Jun 27, 2022  
2020-2021 Graduate Catalog 
    
2020-2021 Graduate Catalog ARCHIVED CATALOG: CONTENT MAY NOT BE CURRENT. USE THE DROP DOWN ABOVE TO ACCESS THE CURRENT CATALOG.

Doctor of Philosophy - Educational Psychology


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Plan Description


The Educational Psychology Ph.D. is designed to provide advanced studies in educational psychology with three primary strands: 1) Educational Psychology Foundations with specialty area emphases in educational assessment, program evaluation, research, and learning in school and related domains, 2) Post-Bachelors Educational Psychology Foundations, and 3) Assessment and Quantitative Analysis in Education (AQUA in Education). This program will provide opportunities for students to become independent scholars who are able to make significant contributions to knowledge in specialized areas of educational psychology where both regional and national need for trained professionals has been identified.

The three strands in the program focus on the outcomes and processes that promote more effective learning in school based and related applications. Students in subplan 1-4 will take core courses in: 1) research methods and statistics, 2) learning and cognition, and 3) advanced studies in a domain of school curriculum. Students in subplan 5 focus more on research methods and statistics, and choose among the other courses. All students will be actively involved in research and research-related activities throughout their program of study. Students in the Post-Bachelor Foundation strand will be eligible to earn a Master of Science in Educational Psychology. The program will prepare students for a variety of professional careers related to teaching, research, and professional practice in both academic and nonacademic settings. For example, students will be prepared to fill faculty, research, or assessment positions at academic institutions, such as universities, community colleges, and K-12 school districts.

Representative occupations include educational psychologist, program evaluator, educational assessment coordinator, and employee training specialist. 

For more information about your program, including your graduate program handbook and learning outcomes, please visit the Degree Directory.

Plan Admission Requirements


Application deadlines

Applications available on the UNLV Graduate College website.

Admission to the Foundations Post-Master’s, School Psychology, School Counselor, and the AQUA in Ed Tracks will be limited to the most qualified applicants based on a combination of the following:

  • An undergraduate grade point average of 3.00 or above.
  • If graduate course work has been completed, a graduate grade point average of 3.00 or above.
  • Preference given to scores that relate to the 50th percentile or better on the verbal and quantitative sections of the Graduate Record Examination (GRE).
  • A score of 600 or above on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) is also required for students who do not speak English as their language.
  • Three letters of reference from university faculty or other individuals qualified to judge the applicant’s academic potential.
  • The applicant’s statement of professional interests and goals.
  • A scholarly or professional writing sample.


Graduate College application is available online. Applications for admission will be considered once a year. The deadline for the receipt of applications is February.

Foundations Post-Master’s Track:
Students must have a master’s equivalent degree to be considered for admission.

AQUA in Ed Post-Master’s Track:
Students must have a master’s equivalent degree to be considered for admission.

School Psychology Track:
Students must have a bachelor’s degree. Many students admitted for this strand have completed their Ed.S. from a NASP-approved program, or its equivalent, as evidence of the knowledge base of a professional school psychologist. Students without this foundation are considered for admission with understanding that their programs of study will include content from our Ed.S. program.

School Counselor Track:
Students must have a master’s degree in a school counseling program accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP) or must have completed the substantial equivalent of such program. Students with degrees in other counseling specialties will be considered for admission with the understanding that additional course work will be required as part of their doctoral programs.

Admission to the Foundations Post-Bachelor’s Track will be limited to the most qualified applicants who also aim to pursue a research program based on a combination of the following:

  • An undergraduate grade-point average of 3.25 or above.
  • If graduate coursework has been completed, a graduate, grade-point average of 3.25 or above.
  • Students must score at or above the 50th percentile on the verbal and quantitative sections of the Graduate Record Examination (GRE).
  • A score of 600 or above on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) is also required for students who do not speak English as their first language.
  • Three letters of reference from university faculty or other individuals qualified to judge the applicant’s academic potential.
  • The applicant must submit a statement of professional interests and goals which explicitly indicates both a potential area of research and names a faculty mentor.



All domestic and international applicants must review and follow the Graduate College Admission and Registration Requirements.

Students are accepted into a degree program as described in the Graduate Catalog. The faculty and corresponding sub-disciplines and sub-plans within the described programs are subject to change at any time.

Subplan 1 Requirements: Foundations Post-Master’s Track


Total Credits Required: 66

Course Requirements


Degree Requirements


Student must successfully complete a minimum of 66 credit hours while maintaining a grade point average of 3.00 or better in the program and a grade of B or better in core course work.

In consultation with his/her advisor, a student will organize a dissertation committee of at least three departmental members. In addition, a fourth member from outside the department, known as the Graduate College Representative, must be appointed. An additional committee member may be added at the student and department’s discretion. Please see Graduate College policy for committee appointment guidelines.

Specific specialization courses in the assessment, program evaluation, research, and learning in school domains strands are determined by the student in consultation with her or his committee.

Each student, in consultation with advisor and doctoral committee, selects an individual emphasis area and determines the specific courses to be completed.

Each student must satisfy a scholarly paper requirement by the time he or she has completed 36 credits (Review I). The student must be the first author on a manuscript submitted to a journal of quartile 2 or higher (SCIMAGO listing) that is distributed for peer review.  Empirical or review manuscripts are acceptable.  This requirement is considered complete when the manuscript is assigned a number by the editor of the journal to which it was submitted.  Projects must be approved by a supervising faculty member. Once completed, students must submit to the program coordinator(s): (a) a copy of the a copy of the manuscript , (b) a submission acknowledgment (including assigned manuscript number), and (c) a completed Review I form from the supervising faculty member.

Each student must take the preliminary examination (Review II). This second formal assessment, typically completed during the last semester of formal classwork, is an examination that will focus on areas of knowledge that are most relevant to the student’s proposed dissertation topic. The student and his/her committee will determine the content of this examination format in that it will focus on in-depth reading and writing directly related to the student’s proposed dissertation topic as well as on the student’s mastery of previously learned core information.

After successfully completing Review I (i.e., satisfying the scholarly product requirement) and Review II (i.e., passing the preliminary examination), students can then submit a formal dissertation proposal to their doctoral committee and submit the accompanying “Dissertation Prospectus” form to the Graduate College. The doctoral committee will meet and determine whether to accept or reject the prospectus. A prospectus can be accepted provisionally given that the student follows the committee’s suggestions in the dissertation. Upon completion of the full dissertation, a defense will be scheduled. This defense will be scheduled and conducted in accordance with the Graduate College’s policies for thesis and dissertation completion. It is the student’s responsibility to file the required “Notification of Oral or Written Examination” form with the Graduate College in a timely manner.

Graduation Requirements


The student must submit all required forms to the Graduate College and then apply for graduation up to two semesters prior to completing his/her degree requirements.

The student must submit and successfully defend his/her dissertation by the posted deadline. The defense must be advertised and is open to the public.

After the dissertation defense, the student must electronically submit a properly formatted pdf copy of their dissertation to the Graduate College for format check. Once the dissertation format has been approved by the Graduate College, the student will submit the approved electronic version to ProQuest. Deadlines for dissertation defenses, format check submissions, and the final ProQuest submission can be found here. 

Subplan 2 Requirements: Foundations Post-Bachelor’s Track


Total Credits Required: 99

Course Requirements


Elective Courses – Credits: 12


Students must complete a minimum 12 credit hours of advisor-approved electives.

Thesis – Credits: 6


  • After successfully completing the requirements above, students are eligible to earn the Master of Science - Educational Psychology.  

Emphasis Area Courses – Credits: 18


Complete 18 credits of advisor-approved coursework within a disciplinary content area of emphasis.

Dissertation – Credits: 12​


Degree Requirements


Student must successfully complete a minimum of 99 credit hours while maintaining a grade point average of 3.00 or better in the program and a grade of B or better in core course work.

In consultation with his/her advisor, a student will organize a thesis committee of at least three departmental members. In addition, a fourth member from outside the department, known as the Graduate College Representative, must be appointed. An additional committee member may be added at the student and department’s discretion. Please see Graduate College policy for committee appointment guidelines.

In consultation with his/her advisor, a student will organize a dissertation committee of at least three departmental members. In addition, a fourth member from outside the department, known as the Graduate College Representative, must be appointed. An additional committee member may be added at the student and department’s discretion. Please see Graduate College policy for committee appointment guidelines.

Each student, in consultation with advisor and doctoral committee, selects an individual emphasis area and determines the specific courses to be completed.

Each student must satisfy a scholarly paper requirement by the time he or she has completed 36 credits beyond the MS degree credits (Review I). The student must be the first author on a manuscript submitted to a journal of quartile 2 or higher (SCIMAGO listing) that is distributed for peer review.  Empirical or review manuscripts are acceptable.  This requirement is considered complete when the manuscript is assigned a number by the editor of the journal to which it was submitted.  Projects must be approved by a supervising faculty member. Once completed, students must submit to the program coordinator(s): (a) a copy of the paper, (b) a submission acknowledgment (including assigned manuscript number), and (c) a completed Review I form from the supervising faculty member.

Each student must take the preliminary examination (Review II). This second formal assessment, typically completed during the last semester of formal classwork, is an examination that will focus on areas of knowledge that are most relevant to the student’s proposed dissertation topic. The student and his/her committee will determine the content of this examination format in that it will focus on in-depth reading and writing directly related to the student’s proposed dissertation topic as well as on the student’s mastery of previously learned core information.

After successfully completing Review I (i.e., satisfying the scholarly product requirement) and Review II (i.e., passing the preliminary examination), students can then submit a formal dissertation proposal to their doctoral committee and submit the accompanying “Dissertation Prospectus” form to the Graduate College. The doctoral committee will meet and determine whether to accept or reject the prospectus. A prospectus can be accepted provisionally given that the student follows the committee’s suggestions in the dissertation. Upon completion of the full dissertation, a defense will be scheduled. This defense will be scheduled and conducted in accordance with the Graduate College’s policies for thesis and dissertation completion. It is the student’s responsibility to file the required “Notification of Oral or Written Examination” form with the Graduate College in a timely manner.

Graduation Requirements


The student must submit all required forms to the Graduate College and then apply for graduation up to two semesters prior to completing his/her degree requirements.

The student must submit and successfully defend his/her thesis after 27 credits of initial coursework and a minimum of 6 credits of thesis coursework to be completed by the posted deadline to be eligible to earn the Master of Science - Educational Psychology. The defense must be advertised and is open to the public.

After the thesis defense, the student must electronically submit a properly formatted pdf copy of their thesis to the Graduate College for format check. Once the thesis format has been approved by the Graduate College, the student will submit the approved electronic version to ProQuest. Deadlines for thesis defenses, format check submissions, and the final ProQuest submission can be found here. 

The student must submit and successfully defend his/her dissertation after a minimum of 84 credits of initial coursework and a minimum of 12 credits of dissertation coursework and have it completed by the posted deadline to be eligible to earn the Doctor of Philosophy - Educational Psychology. The defense must be advertised and is open to the public.

After the dissertation defense, the student must electronically submit a properly formatted pdf copy of their dissertation to the Graduate College for format check. Once the dissertation format has been approved by the Graduate College, the student will submit the approved electronic version to ProQuest. Deadlines for dissertation defenses, format check submissions, and the final ProQuest submission can be found here. 

Subplan 3 Requirements: School Psychology Track (ON HOLD)


Total Credits Required: 67

Course Requirements


Proseminar Course – Credits: 1


Specialization Courses – Credits: 18


Complete 18 credits of advisor-approved coursework within your specified research area of focus.

Emphasis Area Courses – Credits: 12


Complete 12 credits of advisor-approved coursework within a disciplinary content area of emphasis.

Dissertation – Credits: 12​


Degree Requirements


Student must successfully complete a minimum of 67 credit hours while maintaining a grade point average of 3.00 or better in the program and a grade of B or better in core course work.

Of the 67 credits, 18 must be in coursework tailored for the area of focus in the strand.

Of the 67 credits, 25 are in courses shared with other doctoral programs in the department.

In consultation with his/her advisor, a student will organize a dissertation committee of at least three departmental members. In addition, a fourth member from outside the department, known as the Graduate College Representative, must be appointed. An additional committee member may be added at the student and department’s discretion. Please see Graduate College policy for committee appointment guidelines.

Specific specialization courses in the assessment, program evaluation, research, and learning in school domains strands are determined by the student in consultation with her or his committee.

In addition to the required specialization courses, each student, in consultation with advisor and doctoral committee, selects an individual emphasis area and determines the specific courses to be completed.

Each student must satisfy a scholarly paper requirement by the time he or she has completed 36 credits (Review I). The student must be primarily responsible for carrying out and reporting a study under the supervision of a program faculty member. The requirement may be fulfilled in one of two ways. First, the study may involve the collection and analysis of some empirical data (for example, a pilot study) resulting in a scholarly paper that is submitted to either a professional journal or as a proposal to an annual conference of a national organization. Second, the paper may consist of a literature review that is submitted for publication in a quality, peer-reviewed journal or submitted for presentation at a national conference. Prior to beginning, projects must be approved by a supervising faculty member. Once completed, students must submit to the program coordinator(s): (a) a copy of the paper, (b) a submission acknowledgment, and (c) a completed Review I form from the supervising faculty member.

Each student must take the preliminary examination (Review II). This second formal assessment, typically completed during the last semester of formal classwork, is an examination that will focus on areas of knowledge that are most relevant to the student’s proposed dissertation topic. The student and his/her committee will determine the content of this examination format in that it will focus on in-depth reading and writing directly related to the student’s proposed dissertation topic as well as on the student’s mastery of previously learned core information.

After successfully completing Review I (i.e., satisfying the scholarly product requirement) and Review II (i.e., passing the preliminary examination), students can then submit a formal dissertation proposal to their doctoral committee and submit the accompanying “Dissertation Prospectus” form to the Graduate College. The doctoral committee will meet and determine whether to accept or reject the prospectus. A prospectus can be accepted provisionally given that the student follows the committee’s suggestions in the dissertation. Upon completion of the full dissertation, a defense will be scheduled. This defense will be scheduled and conducted in accordance with the Graduate College’s policies for thesis and dissertation completion. It is the student’s responsibility to file the required “Notification of Oral or Written Examination” form with the Graduate College in a timely manner.

Graduation Requirements


The student must submit all required forms to the Graduate College and then apply for graduation up to two semesters prior to completing his/her degree requirements.

The student must submit and successfully defend his/her dissertation by the posted deadline. The defense must be advertised and is open to the public.

After the dissertation defense, the student must electronically submit a properly formatted pdf copy of their dissertation to the Graduate College for format check. Once the dissertation format has been approved by the Graduate College, the student will submit the approved electronic version to ProQuest. Deadlines for dissertation defenses, format check submissions, and the final ProQuest submission can be found here. 

Subplan 4 Requirements: School Counselor Track (ON HOLD)


Total Credits Required: 67

Course Requirements


Specialization Courses – Credits: 18


Complete 18 credits of advisor-approved coursework within your specified research area of focus.

Emphasis Area Courses – Credits: 12


Complete 12 credits of advisor-approves coursework within a disciplinary content area of emphasis.

Dissertation – Credits: 12 credits


Degree Requirements


Student must successfully complete a minimum of 67 credit hours while maintaining a grade point average of 3.00 or better in the program and a grade of B or better in core course work.

Of the 67 credits, 18 must be in coursework tailored for the area of focus in the strand.

Of the 67 credits, 25 are in courses shared with other doctoral programs in the department.

In consultation with his/her advisor, a student will organize a dissertation committee of at least three departmental members. In addition, a fourth member from outside the department, known as the Graduate College Representative, must be appointed. An additional committee member may be added at the student and department’s discretion. Please see Graduate College policy for committee appointment guidelines.

Specific specialization courses in the assessment, program evaluation, research, and learning in school domains strands are determined by the student in consultation with her or his committee.

In addition to the required specialization courses, each student, in consultation with advisor and doctoral committee, selects an individual emphasis area and determines the specific courses to be completed.

Each student must satisfy a scholarly paper requirement by the time he or she has completed 36 credits (Review I). The student must be primarily responsible for carrying out and reporting a study under the supervision of a program faculty member. The requirement may be fulfilled in one of two ways. First, the study may involve the collection and analysis of some empirical data (for example, a pilot study) resulting in a scholarly paper that is submitted to either a professional journal or as a proposal to an annual conference of a national organization. Second, the paper may consist of a literature review that is submitted for publication in a quality, peer-reviewed journal or submitted for presentation at a national conference. Prior to beginning, projects must be approved by a supervising faculty member. Once completed, students must submit to the program coordinator(s): (a) a copy of the paper, (b) a submission acknowledgment, and (c) a completed Review I form from the supervising faculty member.

Each student must take the preliminary examination (Review II). This second formal assessment, typically completed during the last semester of formal classwork, is an examination that will focus on areas of knowledge that are most relevant to the student’s proposed dissertation topic. The student and his/her committee will determine the content of this examination format in that it will focus on in-depth reading and writing directly related to the student’s proposed dissertation topic as well as on the student’s mastery of previously learned core information.

After successfully completing Review I (i.e., satisfying the scholarly product requirement) and Review II (i.e., passing the preliminary examination), students can then submit a formal dissertation proposal to their doctoral committee and submit the accompanying “Dissertation Prospectus” form to the Graduate College. The doctoral committee will meet and determine whether to accept or reject the prospectus. A prospectus can be accepted provisionally given that the student follows the committee’s suggestions in the dissertation. Upon completion of the full dissertation, a defense will be scheduled. This defense will be scheduled and conducted in accordance with the Graduate College’s policies for thesis and dissertation completion. It is the student’s responsibility to file the required “Notification of Oral or Written Examination” form with the Graduate College in a timely manner.

Graduation Requirements


The student must submit all required forms to the Graduate College and then apply for graduation up to two semesters prior to completing his/her degree requirements.

The student must submit and successfully defend his/her dissertation by the posted deadline. The defense must be advertised and is open to the public.

After the dissertation defense, the student must electronically submit a properly formatted pdf copy of their dissertation to the Graduate College for format check. Once the dissertation format has been approved by the Graduate College, the student will submit the approved electronic version to ProQuest. Deadlines for dissertation defenses, format check submissions, and the final ProQuest submission can be found here. 

Subplan 5 Requirements: Assessment and Quantitative Analysis in Education - AQUA (Post-Masters)


Total Credits Required: 66

Course Requirements


Degree Requirements


Student must successfully complete a minimum of 66 credit hours while maintaining a grade point average of 3.00 or better in the program and a grade of B or better in core course work.

In consultation with the advisor, a student will organize a dissertation committee of at least three departmental members. In addition, a fourth member from outside the department, known as the Graduate College Representative, must be appointed. An additional committee member may be added at the student and department’s discretion. Please see Graduate College policy for committee appointment guidelines.

Specific specialization courses in quantitative research methods and electives are determined by the student in consultation with the dissertation committee.

Each student, in consultation with advisor and doctoral committee, selects an individual emphasis area and determines the specific courses to be completed.

Each student must satisfy a scholarly paper requirement by the time he or she has completed 36 credits (Review I). The student must be the first author on a manuscript submitted to a journal of quartile 2 or higher (SCIMAGO listing) that is distributed for peer review. Empirical, review, or theoretical manuscripts are acceptable. This requirement is considered complete when the manuscript is assigned a number by the editor of the journal to which it was submitted. Projects must be approved by a supervising faculty member. Once completed, students must submit to the program coordinator(s): (a) a copy of the manuscript , (b) a submission acknowledgment (including assigned manuscript number), and (c) a completed Review I form from the supervising faculty member.

Each student must take the preliminary examination (Review II). This second formal assessment, typically completed during the last semester of formal classwork, is an examination that will focus on areas of knowledge that are most relevant to the student’s proposed dissertation topic. The student and the student’s committee will determine the content of this examination format in that it will focus on in-depth reading and writing directly related to the student’s proposed dissertation topic as well as on the student’s mastery of previously learned core information.

After successfully completing Review I (i.e., satisfying the scholarly product requirement) and Review II (i.e., passing the preliminary examination), students can then submit a formal dissertation proposal to their doctoral committee and submit the accompanying “Dissertation Prospectus” form to the Graduate College. The doctoral committee will meet and determine whether to accept or reject the prospectus. A prospectus can be accepted provisionally given that the student follows the committee’s suggestions in the dissertation. Upon completion of the full dissertation, a defense will be scheduled. This defense will be scheduled and conducted in accordance with the Graduate College’s policies for thesis and dissertation completion. It is the student’s responsibility to file the required “Notification of Oral or Written Examination” form with the Graduate College in a timely manner.

Graduation Requirements


The student must submit all required forms to the Graduate College and then apply for graduation up to two semesters prior to completing his/her degree requirements.

The student must submit and successfully defend his/her dissertation by the posted deadline. The defense must be advertised and is open to the public.

After the dissertation defense, the student must electronically submit a properly formatted pdf copy of their dissertation to the Graduate College for format check. Once the dissertation format has been approved by the Graduate College, the student will submit the approved electronic version to ProQuest. Deadlines for dissertation defenses, format check submissions, and the final ProQuest submission can be found here.

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