Degree Requirements

Ph.D. in Educational Psychology and Research

Program Coordinator: Neal Kingston (Research, Evaluation, Measurement and Statistics), 720A J.R. Pearson, 785-864-9705,

Program Coordinator: David Hansen (Development and Learning), 642 J.R. Pearson, 785-864-1874,

Programs in this area lead to the Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.), offering instruction in learning, development, statistics, measurement, evaluation, and research methods. Students may apply for 2 distinct tracks through the EPR program.

  • REMS refers to the track of study that includes research methods, evaluation, measurement, and statistics.
  • D&L refers to the track of study that includes development and learning.

Opportunities are available each year for students to be involved in basic and applied educational research.


The Educational Psychology and Research Programs use rolling admissions so students can apply at any time. To ensure maximum opportunity to receive financial aid, students should apply by February 15 to begin course work in the following summer or fall.


Required Admission Materials

  1. Graduate application and application fee. See Admission in the Graduate Studies section of the online catalog.
  2. PRE departmental application.
  3. 1 copy of official transcripts of all previous college work, sent directly to the Graduate Application Processing Center. The original transcript is forwarded to the School of Education to complete licensing and/or certification paperwork.
  4. GRE (general test) scores: Institution code, R6871; Department code, 3403.
  5. Letter of intent.
  6. Résumé.
  7. 3 letters of recommendation from people who can assess the applicant’s prospects for completing the program.

Ph.D. Degree Requirements

Doctoral study passes through 3 stages. In the introductory stage, the emphasis is on the general content of educational psychology and research and the fundamental measurement, evaluation, and research skills needed by scholars. In the professional specialization stage, the emphasis is on advanced knowledge and skills in specific areas of study, application of evaluation and research skills, and production and identification of formal, researchable hypotheses. In the doctoral research stage, emphasis turns to the ability to conduct research independently on original problems, to disseminate research findings, and to participate in professional activities.

Course Work Requirements

Educational Psychology and Research Core Areas

All doctoral students must enroll in at least 1 course at or above the 800 level in each of the following core areas. This course work must be beyond and in addition to that required by the educational psychology and research M.S.E. degree. Examples of courses commonly chosen to meet these requirements are shown.

  • Learning and Instruction. Example:
    PRE 807 Theories and Research in Human Learning
  • Applied Human Development. Examples:
    PRE 800 Development During Youth and Adulthood
    PRE 806 Issues in Human Growth and Development
  • Research and Evaluation. Examples:
    PRE 902 Research Methodology in Education
    PRE 816 Evaluating School Programs
    PRE 812 Meta-Analysis
  • Measurement and Assessment. Examples:
    PRE 822 Educational Scales, Questionnaires, and Sampling
    PRE 921 Theory and Applications of Educational Measurement
    PRE 922 Item Response Theory
  • Statistics. Examples:
    PRE 810 Regression Analysis
    PRE 811 Analysis of Variance
    PRE 905 Multivariate Analysis
    PRE 926 Hierarchical Linear Modeling

School of Education Core Requirements

Under School of Education policy, students must enroll in 1 course in general curriculum and 1 course in the historical, philosophical, or sociological foundations of education. These courses are offered by other departments in the school. For a current list of courses that qualify for this requirement, see the School of Education website. The school also requires the following:


All students must complete 12 hours in an area outside their programs. Students should consult their advisors to choose a minor that supports their major areas.

Supervised College Teaching

All students must complete PRE 996, a supervised college teaching experience.

Major Requirements

In addition to the program and school core requirements, students must enroll in an additional 8 specialization courses from the appropriate track (REMS or D&L). A minimum of 24 credit hours is required, but students may earn more, depending on their interests and needs.

Research Skills

Doctoral preparation in educational psychology and research implies a strong emphasis on the development of research skills including training in responsible scholarship. Every doctoral student must demonstrate these skills by completing three projects. Examples include submission of a scholarly paper to an appropriate professional organization, development of a position paper on an issue related to educational psychology and research, or application of statistical procedures to a dataset.

Note: Contact your department or program for more information about research skills and responsible scholarship, and the current requirements for doctoral students. Current Lawrence and Edwards Campus policies on Doctoral Research Skills and Responsible Scholarship are listed in the KU Policy Library.

Comprehensive Examination

Following completion of course work, a student must complete and pass a written comprehensive examination and then a comprehensive oral examination. The program defines the nature of these examinations.


Upon passing the written and oral portions of the comprehensive examination, the candidate, in consultation with the advisor, assembles a dissertation committee. For information on post-comprehensive enrollment and general information about doctoral programs, see Doctor of Philosophy in the Graduate Studies section of the online catalog.

Contact Info

Department of Psychology and Research in Education

J.R. Pearson Hall
1122 West Campus Road, Room 621
Lawrence, KS 66045-3101
Steven W. Lee, Chair
, Graduate Admissions Coordinator
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