The Cognitive and Developmental Sciences concentration provides students with the psychological foundations of education. The program emphasizes the perspective of the learner and concentrates on the following content areas: cognition, development, and social. The program focuses on research skills as they apply to education and training, throughout the lifespan, in a broad range of settings.

Graduates of the MS program go on to pursue a PhD (often in Educational Psychology or a related field) or find jobs in education and/or research settings in the private or public sectors. Many graduates of our PhD program pursue careers at research institutes and universities.

Admission Requirements 

Application Deadlines

Application deadlines vary by program, please review the application deadline chart for specific programs. Other important dates and deadlines can be found by using the One Stop calendars.


Before applying please see the Educational Psychology Website for department-specific application requirements.


An applicant must meet Graduate School requirements plus these departmental requirements to be considered for admission to the program:

  1. An undergraduate GPA of 3.00.
  2. Applicants may be admitted with specific program-defined course deficiencies provided that the deficiencies amount to no more than two courses. The student is expected to satisfy deficiency requirements within three enrolled semesters. No course credits earned in making up deficiencies may be counted as program credits required for the degree.
  3. Initial advisor assignment will be made by the area chair of the concentration to which the applicant has applied.
  4. For the concentrations in Clinical Mental Health Counseling, School Counseling, and School Psychology: a resume or curriculum vitae.

Credits and Courses

Students are required to complete 30 credits for the master’s degree. Students complete 9 credits of core courses, 15 credits of a concentration, and 6 elective credits. Students’ programs of studies are developed in consultation with their assigned advisor.

Core Courses9
Educational Statistical Methods I
Cognition: Learning, Problem Solving and Thinking
Human Development: Theory and Research
Required Courses (15 graduate credits)15
Contexual Determinants of Motivation
Social Cognition in Educational Psychology
Personality Theories and the Educational Process
Human Development: Study of Infancy and Early Childhood
Human Development: Study of the Adolescent
Human Development: Study of the Adult
Cognition: Theory and Research
Social Psychology of Group Differences: Race and Ethnicity
The Psychology of Achievement Motivation
The Multicultural Family
Immigrant Child in Developmental Perspective
Elective credits6
Total Credits30

Additional Requirements

Major Professor as Advisor

The student must have a major professor to advise and supervise the student’s studies as specified in Graduate School regulations. A student who is not assigned to an advisor at time of admission should immediately contact the Department Chair.


Optional. Up to 6 degree credits may be awarded for thesis research.

Comprehensive Examination

The student who writes a thesis must pass a final oral examination in defense of that thesis. The student who does not write a thesis must pass a final oral or written comprehensive examination.

Time Limit

The student must complete all degree requirements within five years of initial enrollment.

Accelerated Program Option

This program is offered as part of an accelerated graduate program. For more information, see Accelerated Graduate Degrees.