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Educational Psychology

Wist Hall 214
1776 University Avenue
Honolulu, HI 96822
Tel: (808) 956-7775
Fax: (808) 956-6615
Web: coe.hawaii.edu/academics/educational-psychology

Faculty

*M. Salzman, PhD (Chair)—cross-cultural psychology, cultural psychology, indigenous psychology
*P. R. Brandon, PhD—program evaluation, study of program implementation and research on professional development
*M. K. Iding, PhD—cognition, learning from multimedia and computer-based resources, science learning, university teaching
*S. Im, PhD—multivariate analysis, psychometric models for cognitive diagnosis, setting cut off scores in large scale assessment
*M. K. Lai, PhD—program evaluation, research methods
*N. Lewis, PhD—underrepresented students' interest in and persistence to doctoral education in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) and program evaluation
*M. Liu, PhD—statistical and psychometric models and their application in education or other disciplines within social and behavioral science
*K. Ratliffe, PhD—learning and development in exceptional students, culturally diverse educational environments, family influences on learning and development
*L. Yamauchi, PhD—cognitive development, cultural influences on learning, minority students and schooling

Cooperating Graduate Faculty

B. D. DeBaryshe, PhD—social development, parent-child relations, stress and resilience
R. Heck, PhD—organizational theory, leadership, policy and quantitative methods
A. Maynard, PhD—children's teaching abilities, sibling interactions, cultural change and socialization, and literacy

Affiliate Graduate Faculty

M. E. Brandt, PhD—cognitive development, culture and cognition, alternative assessment
P. G. LeMahieu, PhD—student assessment, program evaluation

Degrees Offered: MEd in educational psychology, PhD in educational psychology

The Academic Program

The Department of Educational Psychology promotes inquiry in human learning and development within the context of a diverse society. Specifically, the major areas of study include human learning, human development, research methodology, statistics, measurement, and assessment and evaluation.

The department's MEd and PhD programs prepare individuals to perform career activities-basic and applied research, teaching, and mentoring-in universities, school systems, and other human service institutions and agencies, both public and private.

Graduate Study

Graduate study is primarily oriented toward students with specific professional educational objectives, but it is also applicable to students who find a major in educational psychology congruent with their personal objectives, and who wish to engage in elective study to the greatest extent possible while fulfilling degree requirements.

Initial Faculty Advising

Upon entrance to the graduate program, each student is assigned a temporary advisor to facilitate the student's progress through the program. Initial assignment or choice of a temporary advisor in no way obligates the student to select the temporary advisor as his or her program advisor or to include the temporary advisor as his or her committee member. Likewise, the temporary advisor has no obligation to serve on the student's committee. The system of temporary advisors is merely a way of identifying a specific faculty member the student can call upon for advice. The temporary advisor can be changed at any time.

In order to maintain a close working relationship between the students and the faculty, students are required to undertake self-assessment activities every semester. After completing a written self-assessment, students meet with the EDEP faculty at the end of each semester to review and direct progress toward their degrees. Students who have successfully defended their proposal and are making good progress are not required to attend these meetings.

Master of Education in Educational Psychology

The MEd program in Educational Psychology is directed toward increasing students' competence in educational inquiry. The MEd in Educational Psychology has two broad strands: (1) General Educational Psychology; (2) Measurement, Statistics, and Evaluation (MSE). The General Educational Psychology strand focuses on the study and application of psychological principles to understand cognitive, developmental, and socio-cultural factors affecting behavior, learning, and achievement and to further develop educational interventions and programs. The MSE strand addresses quantitative approaches to educational inquiry and the development of quantitative methods that underpin the development of evidence-based research in education. Courses are offered in the areas of human learning, cognition, and development; statistics, measurement, evaluation, and research methodology. The program prepares students for professional careers as practitioners and researchers in education, evaluators, and testing and measurement specialists.

Admission Requirements

In addition to the application form required by the Graduate Division, prospective students must also submit:

  1. Department of Educational Psychology application form to the department.
  2. Three recommendation forms attesting to academic and professional strengths to the department. Academic recommendations are preferred.
  3. Transcript(s) of all prior undergraduate and graduate course work to the Graduate Division.
  4. For non-native speakers of English, a minimum TOEFL score of 600/100 unless waived in accordance with Graduate Division guidelines.

Note: Applications for admission to the MEd program must be received by February 1 for the fall semester, and by September 1 for the spring semester. Application materials are available on the EDEP website, coe.hawaii.edu/academics/educational-psychology/med/how-to-apply.

Degree Requirements

After admission, the student and his or her temporary advisor detail a program of study, which includes a minimum of 30 credits for Plan A (Thesis) and Plan B (Non-thesis) candidates. Courses at or above the 400 level may be applied to an individual's program of study though a minimum of 18 credits must be earned in courses numbered 600-798. Up to 12 credits completed prior to admission to the program may be transferred for credit toward the degree. Students in the general Educational Psychology strand are required to take EDEP 416, 601, 608, 611, 661 and a graduate seminar (EDEP 768) as part of their 30 credits. Students in the MSE strand are required to take EDEP 601, 604, 608, 611, 616, 661 and two elective courses from the following: EDEP 605, 606, 612, 626, 768D, 768E or 768G (including at least one seminar).

A minimum residency of two semesters of full-time study or the equivalent in credits at UH Manoa is required. Relatively soon after entering the program, students are expected to choose between Plan A and Plan B options.

Plan A (Thesis)

Students whose objective is doctoral study are recommended to define a Plan A program of study at the master's level. Plan A candidates must take at least 6 credits of thesis research (EDEP 700). At the discretion of the thesis chair, up to five credits of EDEP 699, previously completed, may be substituted for five of the six EDEP 700 credits. The Graduate Division requires that a minimum of 12 credits must be earned in courses numbered 600-798, in addition to six credits of directed reading (EDEP 699) and thesis research (EDEP 700).

The development of a thesis proposal is concurrent with the selection of a thesis chair and committee. The proposal includes a literature review that contextualizes the research question(s) within existing research and theory. The proposal also includes a description of the proposed research methods, including how the data will be analyzed. Students work with their thesis chair to develop their proposal. After the thesis proposal is defended and approved, Master's Form II is submitted to the Graduate Division, and the student may enroll in thesis research (EDEP 700) at the beginning of the next academic semester. Students must register for at least one EDEP 700 credit during the semester in which they graduate and apply for graduation by the appropriate deadline.

It is the responsibility of the student to keep all members of the thesis committee informed of the scope, plan, and progress of the thesis research. Copies of the completed thesis must be submitted to committee members at least two weeks prior to the date of the final oral examination by the committee. Upon successful defense of the thesis and subsequent completion of revisions, Master's Form III is submitted to the Graduate Division. When the final edited document is submitted to the Graduate Division, Form IV should be submitted at the same time.

Plan B (Nonthesis)

The culminating requirement is a Plan B project/paper, an original educational inquiry resulting in a product that informs educational practice. The development of a Plan B project is concurrent with the selection of a Plan B advisor. Students develop a 8-10 page proposal outlining their projects that are then approved by their advisors. Not more than 9 credits in directed reading/research (EDEP 699) may be applied to meet degree requirements. A presentation of the Plan B project/paper is required during their final semester.

If candidates are not enrolled in other courses, they must be enrolled in at least one credit of EDEP 699, Directed Reading and Research. Students should enroll in EDEP 500 if all other requirements are complete. EDEP 500 is a one-credit course evaluated on a Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory basis and does not count toward credit-hour requirements. Students must apply for graduation when registering for their final semester of study.

Doctoral Degree

The PhD program in educational psychology is directed toward increasing the candidate's competence in educational inquiry. In general, the domain of inquiry encompasses human learning and development in the context of education. Courses are offered in the areas of statistics, measurement, evaluation, and research methodology; and human learning, cognition, and development. The program prepares individuals to conduct basic and applied research and evaluation in public and private educational settings and provide instruction and consultation appropriate for all educational levels.

Admission Requirements

In addition to the application form required by the Graduate Division, prospective students must also submit:

  1. Department of Educational Psychology application form to the department.
  2. Three recommendation forms attesting to academic and professional strengths to the department. Academic recommendations are preferred.
  3. Transcript(s) of all prior undergraduate and graduate course work to the Graduate Division.
  4. Official scores on the Graduate Record Exam Aptitude Test to the Graduate Division.
  5. For non-native speakers of English, a minimum TOEFL score of 600/100 unless waived in accordance with Graduate Division guidelines.
  6. Evidence of research competence (e.g., master's research thesis, a published or publishable article, or a research proposal), to the department.

[Note: Applications for admission to the PhD program are considered for the fall semester only and must be received by February 1 (applications from international students are due January 15).] Application materials are available on the EDEP website.

Procedure for Completing the PhD Degree

Each student works closely with members of the graduate faculty to define an individual program of study. A typical program spans three to five years of concentrated study within the broadly defined discipline of educational psychology.

Program requirements include (a) completion of required core courses; (b) completion of required interdisciplinary specialization; (c) college teaching experience in conjunction with one or more faculty members; (d) documentation of directed research experiences; and (e) a minimum residency of three semesters of full-time work or the equivalent in credits at UH Manoa.

Completion of Core Courses

Students must receive a grade of at least B in all core courses. The purposes of the core courses are (a) to determine whether to encourage students to proceed in the PhD program; and (b) to develop an appropriate plan of study; and (c) to advance to candidacy. See EDEP website for a list of core courses, coe.hawaii.edu/academics/educational-psychology/phd-ep.

Dissertation Prospectus

The development of a dissertation prospectus is done in conjunction with the identification of the dissertation committee chair. The prospectus is a 10-15 page description (exclusive of references) of the proposed dissertation that is developed in consultation with a prospective chair and submitted to the faculty. The prospectus includes the statement of the problem; its relevance to educational psychology; the design of the investigation; and analysis. If there are no major objections to this prospectus from the graduate faculty as a whole, the student forms a doctoral committee based on mutual interest.

Comprehensive Examination

The comprehensive examination is taken after the prospectus is approved and before the proposal defense. Committee members typically formulate two or three questions that may be related to the student's proposal but may be broader in scope. Typically, students take between two to four weeks to complete the written comprehensive exam; however, each committee determines the exact timeline. An oral defense will be scheduled after the written answers are turned in. The committee will have at least two weeks to read the written answers before the oral defense. A student who fails any portion of the comprehensive examination twice will be dismissed from both the graduate program and the Graduate Division, unless recommended otherwise by the graduate chair.

Dissertation Proposal

Upon passing the comprehensive examination, the student develops a dissertation proposal in consultation with the dissertation committee. The dissertation proposal includes a literature review that contextualizes the question(s) within existing research and theory. The proposal also includes a description of the proposed research methods, including how the data will be analyzed. A formal oral defense of the proposal is made by the student to the doctoral committee in order to confirm approval of the proposed research. When students pass the comprehensive exam and proposal defense, Doctorate Form II will be submitted to the Graduate Division.

Completion of the Program

It is the responsibility of the student to keep all members of the dissertation committee informed of the scope, plan, and progress of the dissertation research. Copies of the completed dissertation must be submitted to the committee members at least two weeks prior to the date of the final oral examination by the committee. Upon successful defense of the dissertation and subsequent completion of revisions, Doctorate Form III is submitted to the Graduate Division. When the final edited document is submitted to the Graduate Division, Form IV should be submitted at the same time.

EDEP Courses