Ph.D. in Education, Concentration in Educational Psychology

Designed for research-oriented doctoral students who want to promote the success of students in educational environments, the Ph.D. in education, concentration in educational psychology degree is ideal for students who want to specialize in achievement motivation and other related social processes.

Students in the program integrate theory and research in the areas of cognition, social psychology and motivation, assessment, educational policy and diversity to better study learning in schools or other educational settings. Graduates are well prepared to teach in educational psychology and related programs at the university level; as well as take leadership positions in state and local research and policy environments.

Doctoral students may be admitted with only a bachelor’s degree. It is expected that these students will have coursework related to educational psychology, research experience and/or academic writing experience.

Regardless of whether the student has a master’s degree or not, prerequisites will be determined by an analysis of the student’s transcript. All students who are admitted need to show competence in research methods in education and introductory social statistics. Students without the competencies will take up to two prerequisite classes for credit either at VCU, another institution or online.

Curriculum requirements

The Ph.D. in education, concentration in educational psychology requires a minimum of 51 total graduate credit hours:

Degree requirements for the Ph.D. in education, concentration in educational psychology »

Please keep in mind, however, that the exact course requirements may vary depending on when you matriculated into the program, so please consult your adviser or the program coordinator with any additional questions.



How to apply: Graduate application
Semester of entry: Summer or fall
Application deadline: Dec. 15
Additional materials:
Concentration handbook [PDF]
Graduate assistantship application [PDF]


  • VCU Graduate School requirements
  • Bachelor’s or master’s degree in an appropriate discipline
  • Competence in research methods in education and introductory social statistics
  • Transcripts from previous academic work
  • Combined GRE score of 300 or better, and a score of 4 or better on the writing test
  • Personal statement detailing your research interests/experience, career goals, and potential fit within the program
  • Three letters of recommendation from faculty or other individuals who can speak to your research experience/potential and academic background
  • Resume or CV with academic and work history
  • A personal interview and writing sample may be requested

For more information about admission requirements, please consult our concentration handbook.

Engagement Opportunities

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Jenna Lenhardt, Ph.D.