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Educational Psychology

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Educational Psychologists study the variables that influence what and how people learn. The field of educational psychology is very broad and inclusive; for example, educational psychologists investigate strategies to improve teaching, effective methods to present ideas, factors that impact motivation, ways to accurately measure learning and achievement, and practices to create effective learning environments. In this broad discipline, we employ many investigative strategies including both quantitative and qualitative procedures. Educational psychologists generally focus on increasing learning achievement by investigating the relationships between learners, teachers, and content in applied settings such as classrooms. However, most educational psychologists also contribute to establishing sound theories that guide improvements in teaching and learning practices. The guiding commitment of educational psychology is to use sound scientific methods to ensure valid findings that contribute to increased understanding of human learning.

Educational Psychology at Virginia Tech

The Educational Psychology program in Virginia Tech’s School of Education offers graduate programs to prepare educational psychologists for careers as professional educators in roles such as professors and researchers. We emphasize understanding theory and research on learning and applying empirically based principles to issues and problems that affect the design, delivery, and evaluation of educational programs in a variety of settings. Our research and scholarship tends to be oriented to addressing applied problems such as high stakes testing, effective uses of multimedia technologies, assessing learning, and classroom learning skills.

Funding Opportunities

Some students in the Doctor of Philosophy program receive financial support including a stipend and tuition. Assignments may be for full or half-time and be with the Program or with other programs in the School or University. The faculty of the Educational Psychology program will advise prospective students about funding opportunities.

Career Possibilities

Individualized programs of study are developed for students to ensure that their studies prepare them well for the career paths they choose. The master's and doctoral degrees do not lead to any type of teaching certification. In other words, graduates are not licensed to teach in a K-12 classroom.

  • PhD Graduates

    Some graduates of the doctoral Educational Psychology program become professors who teach educational psychology in large and small colleges and universities and continuing their research programs. Other graduates work in higher education in a variety of capacities, including in centers of teaching and learning, offices of evaluation and assessment, or other types of positions that require knowledge of teaching and learning. Other possibilities include working at research centers or developing educational materials.

Contact Information

For further information or to discuss how you could begin studies in educational psychology please call, email, or make an appointment to visit:

Brett Jones, Associate Professor
School of Education (0313)
Virginia Tech
Blacksburg, VA 24061


Contact Information

The Educational Psychology program is located in War Memorial Hall.

319 War Memorial Hall (0313)
370 Drillfield Drive
Blacksburg, VA 24061

Program Leader
Brett Jones:
Program Support Technician
Lisa Sheppard:


Brett Jones: 540-231-1880

Lisa Sheppard: 540-231-5587