Educational Psychology

(M.A.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction)

Campus: Virginia Tech Blacksburg Campus

Instructions: Residential/On Campus 

Our students learn about the latest research in educational psychology so that they can apply it to their area of interest.

10

Faculty Articles in 2017

30

Credits Needed to Graduate

1.5

Years to Completion

100

Percent Faculty Commitment

Our Educational Psychology Program

The Educational Psychology Program accepts students who are interested in obtaining a master’s degree. 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. 

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 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.

Educational Psychologists study the variables that influence what and how people learn. The field of educational psychology is very broad and inclusive. For example, educational psychologists 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. Researchers in this broad discipline use many different types of investigative strategies, including quantitative and qualitative methodologies. Educational psychologists generally focus on increasing learning achievement by investigating the relationships between learners, teachers, and content in applied settings, such as classrooms and online courses. Most educational psychologists contribute to establishing sound theories that guide improvements in teaching and learning practices. The guiding commitment of educational psychology is to use sound scientific methods to ensure valid findings that contribute to the increased understanding of human learning and motivation.

Career and Professional Development

Some graduates of the master’s program apply to Ph.D. programs in educational psychology or related fields. Other graduates work in a variety of positions and obtain a master’s degree to further their knowledge of the teaching and learning processes. For example, some students are interested in coaching or working with children. Others are already teaching in some capacity or want to teach and find the degree useful for their career path. Note that this master’s degree does not lead to a teaching certification; therefore, individuals who are not already certified and plan to teach in K-12 public schools should enroll in a degree program that leads to certification.

Assistantships, Awards, and Fellowships

The Educational Psychology program does not have funding to support master’s students. However, the faculty will pass along information to students about any funding opportunities that arise. Sometimes students are able to find positions in other departments or offices on campus. 

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 (M.A.Ed.) should contact Dr. Brett Jones, by email at brettjones@vt.edu.

Visit our office at 225 War Memorial Hall, Blacksburg, VA 24061
Domestic Application
Spring: December 1
Fall: May 1
Summer: May 1
International Application
Spring: September 1
Fall: April 1

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