Educational Psychology PhD in Psychology

Doctor of Philosophy in Psychology

Reach the peak of learning science

Get ready to hone your professional expertise and dive deep into the psychology of teaching and learning. The online PhD in Psychology, Educational Psychology degree from Capella University is designed for those who want to research, contribute new ideas to the field, or teach at the college level. Specialization coursework will help you increase the depth of your knowledge as you focus your studies in such areas as learning, cognition, instruction, development, and more. Reach for the highest levels in your career, as you pursue professional opportunities in fields such as higher education, corporate training, and instructional technology.

At a Glance

  • Online & in-person
  • 7 Core courses
  • 5 Specialization courses
  • 4 Concentration courses
  • 3 Dissertation research seminars
  • Comprehensive exam
  • Dissertation
  • 104 Total credits (25 max credits)

Classes Start October 12th

Ready to get started? We’re ready for you. Chat with an enrollment counselor or apply now to take the first step on the journey toward your future.

$50 application fee (waived w/promo SUMMER).

Educational Psychology program highlights

Study with scholar-practitioners

Learn with faculty who are active within their professions and bring real-world experience to the courseroom.

81% of doctoral alumni found that their Capella education was designed around working professionals.

Structured and supportive learning experience

Dive into your program with support from instructors, mentors, and a team dedicated to helping you complete your dissertation.

Understand the psychology of teaching

Focus your studies on areas most relevant to your career goals with emphases in child and adolescent development, program evaluation and measurement, and psychology teaching and instruction.

Develop practical skills

Engage with curriculum featuring courses with an applied focus designed to hone key skills that can help you be effective as an educator in a variety of settings.

Complementary coursework approach

Your online coursework is complemented with face-to-face residencies designed to give you intensive, hands-on experience to successfully complete your program and be effective in your career.

Our unique doctoral structure

Our PhD in Psychology, Educational Psychology program is designed to remove roadblocks for you and demystify the dissertation process. This unique approach centers on supporting you in three ways: through program structure, a dedicated faculty and support team, and online resources. To help generate momentum toward graduation, you’ll begin your dissertation early in the program. Our faculty, support team, and online resources will help guide you every step of the way.

Cost & learning format

Online education isn’t one-size-fits-all. We know you’re busy—you need a learning experience tailored to your life, not the other way around. Capella has learning and tuition formats to suit you, however you learn. 

A more structured learning format with an active peer community and faculty guidance. We’ll set the schedule, you meet the deadlines. 

  • Based on the quarter system; 1-3 courses per 10-week quarter
  • 1 semester credit = 1.5 quarter credits
  • Weekly assignments and courseroom discussions
  • Pay for what you take, price varies by courseload or term
$540 per credit, 104 total quarter credits, 25 max transfer credits

Get the details

Speak with an enrollment counselor to get a personalized cost estimate for what you can expect to pay.

Ways to save

At Capella, we believe your education is an investment in your future. It’s also an investment within your grasp. Your goals are achievable—there are more ways to save than you might think. 

$20K toward your doctorate

Apply for a $20K Capella Progress Reward, a scholarship to help you fund your doctoral degree.

10% military discount

If you're an active-duty military service member, spouse, or veteran, discounts may be available.

Employer & association discounts

If your employer or organization is a partner with Capella, you may be eligible for a tuition discount.

Accredited & recognized

Capella University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Accreditation and recognitions provide the assurance we meet standards for quality of faculty, curriculum, learner services, and fiscal stability. See all of our accreditations and recognitions

Educational Psychology sample courses

The online PhD in Psychology, Educational Psychology curriculum offers knowledge in learning, instruction, and research. Core coursework provides a foundation of the science of psychology, and specialization courses provide a deep dive into a subject. The program includes dissertation research seminars which allow you to get an early start on your dissertation.

Show course with description

In this course, learners study major motivation theories, principles, and research findings in order to understand the complexities of motivational processes. Learners then use examples of motivational processes as applied in educational settings to propose ways of facilitating motivation within those settings. Learners also examine the role their beliefs, cognitions, emotions, and values play in achievement situations.

5 quarter credits
Lifespan Development

In this course, learners gain and apply knowledge of lifespan development from infancy through adulthood, including human development processes and milestones. Learners evaluate theories and approaches for examining human development and analyze human development processes related to their specialization.

5 quarter credits
Psychology of Personality

This course is an examination of personality development from the perspective of several theoretical orientations: psychodynamic, humanistic/ existential, dispositional, and learning theory. Learners analyze and evaluate these theories and consider how other factors such as culture and gender contribute to personality development. This course also allows learners to apply personality theory to their professional practice.

5 quarter credits
Social Psychology

This course provides an overview of how behavior is shaped and influenced within a social context. Within this framework, learners analyze interpersonal relationships, social cognition, social inference, emotion, and personality. Learners review and demonstrate their knowledge of the social psychology of decision making, attitude formation, and social attribution as they relate to contemporary issues. Learners also apply social psychological theory and research to various clinical, educational, and organizational settings.

5 quarter credits
PSY8100 *
Principles of Educational Psychology

This course is an examination of current issues, theories, models, and research design methods in the educational psychology field. Throughout the course, learners evaluate principles of learning, motivation, and assessment design strategies used to create curriculum that is designed to enhance pedagogy, adaptation, and learner performance. Prerequisite(s): PSY5002 or PSY5005 or PSY8002.

5 quarter credits

Meet our PhD faculty

Our distinguished faculty members hold top credentials in their fields. They’re here to teach you critical knowledge and skills and to help enrich your education and career by bringing real-world relevance to the courseroom.

Laura Sullivan, PhD, LMFT

Faculty Chair, Educational Psychology

Bobby Hoffman, PhD

Core Faculty

What You’ll Learn

Whether you’re looking to pursue a career in educational research, teaching in higher education, or corporate training, our PhD in Psychology, Educational Psychology can help you get there by providing the knowledge to: 

  • Conduct educational research.
  • Design curriculum, instruction, and assessments.
  • Apply scientifically established principles.
  • Understand the learning process.
  • Channel technology.
  • Embrace diversity.

Educational Psychology insights

Is a PhD in Psychology Worth the Investment?

Calculate the potential ROI of a PhD in Psychology with a simple formula.

The Difference Between a PsyD and PhD in Psychology

Need help deciding between a PsyD and PhD? Learn the differences between these doctoral degree programs.

PhD in Psychology - Which Specialization is Right for You?

Learn more about Capella's PhD in Psychology program and available specializations.

Educational Psychology professional paths

Here are just some of the career options you could explore with our online educational psychology doctoral degree.

Related job titles to explore*

  • Adjunct or part-time psychology faculty
  • Psychometrician
  • Test administrator
  • Training and development director
  • Test and measurement specialist
  • Instructor of Education Psychology
  • Researcher
  • Full-time psychology faculty
  • Test developer
  • Instructional designer
  • Learning specialist
  • Curriculum manager

Employment settings to explore

  • Social service agency
  • Government—local, state, federal
  • Hospital
  • Nonprofit organization
  • Land-based or online college or university
  • Community college
  • Educational services

*These are examples intended to serve as a general guide. Some positions may prefer or even require previous experience, licensure, certifications, and/or other designations along with a degree. Because many factors determine what position an individual may attain, Capella cannot guarantee that a graduate will secure any specific job title, a promotion, salary increase, or other career outcome. We encourage you to research requirements for your job target and career goals.

Other programs to explore

Is this program close to what you need, but maybe not a perfect fit? The programs below might be interesting. Check them out to find one that suits your academic and professional goals.

Ready for the next step?

Learning online doesn't mean going it alone. Help is here. From faculty, coaches, advisors, and more. Plus a supportive community of students who are as passionate about their careers as you are about yours.