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Applied Educational Psychology

The Applied Educational Psychology PhD program is not taking applications at this time.

Applied Educational Psychology is a doctoral program designed for students who want to excel in educational psychology as scientists, researchers, professionals, and scholars in a variety of settings such as K-12, higher education, adult training, healthcare, and government.

The program is flexible and can be customized to some extent. The experiences, interests, and strengths of students are considered throughout our course of study. Our program also supports both part-time and full-time students, with courses being offered evenings, weekends, and online.

About Applied Educational Psychology

Goal 1

To cultivate our doctoral students’ competencies as scientists, researchers, and scholars, that align with current understanding of instructional and learning processes in terms of the field’s theoretical and conceptual underpinnings. This should also reflect students’ grasp of how practice influences science and vice versa.

Our first goal for our students requires training and experience in research and scholarship. Thus, students will acquire and apply the requisite knowledge and skills to understand, plan, conduct, analyze, and present the results of scholarly inquiries.

Emanating from this goal, we seek to address these four interrelated objectives by helping our students to become proficient in:

  1. Conducting scholarly reviews of the literature;
  2. Identifying gaps in the current literature or issues with current practice that need to be addressed through research to refine our practice and to expand our understanding of teaching and learning processes;
  3. Ethically applying educational research methodology and data analytical procedures to address formal research questions;
  4. Understanding how practice informs research and how our research informs practice.

Goal 2

We nurture our students’ development of competence as practitioners who are prepared to work in in a variety of settings such as K-12, higher education, adult training, hospital, and government, with emphasis on their ability to connect research to practice and vice versa.

Through our coursework, research, and practical experiences, our applied educational psychology students acquire the theoretical, empirical, and practical background necessary to understand, evaluate, design, and deliver effective educational interventions and evaluations in a variety of settings.

In alignment with this goal, we seek to fulfill each of the following interrelated three objectives with our students:

  1. To become knowledgeable and proficient with the application of an interdisciplinary array of theory and research that informs their understanding and work within setting in which learning occurs (e.g., K-12 classrooms, higher education, and business and industrial training).
  2. Ability to recognize, to appreciate, and to work with diverse populations and in diverse settings.
  3. Ability to conduct culturally competent scholarly work in the field of educational psychology.

Goal 3

We seek to provide our students with broad and general training in the field of educational psychology while fostering students’ professional development and identity as educational psychologists.

As such, our final two interrelated objectives are to help students to:

  1. Acquire a broad and general understanding of extant knowledge pertinent to psychological foundations of the field of educational psychology, including psychological foundations, learning theories, developmental theories, motivation theory;
  2. Develop a unique line of academic inquiry, research, and practice that aligns with the students’ learning and professional goals.
  • Personalized. The experiences, educational and professional backgrounds, interests, and talents of students are considered in the application process and are woven throughout our course of study. Many students in the program are employed or engaged with teaching and learning in a wide variety of contexts (such as K-12 or higher education settings, business, industry, medical field, or government). Your experiences and those of your classmates contribute to greater meaning making and the development of a deeper understanding of the link between theory, research, and practice.
  • Supportive. Faculty and fellow students provide guidance and support during the doctoral program. Advanced students are a valuable resource for newer students. Faculty and students often collaborate on projects and research; this work frequently leads to presentations at national and international conferences and articles published in peer-reviewed national and international journals.
  • Flexible. Students participate in the Applied Educational Psychology program on a full-time (9 credit hours per semester) or part-time (6 credit hours per semester) basis. The program flexibility meets diverse needs of doctoral students. Courses are offered evenings, weekends, and online to serve a wide variety of student needs.

Application Requirements*

*The program is not taking applications at this time.

Transfer Credits

At the doctoral level, courses are not officially transferred although they may be used to meet degree requirements. To be considered for review, a transferred a course must:

  • Be taken for graduate credit.
  • Carry a grade of B or better.
  • Be a part of a graduate program in which the student had at least a B average.
  • Not have been used for a previous degree.
  • Be approved by the student’s graduate committee and the Dean of the Graduate School.

Advising & Graduate Committees

Upon acceptance, students will be assigned a temporary advisor. All students must form a graduate committee, ideally by the end of the first year of study. At this point, students may change advisors after identifying their interests and getting to know other faculty. The major professor directs the student’s dissertation and chairs the dissertation committee. The student and the major professor identify a committee of at least four faculty members. One member must be from an academic unit other than Educational Psychology and Research. Doctoral committees should be formed after the first year of study. Students with their advisors complete a program plan to guide completion of requirements. Check the Graduate Catalog for details of graduate study.

Financial Aid Information

Includes EPC GA Application form, departmental fellowships/scholarships, and links to other funding sources around UT Knoxville.

Full-Time Faculty

Karee Dunn
Associate Professor

Patrick Dunn

Patrick Dunn
Assistant Professor

Collaborating Faculty

Steve McCallum

R. Steve McCallum

Robert Williams

Robert L. Williams

Updated 05/17/2020