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School of Education - George Mason University

Educational psychologists who work in a school setting enjoy working with children and helping them expand their minds in order to grow into their full potentials. Our teacher preparation concentration allows students to count coursework from their teacher licensure certificat in secondary education, foreign language, or English as a second language toward their masters degree in Educational Psychology.

What Is Educational Psychology?

Educational psychology is the branch of psychology concerned with the scientific study of human learning. Studying learning processes from cognitive, social, emotional, and developmental perspectives allows researchers to understand individual differences in intelligence, cognitive development, affect, motivation, self-regulation, and self-concept as well as their roles in learning. The field of educational psychology relies heavily on research methods such as testing and measurement to enhance educational activities related to instructional design, classroom management, and assessment and to facilitate learning processes in various educational settings across the lifespan.

Educational psychology is interdisciplinary, informed primarily by psychology, neuroscience, sociology, and cultural studies. It in turn informs a wide range of specialties within educational studies, including instructional design, educational technology, curriculum development, organizational learning, decision making, adult education, special education, and management.

What Does an Educational Psychologist Do?

An educational psychologist may:

  • Assess learning and emotional needs by observing and consulting with multidisciplinary teams to advise on the best approaches and provisions to support learning development
  • Evaluate and analyze teaching methods, training methods, and educational programs
  • Create and develop new educational methods, instruments, or programs
  • Formulate interventions that focus on applying knowledge, skills, and expertise to support local and national initiatives
  • Advise, support, educate, and negotiate with teachers, parents, and other educational professionals
  • Facilitate meetings, discussions, seminars, and courses
  • Review and develop policies

What Is the Program's Format?

Prior to completing the MS course work, individuals pursuing the teacher preparation concentration must be admitted to a specified teacher licensure certificate program, from which 9 credits of course work can be applied toward the MS (with the expectation that students will complete the teacher certification program). Qualifying teacher licensure certificate programs are as follows:

  • English as a second language
  • Secondary education

To meet the degree's 30 required credits, students complete 9 credits of course work in educational psychology, 9 credits in research methodology, and a 3 credit directed inquiry project or thesis, in addition to the 9 credits that are applied from the teacher licensure certificate.