The Educational Psychology Program is designed to provide exemplary graduate training in research, application, and practice related to learning, development, and mental health of people of all ages.

Degree programs in educational psychology focus on theory and research related to learners, learning and developmental processes, teaching, and application of these to educational practice. Students participate in courses, seminars, and field experiences in learning, instruction, cognition, human development, motivational factors, social and cultural bases of behavior, biological factors, educational research, educational foundations, and other areas. Students are required to participate in extensive field-based and research experiences.

Undergraduate Program Coordinator:  Dr. Firat Soylu

Graduate Program Coordinator: Dr. Hyemin Han



Financial Support

Financial aid is assistance made available to students to help pay for their college education. Intended to allow students a choice of colleges and to enable them to complete their programs of study, financial aid may consist of scholarships, grants, loans and/or jobs. The federal and state governments, educational institutions, businesses, civic clubs, and individuals sponsor various financial aid programs.

Student Financial Aid at The University of Alabama provides counseling and information to students and parents at all income levels. The office is located in 106 Student Services Center. For more information, call 205-348-6756 or visit financialaid.ua.edu.

Teaching / Research Assistantships

Teaching and research assistantships are primarily available to doctorate students. Students interested in an assistantship should contact individual faculty members. Admitted students will also be able to apply online for an assistantship the summer prior to the start of the Fall semester.

Can I get a Teaching Assistant or Research Assistant appointment during my first year as a graduate student?  It depends on the quota. Our continuing students already fill most of the Educational Psychology GTA or GRA positions for the coming academic year.

How and when will I know if I have received financial assistance from the Department or from The University?  Fellowship nomination deadlines vary and it is difficult to specify a notification date. The Fellowship Committee begins deliberations early in January and will continue until all available fellowships have been awarded. Recipients will be notified by official e-mail from either the Office of Graduate Studies or from the Department of Educational Psychology.

The department will notify students about other financial opportunities during the semester, such as summer stipends.

Application Procedures

In response to COVID-19, most admission test scores (GRE/GMAT/MAT MCAT) have been waived for Spring, Summer and Fall 2021.

Are the application deadlines different for international students? No. The application deadlines are the same for everyone.

Are there separate application instructions for international students?  No. Both U.S. and international applicants should follow the same application instructions on our website. The only difference is that international students are required to submit valid TOEFL scores in addition to all of the other required materials (TOEFL scores are only valid for two years).

I am taking the GRE very close to the application deadline date. Will my scores make it to the department by the deadline?  It takes approximately 10-15 days for official GRE test results to be received by UA. UA Graduate Admissions will not be able to complete their review of your application materials without the GRE scores. After Graduate Admissions receives the scores, they will refer your application to the department for consideration. This can take an additional few days. These delays will cause your application to be delayed in being reviewed by your program or area of interest.


Is a teaching certificate required for admission into the program? A teaching certificate is not required, however we strongly recommend experiences working with children, youth, and families in educational, community, or clinical settings.

Do I need to have a graduate degree (M.A. or Ed.S.) to apply to the Ph.D. program?   No. In fact, the majority of students who have enrolled in the past few years have entered with only a bachelor’s degree. If you enter with a masters degree, you may be able to waive selected courses.


The Center for the Study of Ethical Development is awarded a grant of $2.5m from the Kern Family Foundation to develop character through school leadership in Alabama

Core Team:

PI  – Dr. David Ian Walker (Educational Studies, Educational Psychology)

Co-PI’s – Dr. Brenda Mendiola and Dr. Yvette Bynum (Educational Leadership Department), Felicia Simpson

We are pleased to announce that this project to develop character through school leadership in Alabama started in January of 2020.  Through collaboration with the Educational Leadership program and UA’s Superintendent’s Academy (SA),  the project will prepare and support new administrators, principals and future educational leaders to apply a virtue-ethics approach to character development in schools, emphasizing the pursuit of student flourishing as the rightful purpose of education.  The program will span four and a half years, and is designed to have a long-term positive impact on K 12 character education in Alabama.


Dr. Anthony Derriso

Clinical Assistant Professor, Educational Psychology
309 Carmichael

Dr. Hyemin Han

Associate Professor, Educational Psychology/Neuroscience

Educational Neuroscience
Positive Psychology
Moral Psychology

Dr. Laura Morett

Assistant Professor, Educational Psychology/Neuroscience

Educational neuroscience
Gesture studies
Language learning/processing

Dr. Firat Soylu

Associate Professor, Educational Psychology/Neuroscience

Numerical Cognition
Cognitive/Educational Neuroscience
STEM Learning

Dr. Macarena Suárez Pellicioni

Assistant Professor, Educational Psychology/Neuroscience

Dr. Stephen Thoma

Professor Emeritus, Educational Psychology/Neuroscience

Dr. David Ian Walker

Associate Professor, Educational Psychology

Moral/Character Development
Interdisciplinary Research
Military/Ex-Military Populations

Dr. Yurou Wang

Clinical Assistant Professor, Educational Psychology


Learning Persistence
Cultural Comparison


Suzanne Gibson

Faculty Support
306D Carmichael

Michelle Harris

Student Support
306 Carmichael

Darlene Hicks

BCE/BEP Support
315 Graves