Educational Psychology and Individual Differences
The master’s degree in educational psychology program emphasizes such areas as development, learning, motivation, exceptionality or disabilities, psychological and educational measurement, and research methodology. Students expand their understanding of theory and the implications for education within these areas. Flexibility within the program affords students the opportunity to develop a program of study tailored to their professional needs. Graduates of the master’s program who previously have earned a teaching certificate return to school settings more fully prepared to teach, to become department or campus leaders, or to pursue other educational career paths. Graduates also pursue careers as associate psychologists, researchers or measurement specialists, and educational support staff for health care and other institutions.
The Doctor of Philosophy in Educational Psychology and Individual Differences prepares students for employment as faculty members at colleges and universities. Graduates also find employment in areas such as directors of educational components of health care institutions and social service agencies. Typically, these students develop an individually tailored Ph.D. program which emphasizes theory and research in one or more areas related to learning and development, special populations, higher education, health education and/or measurement and statistics.
Doctor of Education or Doctor of Philosophy
Students pursuing the doctorate in the Curriculum and Instruction Department typically have completed 18 semester credit hours of professional education courses and two years of teaching or the equivalent. Students admitted to the Ph.D. programs in the Educational Psychology Department include students without graduate credit as well as students with graduate credit and masters degrees.
The following represents minimal expectations regarding the completion of a doctoral degree in the College of Education. Some programs and/or departments may have additional degree requirements.
- Students usually complete a minimum of 60 semester hours of course work and at least six hours of dissertation credit for the doctoral degree. The Ph.D. program in Counseling Psychology and School Psychology require more than 100 hours if students have no prior graduate credit. All degree requirements, including successful dissertation defense and internship must be completed within ten years from the date of admission to the degree program.
With the approval of the student’s academic advisor, program coordinator, department chair, and the dean, a student may transfer a maximum of 30 semester hours of graduate credit from another university into the doctoral program. Courses with grades lower than B-, and completed more than five years prior to the date of admission to the University of Houston, and/or applied to previously completed degree program may not be transferred.
- Students may fulfill their residency requirements by being in full-time study for two consecutive academic semesters, an academic semester and a consecutive 12-week summer session, or three consecutive 12-week summer sessions. The specific residency requirements vary among departments. At the end of each semester of residency, students must complete a Residency Report and have it approved by their academic advisor, program coordinator, department chair, and the executive associate dean. This is also accomplished through MyAdvisor.
- A minimum 3.00 grade point average (A=4.00) is required in all course work, including transferred courses. Graduate credit is not given for grades lower than C-. A graduate student who receives a grade of C+ or lower in 12 semester hours of credit at the University of Houston, whether or not in repeated courses, is ineligible for any advanced degree and will not be permitted to re-enroll for graduate study. Departments or programs may have grade point average or course performance expectation that exceed these requirements
- While doctoral students are eligible to take graduate level courses numbered 6000 it is expected that the majority of courses taken by the student will be at the 7000 and 8000 levels. Students may consult course descriptions in this catalog for information on courses requiring prerequisites or special authorization.
- Students must complete not less than 18 semester hours of course work in the doctoral core, including a minimum of 12 semester credit hours in research; three semester credit hours in social, historical, and philosophical foundations; and three semester credit hours in psychological foundations.
A six-hour doctoral-level introduction to educational research is required. Courses that satisfy this requirement are EDRS 8380 , EDRS 8381 . No substitutions are permitted. After successfully completing these six hours, all doctoral students must complete at least six hours of course work in qualitative and/or quantitative research methods. Selection of these courses should be consistent with the student’s dissertation.
- A research paper is required for advancement to candidacy. Students must complete the paper under the direction of a faculty member and successfully defend the paper to a departmental examining committee. Copies of the paper should be given to members of the departmental examining committee at least five working days before the examination. Candidates should consult their departmental office for specific information about the candidacy paper.
- Students must pass a comprehensive examination after completing at least 36 hours of course work. The student must also have an approved degree plan, an approved Residency Application, removed any incomplete grades, and maintained a 3.0 grade points average on all graduate work attempted at UH. Specific programs or departments may have additional requirements. A student who fails the comprehensive examination on the first attempt may take the examination a second time, upon applying, with the written recommendation of the student’s faculty advisor, program coordinator, and department chair, to the Executive Associate Dean.
If the request for reexamination is denied by the student’s department, or if the student fails the comprehensive examination a second time, the student shall be ineligible for a doctoral degree in education at the university.
- To be eligible for advancement to candidacy, students must have completed the candidacy project, successfully defended their candidacy paper, passed the comprehensive examination, and successfully defended their dissertation proposal.
- Students must complete their dissertations to the satisfaction of the research committee and successfully defend the dissertation before the dissertation committee. Students who have not successfully defended their dissertations within five years of the comprehensive examination will be required to pass a second comprehensive examination. Once enrolled for dissertation, students must be continuously enrolled, with the exception of summers. Students who will graduate in the summer, however, must enroll in dissertation credit during the semester of graduation. The policy on course load for public school teachers also applies to enrollment for dissertation credit. Each department establishes admission and degree requirements for its major areas. Consult the department of choice for these requirements.
An application for graduation must be filed early during the semester when degree requirements are completed. The application can be completed by logging in to Enrollment Services Online. The application should be turned in to the Office of Registration and Academic Records, 128 Welcome Center. Filing deadlines are listed in the class schedule and the academic calendar.