriately for multiple stakeholders and decision makers.
  • EDP 617: Program Evaluation
  • EDP 685: Practicum I
  • EDP 698: Thesis