Educational Psychology

(Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction)

Campus: Virginia Tech Blacksburg Campus

Instructions: Residential/On Campus 

Our students engage in research that leads to evidence-based decisions that positively affect teaching and learning.

10

Faculty Articles in 2017

14

Doctoral Students

100

Percent Job Placement

100

Percent Faculty Commitment

Our Educational Psychology Program?

The Educational Psychology program in Virginia Tech’s School of Education pursues the general goals of educational psychology and offers a doctoral program to prepare future educational psychologists to conduct empirical research. We emphasize the research and theories related to learning and motivation, as well as how to apply the research and theories to practice. The program is fairly small, which allows for greater interaction between doctoral students and faculty. The faculty works closely with students to tailor their learning experiences to meet their goals.

Why Study Educational Psychology Here?

We emphasize the research and theories related to learning and motivation, as well as how to apply the research and theories to practice. The program is fairly small, which allows for greater interaction between doctoral students and faculty. The faculty works closely with students to tailor their learning experiences to meet their goals. Our students investigate strategies to improve teaching, effective methods to present ideas, factors that impact motivation, ways to accurately measure learning and achievement, and practices to create effective learning environments. 

What You'll Study

Educational psychology is a broad discipline that applies psychological research and theories to educational settings. Students in the educational psychology program study learning, development, motivation, assessment, testing, and instructional design. Individualized programs of study are developed for students to ensure that their studies prepare them well for the career paths they choose. The doctoral degree does not lead to any type of teaching certification. In other words, graduates are not licensed to teach in a K-12 classroom. Online degrees in the Educational Psychology program are not available. Although a few courses are offered online, most of the courses are not online; and therefore, students are required to attend most courses on campus.

Career and Professional Development

Some graduates of the doctoral program become professors who teach educational psychology in large and small colleges and universities and continuing their research programs. Other graduates work in higher education in a variety of capacities, including in centers of teaching and learning, offices of evaluation and assessment, or other types of positions that require knowledge of teaching and learning. Other possibilities include working at research centers or developing educational materials.

Assistantships, Awards, and Fellowships

Some students in the doctoral program receive financial support including a stipend and tuition. Assignments may be for full or half-time and be with the Program or with other programs in the School or University. The faculty of the Educational Psychology program will advise prospective students about funding opportunities.

Blacksburg Campus

This degree program is offered at the Blacksburg campus. The Blacksburg campus offers students the full services of the university, including an extensive library, technology support, and the Graduate Life Center. 

Our Faculty 

Research Interests:

  • How students' beliefs impact their motivation
  • The methods instructors can use to design instructional environments that support students' motivation and learning.

Brett Jones, Professor

collaborate
Brett Jones, Professor

Research Interests:

  • Multimedia learning
  • Constructivism
  • The investigation of learning efficacy in mobile and multimedia learning environments
  • Cognitive processes and multimedia teaching and learning.

Peter Doolittle, Professor

collaborate
Peter Doolittle, Professor

Educational Psychology Research Highlights

Chittum, J. R., Jones, B. D., Akalin, S., & Schram, A. B. (2017). The effects of an afterschool STEM program on students’ motivation and engagement. International Journal of STEM Education, 4(11), 1-16. doi:10.1186/s40594-017-0065-4

Jones, B. D., Sahbaz, S., Schram, A. B., & Chittum, J. R. (2017). Using psychological constructs from the MUSIC Model of Motivation to predict students’ science identification and career goals: Results from the U.S. and Iceland. International Journal of Science Education. Advance online publication. doi:10.1080/09500693.2017.1319093

Jones, B. D., Chittum, J. R., Akalin, S., Schram, A. B., Fink, J., Schnittka, C.,…Brandt, C. (2015). Elements of design-based science activities that affect students’ motivation. School Science and Mathematics, 115(8), 404-415. doi:10.1111/ssm.12143

Schram, A. B., & Jones, B. D. (2016). A cross-cultural adaptation and validation of the Icelandic version of the MUSIC Model of Academic Motivation Inventory. Icelandic Journal of Education, 25(2), 159-181.

Ruff, C., & Jones, B. D. (2016). Becoming a scientist: Using first-year undergraduate science courses to promote identification with science disciplines. International Journal for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning, 10(2). Retrieved from http://digitalcommons.georgiasouthern.edu/ij-sotl/vol10/iss2/12/

Gardner, A. F., & Jones, B. D. (2016). Examining the Reggio Emilia approach: Keys to understanding why it motivates students. Electronic Journal of Research in Educational Psychology, 14(3), 602-625.

Students interested in applying to the Educational Psychology (Ph.D.) should contact Dr. Brett Jones, by email at brettjones@vt.edu.

Visit our office at 225 War Memorial Hall, Blacksburg, VA 24061
Domestic Application
*Fall:  January 15
International Application
*Fall: January 15
*Deadline for early decision admission with full funding consideration for Fall: January 15. Applicants may apply after this date. Please contact program leader for further information.

CONTACT US

Dr. Brett Jones
Program Leader
School of Education (0313)
Virginia Tech
Blacksburg, VA 24061
540-230-0957
brettjones@vt.edu

School of Education (SOE) Programs
soeprograms@vt.edu

School of Education
226 War Memorial Hall (0313)
370 Drillfield Drive
Blacksburg, VA 24061