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School of Education - George Mason University

The PhD in Education with a specialization in educational psychology is individualized, interdisciplinary, and experiential.  Students plan their own programs to meet self-defined goals with the guidance and support of faculty advisors.  Educational psychology courses can be applied to primary or secondary specialization areas.

If you have questions about this specialization, please contact the specialization representative, Michelle Buehl.

About the Specialization

The demand for educational psychology experts continues to grow. There are many opportunities with government and private research organizations, as well as corporations who want to maximize the effectiveness of their employee training.

To accomplish self-defined goals, students engage in a variety of intensive courses, independent studies, seminars, and internships of a highly practical nature. Success in the program requires a high degree of personal initiative, self-directed learning, and commitment to inquiry as a style of personal and professional growth.

What Will You Learn?

The specialization features coursework and applied internships that enable you to learn:

  • Theory and research in educational psychology
  • Foundational knowledge about educational psychology
  • Research methodologies to address a variety of educational psychology topics
  • Specialized knowledge in educational psychology related to your area of interest

How Will You Learn?

Your advisor will guide your doctoral experience by supplementing coursework with professional experiences, including:

  • Attending and/or presenting at professional conferences
  • Independent study
  • Teaching and/or co-teaching
  • Writing, editing, and reviewing for scholarly journals

Where Can This Specialization Take You?

Graduates of this specialization hold professional positions such as:

  • Academic faculty at post-secondary institutions
  • Consultants with private companies, education and research think tanks, and non-government organizations
  • Curriculum leaders in major K-12 school districts

Specialization Courses

Each student prepares an individual program of study in consultation with their Program Advisory Committee. The following courses can be taken as part of a student’s primary or secondary specialization coursework:

See additional coursework required as part of the PhD in Education degree.

Our Graduates

Jennifer Crewalk, PhD 2021

  • Dissertation Title: Undocually Trainers' Risk, Resilience and Resistance: A Descriptive Case Study
  • Dissertation Chair: Dr. Kimberly Sheridan

Anthony Arciero, PhD 2020

  • Dissertation Title: Life Purpose in College Undergraduate Students: Structure, Measurement, and a Proposed Model of Thriving
  • Dissertation Chair: Dr. Angela Miller

Jordan Goffena, PhD 2020

  • Dissertation Title: The Development and Transfer of Self-Regulation during Motor Skill Acquisition: A Social Cognitive Perspective
  • Dissertation Chair: Dr. Anastasia Kitsantas

Hyle Daley, PhD 2020

  • Dissertation Title: Teachers, Play, and Narrative Sandboxes: A Collective Case Study of Teachers’ Perceptions of Narrative-Based Educational Gameplay
  • Dissertation Chair: Dr. Kimberly Sheridan

Swati Mehta, PhD 2019

  • Dissertation Title: Negotiation of Motherhood with Self, Family, and Cultural Communities Among First-Generation Indian Immigrant Mothers of Toddlers
  • Dissertation Chair: Dr. Michelle Buehl

Jerusalem Merkebu, PhD 2019

  • Dissertation Title: A Mixed-Methods Investigation of Metacognitive Reflection, Emotional Regulation, and Career Decision-Making in Undergraduate Students
  • Dissertation Chair: Dr. Anastasia Kitsantas

Maryam Saroughi, PhD 2019

  • Dissertation Title: Examining Relationships among Self-Efficacy, Self-Regulation, Stereotype Threat, Sense of Belonging, and Well-Being in Immigrant Language-Minority Undergraduate Students
  • Dissertation Chair: Dr. Anastasia Kitsantas

Aubrey Whitehead, PhD 2019

  • Dissertation Title: Examining Relationships among Undergraduates' Social Group Influences, Motivation, and STEM Degree Persistence
  • Dissertation Chair: Dr. Anastasia Kitsantas

Missy Coffey, PhD 2018

  • Dissertation Title: A Case Study of Part C Coordinators' Use of Data through Implementation of Results Driven Accountability
  • Dissertation Chair: Dr. Michelle Buehl

Holly Klee, PhD 2018

  • Dissertation Title: A Multilevel Mediation Model of Control-Value Theory to Predict College Students' Mathematics Anxiety
  • Dissertation Chair: Dr. Michelle Buehl

Lily Lopez-McGee, PhD 2018

  • Dissertation Title: Examining Undergraduate Students' Goals and Self-Efficacy Beliefs in Study Abroad Programs
  • Dissertation Chair: Dr. Anastasia Kitsantas