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The Department OF Educational Psychology

The Department of Educational Psychology (EPSY) is home to a variety of interrelated disciplines and degree options focused on human development and well-being in educational and community contexts. Our undergraduate programs prepare students to work with children and youth in a variety of community and school contexts. We also offer a range of professional master’s degrees geared towards professionals in schools, communities, and the corporate world. For those interested in doctoral studies we offer Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) degrees in Educational Psychology, Counseling Psychology, and School Psychology.

Program Areas to choose from

Educational Psychology, US News & World Report 2021

Number of Online Courses Available

Former Student Highlight

Educational Psychology Programs



EPSY offers a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Education and University Studies, with one of three focuses.


Graduate Programs

The department of Educational Psychology offers a range of professional graduate degree programs.



EPSY offers a wide variety of online programs and courses to many the diverse needs our students.

Educational Psychology Teacher Teaching Students


Undergraduate students have the opportunity to complete certificate programs while completing their degree requirements.


“I came to the conclusion that being a special educator is less about whom you teach and more about what you teach.”

– Stephanie Haetchen ’12
Special Education Programs

Doctorate in Educational Psychology with an emphasis in:

Bilingual/ESL Education

Ph.D. in Educational Psychology: Emphasis in Bilingual/ESL Education

The 75-hour doctoral program in Educational Psychology with an emphasis in Bilingual/ESL Education (BESL) prepares graduates for university and leadership positions in the field of education, including consultation and evaluation, teacher training and supervision or coordination of programs.

A combination of coursework, practica, program competencies and the final dissertation ensure a broad breadth and depth of training. Our program is led by trained and experienced faculty in fields such as:

  • Bilingual assessment,
  • Curriculum development,
  • Research methodology,
  • Program evaluation,
  • Distance teaching formats, and
  • Instructional design.

Course Requirements

The degree program includes the following course requirements:

  • Bilingual/ESL education core (27 hours)
  • Research and evaluation (15 hours)
  • Practica and internship (12 hours)
  • Specialization/cognate electives (9 hours)
  • Dissertation (12 hours minimum)

Program Competencies

Besides seminar-based learning, the doctoral program develops competencies across the following areas through practica:

  • College teaching (mentored and supervised)
  • Research – planning, executing, writing, presenting and submitting two studies for publication prior to dissertation
  • Program assessment evaluation (planning, executing and writing)
  • Grant writing (co-writing and submitting)


  • Applications are currently closed and will reopen August 1st for fall 2025 admissions.
How to apply

Program Details

Degree: Ph.D. in Educational Psychology (EPSY)
Emphasis: Bilingual/ESL Education (BESL)
Degrees Offered: Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
Credit Hours: minimum 75 hours

Tuition calculator

Select School of Education and update credit hours.

Core Curriculum

This program is designed with considerable flexibility within the core requirements and areas of specializations outlined. A total of 75 hours of approved coursework, practica, professional internship, independent study, seminars and research credit beyond the master’s degree is required.

Alternative courses or proficiency may be substituted with committee approval for the five required components listed below.

Ph.D. Curriculum

Bilingual/ESL Education Core – 27 Hours

BESL 610 Bilingual Assessment & Monitoring Students 3
BESL 611 Dual Language Program Methodologies 3
BESL 612 Content Area Instruction for Bilingual Programs 3
BESL 613 Spanish/English Biliteracy 3
BESL 614 Bilingual Education Curriculum Development 3
BESL 616 Spanish for Bilingual and Dual Language Classrooms 3
BESL 619 Second Language Acquisition in Pre-K-12; Advanced Theory and Practice 3
BESL 620 Current Issues in Bilingual Education 3
BESL 632 Research in Second Language Education 3

Research and Evaluation – 15 Hours

BESL 615 Teacher Action Research 3
BESL 617 Evaluation of Programs with Bilingual and Language Minority Students K-12 3
EPSY 640 Statistical Analysis in Educational Research I (Prerequisite: EPSY 636) 3
EPSY 641 Statistical Analysis in Educational Research II (Prerequisite: EPSY 640) 3

Select one from the following (please consult with your committee chair)

EPSY 633 Qualitative Research Design and Data Collection 3
EPSY 637 Qualitative Grounded Theory Methodologies 3
EPSY 642 Meta-Analysis of Behavioral Research 3
EPSY 643 

EPSY 650

Applied Multivariate Methods 

Multiple Regression and Other Linear Models in Education Research


EPSY 656 Survey Instrument Development 3

Practica and Directed Studies- 12 Hours

BESL 683 Field Practicum Bilingual Research 3
BESL 683 Field Practicum in Grant Writing 3
BESL 683 Field Practicum in College Teaching/Supervision 3
BESL 685 Directed Studies 3

Electives – 9 Hours

The following are sample courses (please consult with your committee chair)

EDTC 608 Foundations of Distance Learning 3
EDTC 613 Integrating Technology in Learning Environments 3
EPSY 602 Educational Psychology 3
EPSY 625 Advanced Psychometric Theory 3
EPSY 651 Theory of Structural Equation Modeling 3
EPSY 652 Theory of Hierarchical Linear Modeling 3
EPSY 654 Longitudinal Data Analysis 3
EPSY 655 Item Response Theory 3
SPED 618 Induction to Professoriate Development in Higher Education 3
SPED 620 Bilingual Special Education 3
SPED 630 Reading for At-Risk and Disabled Learners 3
RDNG 620 Literacy and Language 3

Dissertation – 12 Hours Minimum

Dissertation credit hours are taken under BESL 691.

Any other coursework requires permission from the student’s committee.

75 hours beyond a master’s degree; 96 hours beyond a bachelor’s degree (with an optional master’s degree)


Peggy Brigman

Academic Advisor IV

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Fuhui Tong


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Sandra Acosta

Associate Professor

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Rafael Lara-Alecio

Regents Professor

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Yolanda Padron


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Hector Rivera

Associate Professor

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Miranda Walichowski

Clinical Associate Professor

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Zohreh Eslami


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Roya Pashmforoosh

Visiting Assistant Professor

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Heesun Chang

Assistant Professor

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Frequently Asked Questions


  • List of Bachelor Degree Equivalencies

    Please view a brief List of Bachelor Degree Equivalencies by Country. If you do not find your country listed and are unsure of your degree equivalency, please contact the Office of Admissions at

  • Can my Application fee be waived?

    Yes. This fee may be waived only in exceptional cases for low-income applicants and McNair Scholars. To receive the waiver, you must submit an awards letter from your current school’s financial aid office showing the award of a Pell Grant. Your Student Aid Report (SAR) from a current FAFSA can also be submitted to show financial need. McNair Scholars must submit a letter from their McNair Program Director verifying their status as a McNair Scholar in good standing to receive the fee waiver. Submit this information to the Academic Affairs Business Office and include your major of interest and term of application. Waiver of application fee is not available for international students.

  • Statement of Purpose Essay

    All applicants must complete the Essay, Statement of Purpose and explain the following:

      1. Why you applied to this program
      2. Academic background and training
      3. Potential for graduate study
      4. Research experience
      5. Other relevant professional experiences
  • I want/need a Graduate Assistantship/Fellowship – how do I apply?

    Please note that we cannot guarantee any financial assistance to any student. We will contact all admitted students about the process for applying for all available assistantships. This is a separate process from applying for admission. The department and programs will choose students to be nominated for Graduate Diversity or Graduate Merit fellowships. These fellowships are only open to U.S. citizens. Please do not ask to be nominated for one of these fellowships as the program will determine which students are competitive for these awards.

  • How do is submit my letters of Recommendation?

    The GraduateCAS online application includes a Recommendations section where you must add your recommenders’ information. Once you have saved the recommendation requests, GraduateCAS will contact each recommender via email to request the completion of the recommendation form and letter of recommendation. We require three letters of recommendations and they must be submitted directly by recommenders through the electronic system.

  • Is there an admissions cycle for Spring semester?

    No. For our Ph.D. programs we only have admissions in fall semesters.

  • What are the typical program costs?

    Check out the cost of attendance estimator.

    Please note, you must update the program hours.

    For a better understanding of your total cost of attendance (COA), please visit our cost and tuition rates webpage ( This webpage will provide you with an opportunity to review estimated COA information for undergraduate, graduate and professional students, as well as other resources such as the tuition calculator and billing and fee explanations.

  • Can you guide me through the application process?
  • I live out of state. Do you accept out-of-state applicants?

    Yes, we accept in-state and out-of-state applicants.

  • Is there any opportunity for financial assistance?

    Yes, there are opportunities for financial assistance through the following departments: Office of Graduate Studies Financial Aid

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Tuition & Fees

For a better understanding of your total cost of attendance (COA), please visit our cost and tuition rates webpage (

tuition-rates). This webpage will provide you with an opportunity to review estimated COA information for undergraduate, graduate and professional students, as well as other resources such as the tuition calculator and billing and fee explanations.

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