Educational Psychology - Applied Developmental Science

If you’re interested in learning and researching how developmental processes influence learning, performance and behavior in educational settings, a graduate degree in Educational Psychology-Applied Developmental Science is the right degree for you.

The School of Education and Human Development Impact

The Educational Psychology-Applied Developmental Science (EP-ADS) program focuses on improving the social and cognitive lives of children and adolescents.  EP-ADS students learn theory and engage in hands-on research experiences that examine how school and out-of-school settings influence learning and development.  Students also engage in developing and evaluating interventions designed to support children and youth.  Coursework targets educational and applied developmental psychology as well as research design, methods and statistics.  EP-ADS faculty and students work together as close-knit teams, fostering a productive, engaging, and exciting learning environment.


  • Is an interdisciplinary program.  Students understand the challenges facing children and youth that draws frameworks from education, psychology, education policy, and other areas in their work.
  • Provides rigorous research training.  Students are well-taught and mentored to develop expertise on designs and advanced data analytic procedures.
  • Takes a strengths-based approach.  Students understand the complex challenges that children and youth face in their homes, schools, after-school programs, and communities.
  • Is applied research that impacts education settings.  Many of the important research questions emanate from challenges that teachers, school administrators, communities and policy-makers face on a day-to-day basis.

“I realized it was the right program for me when I visited UVA during an internship and found that the people of the [School of Education and Human Development] created a group dynamic that was unlike any other graduate program I visited. It was a community that was driven, structured and supported.”

– Shannon Varga, Ph.D. Candidate, Educational Psychology-Applied Developmental Science


Graduates from the EP-ADS program leave the School of Education and Human Development prepared for educational science careers in academic, policy and research organizations. Our M.Ed. graduates often work as research analysts, educators or program coordinators. Ph.D. graduates usually work in academia or research organizations.

Recent graduates have been employed as research assistants or analysts at organizations such as Edvance Research, Inc., and at various universities (such as SUNY-Buffalo, John Hopkins University, New York University and UVA). Some have become coordinators for community programs such as Computer4Kids. Others are instructors at prestigious schools such as George Mason University, University of Louisville, University of Michigan, West Point, Western Michigan University and alternative or charter schools. Our graduates also find rewarding careers helping students with disabilities.

Explore Our Degrees

Choosing the right degree is critical to supporting your ultimate career goals, but with so many options, the choice may not be obvious. Let us help guide you through your choices.

  • M.Ed.

    In just one-year, you can earn an M.Ed. in EP-ADS from the School of Education and Human Development. The Master's program focuses on the development of children, youth, and adults in their social contexts. You’ll be asked to choose between one of two M.Ed. tracks: Applied Research or Applied Professional. Each track has different internship and coursework expectations.

    Learn More
  • Ph.D.

    Our Ph.D. in EP-ADS degree is a full-time, on-Grounds program. It offers intensive research training and an apprenticeship and takes nearly four years to complete. Preference is given to individuals who show potential for outstanding performance and who are likely to make significant contributions to the EP-ADS. All Ph.D. students in this program are fully funded (tuition and a graduate stipend) for four years.

    Ph.D. in EP-ADS

Educational Psychology Program By the Numbers

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Program Details