College of Education and Human Development

Department of Educational Psychology

Social psychological and developmental processes MA and PhD

Inspire positive social change by studying human relationships and growth

The way we work, think, and play in groups and alone affects our personal success as well as the success of our schools, workplaces, and communities. As a PhD or MA student, you’ll study the social and social developmental processes experienced across the lifespan, with a primary focus on processes during the years of schooling. You’ll conduct research that makes a difference, working with members of our diverse, local communities to help our neighbors succeed at school and work.

What to expect

    • Faculty (PhD only)
    • Research scientists at:
      • Universities and companies
      • Other educational settings (e.g., K-12 school research offices)
      • Human and social service organizations
      • Health care organization evaluator and researcher
      • Government agencies
      • Research and development centers

    A master's degree is not required to apply for the doctoral program.

    Master's of Arts (MA)

    MA curriculum (33-34 credits)

    Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

    PhD curriculum (72 credits)

    • Social influence processes
    • Group dynamics and cooperative learning
    • Theories of intergroup relations
    • Methods of organizational change and conflict resolution
    • Action research models and engaged research
    • Impacts of disparities on educational and life outcomes
    • Social emotional development
    • Prosocial and antisocial behavior in schools


    Visit the College of Education and Human Development's Finance and Funding page for information on tuition.

    Fellowships and awards

    Submit your application materials by the December 1 deadline, and you’ll automatically be considered for Graduate School fellowships and departmental awards based on scholastic achievement. Notification of awards will be sent in March.

    Graduate assistantships

    Get paid to work as a teaching assistant, graduate instructor or research assistant. Graduate assistantships are available through the department, College of Education and Human Development, and the University.

    Note: Applicants who complete their applications by the March 1 deadline will be less likely to receive graduate assistantships than students who meet the December 1 deadline.

    Additional funding

    Visit the College of Education and Human Development's Finance and Funding page for more information on funding.

    Financial aid

    Visit OneStop Student Services for more information on available financial aid.

    Faculty and instructors

    Martin Van Boekel

    Teaching assistant professor