The University of Alabama College of Education Homepage


The mission of the program is to provide students with a thorough understanding of the theory and research related to learners, learning and developmental processes. All degree programs reflect this mission and prepare students for careers as faculty members within academic settings, researchers in agencies or businesses and school practitioners. The program invites applications from all potential students, especially those in underrepresented populations.

Admission Requirements

Any student who does not hold a previous master’s degree may complete the master’s degree as part of her or his graduate activities in the Educational Psychology Program. A student who wishes to obtain a doctoral degree may be officially admitted to the doctoral program without first completing the master’s degree, and may complete master’s degree requirements during the course of the doctoral program. Students who seek admission to doctoral programs are reminded of the 7 year time limit for completion of doctoral degrees; the student may elect to be admitted to and complete a master’s program first, and then apply for official admission to the doctoral program.

Application Process

  1. Complete the Application Form.
  2. Pay the application fee. The application fee is $65 for U.S. citizens and permanent residents and $80 for international students. Please note that application fees are non-refundable. The application fee is waived for the following groups:
    • Veterans and current members of the US military (please email your DD 214 or current assignment orders to
    • Ronald E. McNair Postbaccalaureate Achievement Program students (please email for more details).
    • University of Alabama undergraduates applying to a graduate program in the same subject area. To qualify for this application fee waiver a student must have no time break between the undergraduate and graduate program and have an overall GPA of 3.0 or greater.
    • Applicants who have previously enrolled in Graduate School at The University of Alabama.
  3. Within 48 hours of completing steps 1 and 2 you will receive an email with your Campus Wide Identification (CWID) number. It is VERY important that you keep this number somewhere safe.
  4. Submit supporting documents and check application status by selecting Manage Documents.

Program Requirements

A major part of graduate training is successful participation in courses. Coursework requirements for the three Ph.D. degree options in Educational Psychology are listed at the end of this document. Each subsequent level of graduate degree in the Educational Psychology Program builds on the preceding-level degrees. For example, the doctoral degrees include the M.A. and Ed.S. degree requirements, plus additional requirements specific to the doctoral degrees.

In addition to the completion of M.A. level coursework, requirements for the Ph.D. Programs in Educational Psychology include the following:

Doctoral students are required to complete 12 hours of Foundations courses:

BEF History and/or Philosophy of Education

BEP 600 Level Course or HD Course

2 Specialization Courses outside the department (cannot be HD or BEP course)

Doctoral Courses/Seminars in the Educational Psychology Department include:

  • BEP 600          Contemporary Educational Problems and Educational Psychology
  • BEP 601          Family, School and Community Relationships
  • BEP 641          Advanced Learning and Cognition
  • BEP 650          Psychology of Morality
  • BEP 655          Adolescent Psychology
  • BEP 665          Motivation and Emotion in Education
  • BEP670           Research Methods and Trends in Educational Neurosciuence
  • BEP 672          Teaching Educational Psychology in College
  • BEP 673          Doctoral Research and Ethics Seminar
  • BEP 690          Readings in Educational Psychology
  • BEP 698          Non-Dissertation Research
  • BEP 699          Dissertation Research

Faculty Advisors

Every student is appointed a temporary faculty advisor upon initial acceptance into the program. Students may select to continue with the same or choose different permanent advisors after beginning coursework. Advisors assist students with planning coursework, registering for courses, completing program planning records, and performance evaluations. The doctoral student also selects a faculty member to serve as chair of the dissertation committee; dissertation chairs may or may not be the same faculty members who chaired the program advisory committees. Ph.D. students in Educational Psychology should select advisors and dissertation chairs from their areas of concentration.  Each student is expected to maintain a Program Planning Record, a document that is used by the student and his or her advisor to monitor completion of all degree requirements.

Continuous Annual Reviews

All students in the Educational Psychology Program are required to participate in the continuous annual review process in order to monitor student progress and determine that program outcomes are being achieved.  

Doctoral Program Advisory Committees

The program advisory committees for Ph.D. students must consist of a minimum of five members of the graduate faculty. The chairperson, or the student’s major advisor, must represent the student’s major area of study. A minimum of four additional members are selected, with at least one of these members being from outside the Area of Educational Studies.

Doctoral Programs of Study

Doctoral students are required to file official program of study forms with the Graduate School at the beginning of graduate studies. These forms require each student and her or his advisor to list the specific course requirements necessary for the student’s completion of the degree. Doctoral programs of study may not be completed until the student successfully completes doctoral screening. Although a master’s degree is not required for initial admission into the doctoral program, the completion of a master’s degree is required before any student may complete and file the official program of study form. Doctoral programs of study are approved by the program advisory committee, area head, and assistant/associate deans of the College of Education.

Transfer of Credit and Use of Previous Graduate Work

The University of Alabama allows students to transfer equivalent courses from other accredited institutions.   Credits may be transferred only if they were earned during the six-year period prior to admission to the program. Transfer of courses must be approved by the student’s advisor. The Dean of the Graduate School must also approve transfer of courses.  Add:  See Graduate School website for specific details and procedures.

Research Participation

Doctoral students are required to participate in and conduct research, and faculty members work closely with doctoral students to help them complete their research requirements. Each doctoral student takes a number of research courses and seminars, is required to participate in ongoing research projects prior to dissertation.

Comprehensive Examinations

All degree students in the Educational Psychology Program are required to successfully complete written comprehensive examinations before the degrees will be granted.  The specific procedures for comprehensive examinations for the Ph.D. degrees are obtained from the student’s faculty advisor. The examinations are completed independently on a “take-home” basis, and require students to integrate knowledge and skills obtained during coursework and other training activities. Students are allowed to take comprehensive examinations only twice.

Admission to Candidacy

As noted in the Graduate Catalog, admission to the Graduate School does not imply admission to candidacy for a degree. Admission to candidacy is contingent upon the recommendation of the student’s program and the approval of the graduate dean, after the student has met the formal requirements for candidacy for the degree and demonstrated sufficient preparation to pursue the graduate study and research required for the degree sought. Application forms are available online at the Graduate School website.  Add:  Successful completion of comprehensive examinations and all other requirements are specified in the student’s program planning record.

Dissertation Requirements

Revise:  The specific requirements for doctoral dissertations are set forth in the student’s Program Planning Record and discussed with the student’s faculty advisor.   The steps in preparing the dissertation are completed in consultation with the student’s faculty advisor and include preparation and approval of the prospectus outlining the proposed dissertation study, and final examination, defense, and approval of dissertation.  It is expected that most doctoral students will complete the dissertation by the fourth or fifth year of study.  Students should consult the Graduate School departmental website for current procedure for submitting dissertation after successful defense.

**Add link to graduate school form

Application for Graduation

Each candidate for a graduate degree must apply for graduation no later than the registration period for the semester of first term of the summer session in which degree requirements are to be completed. The “Application for Degree” from must be obtained from and submitted to the Graduate School.

Deadlines to Meet Degree Requirements

Each semester, the Graduate School publishes dates by which students must meet degree requirements, submit forms, and engage in other activities necessary for awarding of the degrees. Some of the deadlines occur early in the semester in which the degree will be granted; some of the deadlines occur in semester before the degree will be granted. Graduate School deadlines are posted every semester and can be found at the Graduate School website.  It is the student’s responsibility to review and meet all deadlines.


Degrees are awarded during fall, spring, or summer semester, and are awarded after the completion of degree requirements.

For more information on these programs, contact Dr. David Walker.