What is Educational Psychology?
Educational psychology applies the tools, research, and methodologies from psychology to learning and pedagogy. Educational psychologists observe how students learn and interact with teachers and administrators to improve their instructional methods. They may work directly for school systems, local governments, private schools, or colleges.
Educational psychologists may also function as consultants for schools. These psychologists regularly confer with teachers, administrators, parents, students, and other professionals to ensure students receive a quality education.
Most educational psychologist roles require a master's degree, along with 1-2 years of internships and licensing requirements. The work directly benefits children, college students, and educators at all levels. Educational psychologists assist students with behavioral challenges or developmental delays.
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Educational Psychology vs. School Psychology
While some use "educational psychology" and "school psychology" interchangeably, the two fields hold key differences. School psychologists focus on individual students and their learning environments in more client-direct roles. They borrow heavily from behavioral psychology and clinical psychology, becoming acquainted with students.
Educational psychologists concern themselves with the learning process as a whole. This macro-level field focuses on learning systems and large-scale changes through evidence-based research. In addition to coaching teachers to become more effective in the classroom, educational psychologists also work with school administrators to consider changes to the curriculum.
Frequently Asked Questions About Educational Psychology
Can You Get a Degree in Educational Psychology Online?
Online degrees in educational psychology undergo the same accreditation processes as on-campus programs, so online education psychology degrees meet the same academic and professional standards as their on-campus counterparts. Distance learners watch lectures, read relevant texts, take tests, complete projects, and regularly engage with their professors and peers.
Learners complete most of their coursework remotely, but online educational psychology programs also require enrollees to complete in-person internships and clinical hours. Most online colleges allow students to complete these requirements locally. When compared to on-campus programs, online psychology degrees offer more flexibility and accessibility. Degree-seekers can access quality programs, regardless of location. In some cases, online education is more affordable than an on-campus program.
Are Practicums and Internships Required in an Online Educational Psychology Program?
How to Become a School Educational Psychologist
Aspiring educational psychologists can start by choosing programs that align with their interests and career goals. Tuition rates vary by region and school. Some schools with higher tuition rates grant larger financial aid packages to reduce overall costs. Students should also expect additional costs for room and board, living expenses, textbooks, and transportation. Those who pursue a bachelor's or master's in educational psychology online also avoid transportation costs and higher living expenses.
Next, each candidate, especially those pursuing licensure, should complete internship or practicum requirements. Licensure requirements differ among states, so students should contact prospective schools for specific information. Full-time learners can expect to spend 6-7 years completing educational requirements and 1-2 years for internship and practicum experiences.
Online Bachelor's Degree in Educational Psychology
To become an educational psychologist, each applicant must possess a master's degree. While some rare positions only require a bachelor's degree, they usually require extensive experience in education. Online students should use their four-year degrees as a foundation for graduate study.
Since most schools do not offer educational psychology programs at the baccalaureate level, related degrees, such as psychology, counseling, and educational instruction, can help prepare students for graduate study. Students who want to learn more about coursework, concentrations, and the differences between traditional and online learning can take a look at this comprehensive guide at Psychology.org.
Online Master's Degree in Educational Psychology
A graduate degree enables learners to gain state licensure and certification. While more institutions continue to offer different educational psychology degrees, a master of psychology with an emphasis in educational psychology delivers the clearest path to a professional role in the field. Online and on-campus degrees both meet licensing requirements. Students interested in other psychology fields may opt for a standard master's program to change careers more easily in the future.
An online educational psychology master's degree allows students to enroll in the top programs without having to change residency. Colleges often deliver these programs in an asynchronous format, in which degree-seekers can complete assignments and view lectures on their own schedules. Enrollees can maintain family and work obligations while pursuing their degrees.
Online Ph.D. in Educational Psychology
A professional who wants to teach at the college level or conduct research should earn a doctoral degree in the field. This degree provides the advanced skills needed to teach others or to gain a coveted role at a research laboratory. An aspiring professional interested in diagnosing disorders and counseling students should consider a Ph.D.
Earning a Ph.D. in educational psychology online allows professionals to continue working full time while pursuing higher education. Online doctoral students can often complete clinical hours and practicum requirements at nearby schools.
Required Licenses and Internships to Become an Educational Psychologist
Although some positions require only a bachelor's degree, most jobs in educational psychology require a master's degree and a relevant license. Depending on the role, some employers may require a doctoral degree. After completing a graduate degree at an accredited school and finishing practicum requirements, students should explore their state's steps for licensure. In most cases, new graduates must spend at least one year interning at a school or educational organization. Some states require two years of interning.
Several states also require candidates to apply for certification through the National Association of School Psychologists. Candidates may take the national school psychology examination at three different points throughout the year. Graduates planning to work in public schools may need additional certification from their state's department of education.
Careers for Educational Psychology Degree-Holders
Graduates of online education psychology degree programs can explore many career opportunities, depending on degree and location. Some educational psychologists prefer to work in K-12 settings, while others focus on supporting college students. Regardless of location, educational psychologists often meet with teachers and administrators to enhance teaching and learning. They also frequently observe classrooms to gain a sense of the most effective strategies. The following list describes five careers students can pursue with an education psychology degree.
What Does an Educational Psychologist Make in a Year?
Earning potential varies based on several factors. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports clinical, counseling, and school psychologists earned a median salary of $79,010 in 2018. This data also includes psychology professionals outside of education.
PayScale reports that educational psychologists earn more when they hold a Ph.D., rather than a master's degree. Other factors, including location and specific employer, also influence earning potential. Most psychologists serve as self-employed, independent consultants, with elementary and secondary schools as the second-most common employment industries.
Educational psychology encompasses a range of roles and job duties, with each position offering a different salary potential. The table below outlines median salaries for different positions commonly taken up by educational psychologists, including behavior analysts, school psychologists, and educational consultants.
|Position||Average Annual Salary|