Educational Psychology and Individual Differences
The master’s degree in educational psychology program emphasizes such areas as development, learning, motivation, exceptionality or disabilities, psychological and educational measurement, and research methodology. Students expand their understanding of theory and the implications for education within these areas. Flexibility within the program affords students the opportunity to develop a program of study tailored to their professional needs. Graduates of the master’s program who previously have earned a teaching certificate return to school settings more fully prepared to teach, to become department or campus leaders, or to pursue other educational career paths. Graduates also pursue careers as associate psychologists, researchers or measurement specialists, and educational support staff for health care and other institutions.
The Doctor of Philosophy in Educational Psychology and Individual Differences prepares students for employment as faculty members at colleges and universities. Graduates also find employment in areas such as directors of educational components of health care institutions and social service agencies. Typically, these students develop an individually tailored Ph.D. program which emphasizes theory and research in one or more areas related to learning and development, special populations, higher education, health education and/or measurement and statistics.
Doctor of Education or Doctor of Philosophy
Students admitted to the Ed.D. program in Curriculum and Instruction typically complete 18 semester credit hours of professional education courses and two years of teaching or the equivalent prior to academic study. The Ph.D. programs consider applicants both with and without prior graduate credit.
Programs vary in length from 51 hours (the three specializations of Professional Leadership Ed.D.) to, in some cases, more than 100 hours (Counseling Psychology and School Psychology if students have no prior graduate credit). The following represents minimal expectations regarding the completion of a doctoral degree in the College of Education. Some programs and/or departments may have additional degree requirements.
- At least six hours of doctoral thesis/dissertation credit.
- The completion of all degree requirements, including successful doctoral thesis/dissertation defense and internship, must take place within ten years from the date of admission to a degree program.
- A degree plan is required; students must complete a degree plan in MyAdvisor.
- All transfer and subsequent work require a minimum 3.00 grade point average (A=4.00). The college cannot give graduate credit for grades lower than a C.
- A graduate student receiving a grade of C+ or lower in 12 semester hours of credit at the University of Houston, whether or not in repeated courses, is ineligible for any advanced degree and cannot re-enroll for graduate study. Departments or programs may have grade point average or course performance expectation exceeding these requirements.
- The College of Education accepts a maximum of nine graduate credit hours from an accredited university, with the approval of a faculty advisor and the college’s Associate Dean of Graduate Studies.
- The University of Houston will not accept the transfer of courses with grades lower than B-, completed more than five years prior to the date of admission to the University, and/or applied to a previously completed degree program.
- The doctoral level courses number at the 7000- and 8000-levels. However, doctoral students are eligible to take graduate level courses numbered 6000. Students may consult course descriptions in this catalog for information on courses requiring prerequisites or special authorization.
- The College of Education requires a doctoral-level introduction to educational research. After successfully completing these requirements, all doctoral students must complete course work in qualitative and/or quantitative research methods. Selection of these courses should be consistent with the student’s doctoral thesis or dissertation.
To fulfill residency requirements, students are in full-time status for two consecutive academic semesters, an academic semester, a consecutive 12-week summer session, or three consecutive 12-week summer sessions. The specific residency requirements vary among departments. At the end of each semester of residency, students must complete a Residency Report in MyAdvisor for approval by their faculty advisor and college administration.
Candidacy Project and Advancement to Candidacy
Students must complete their candidacy project under the direction of a faculty member or advisor and successfully defend the paper to a departmental examining committee. At least 10 working days before the oral examination, the departmental examining committee members should receive copies of the candidacy paper. Candidates should consult their departmental office for additional and specific information regarding the candidacy project. After successful completion of a candidacy project, students must complete a Candidacy Report in MyAdvisor for approval by their faculty advisor and college administration.
In order to Advance to Candidacy, students complete a candidacy project, successfully defend their candidacy paper, pass a comprehensive examination, and effectively defend their doctoral thesis/dissertation proposal.
Doctoral Comprehensive Exam Requirements
Students must pass a comprehensive examination* after completing at least thirty-six (36) hours of course work. The student must also have an approved degree plan, residency application (if applicable), and a candidacy report documented in MyAdvisor. Students should not have incomplete grades and must maintain a 3.0 grade point average on all graduate coursework. Specific programs or departments may have additional requirements. Document the Doctoral Comprehensive Exam application and grade in MyAdvisor.
A student who fails the comprehensive examination on the first attempt may take the examination a second time with the written recommendation of the student’s faculty advisor, program coordinator, and department chair. The Associate Dean of Graduate Studies will determine final approval for second examination attempt. **
Denial of a request for re-examination or if the second re-examination is a failing, the student shall be ineligible for a doctoral degree in the College of Education at the University. The college requires a re-examination if a student does not successfully defend their Doctoral Thesis/Dissertation within five years of their initial comprehensive examination.
*The Professional Leadership, Ed. D. in Administration and Supervision (K-12) requires the TExES Superintendent Exam and Certification in lieu of a Doctoral Comprehensive Exam.
**The Professional Leadership, Ed. D. in Administration and Supervision (K-12) will allow two attempts for the TExES Superintendent Exam. Denial of a request for re-examination by the EPLS department may occur if a student fails the state exam twice. If denied, the student is ineligible for a doctoral degree in the College of Education at the University.
Doctoral Thesis/Dissertation Requirements
Students must complete their doctoral thesis/dissertation to the satisfaction of their research committee and successfully defend their doctoral thesis/dissertation before their committee chair and appointed committee members.
Once enrolled in doctoral thesis/dissertation hours, enrollment must be continuous, with the exception of summers. Students who will graduate in the summer, however, must enroll in doctoral thesis/dissertation credit hours during this term.
The college requires students to submit their doctoral thesis/dissertation abstract and oral defense announcement in MyAdvisor. MyAdvisor automatically selects an oral defense date, 10 days in advance. The student will have the option to coordinate the oral defense time, location, and set date in MyAdvisor. Once the oral defense date, time, and location is determined, the student notifies their committee chair and appointed committee members. The committee chair and appointed committee members should receive a copy of the doctoral thesis/dissertation 10 days prior the defense date. The faculty Advisor documents the successful or unsuccessful oral defense in MyAdvisor.
The College requires a completed doctoral thesis/dissertation for MyAdvisor and the Texas Digital Libraries prior to graduation approval. For more information, visit the college’s Office of Graduate Studies, 256 Farish Hall.
The College requires completion of all applicable graduate coursework and benchmarks prior to proposed graduation. Students should file an application for graduation in PeopleSoft early in the final semester of their degree. The university’s Academic Calendar lists the application filing deadlines per semester. For more information, visit the college’s Office of Graduate Studies, 256 Farish Hall.