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PhD in Educational Psychology (Applied Cognition and Development)

Become a researcher at the highest level through our personalized program, which offers four areas of emphasis.

Our graduate students are known across the country for their cutting-edge research. Study in the fields of assessment and quantitative methodology, or take advantage of our partnership with the Torrance Center for Creativity and Talent Development, a leader in creative education. Become a scholar of the cognitive process within learning environments as you connect research to real-world issues in education, or you may choose to become a skilled psychologist at all levels of child development.

As a student, you will have many opportunities for research, both with an experienced faculty member and on your own projects. Our graduate students present their findings at conferences across the country and internationally, and each year top lists for awards and accolades recognizing their work.

Explore the effect of cognitive and developmental processes on education, and determine how that knowledge can be applied to teaching and learning.

Our program will prepare you to improve education through research, to implement projects in schools, and apply research and methods to a variety of settings. We encourage you to work with advisors and other faculty on research projects and in diverse environments.


  1. Learn with an emphasis on research
  2. Many graduates are employed in higher education
  3. Our students have many opportunities to present research and publish


Your coursework in cognition and development is complemented by doctoral-level seminars and specialized studies. The program also includes instruction in statistics, research methodology, and measurement.

Faculty have expertise in an fields such as reading development and vocabulary, mathematics strategies, cultural influences on achievement, early intervention and technology-enhanced learning. Our faculty are active in national organizations and have served in a number of positions, including dean of the college of education, editor of the Journal of Research in Childhood Education, and president of the American Psychological Association Division 15 (Educational Psychology).

This degree program does not meet the GaPSC requirements for a certification upgrade for public school teachers.


Part 1: Apply to the University of Georgia

The Graduate School handles admission for all graduate programs at the University of Georgia, including those in the College of Education. The Graduate School website contains important details about the application process, orientation, and many other useful links to guide you through the process of attending UGA at the graduate level.

Start A Graduate School Application

Part 2: Apply to the Ph.D. in Educational Psychology (Applied Cognition and Development)

All specializations for the Ph.D. in Educational Psychology require GRE scores (and TOEFL/IELTS for international applicants). While completing your Graduate School application, please include the following documents where appropriate:

  • Current resume/CV
  • Statement of Purpose
  • Unofficial transcripts from all institutions attended
  • Three (3) letters of recommendation.

Your 3 letters of recommendation should be from individuals who can evaluate your scholarly ability and potential for success in a graduate program. Preferably, at least 2 of the 3 letters will be from faculty who have instructed the applicant in a previous program of study.

Admission to any specialization depends on factors including research interests, test scores and availability of an appropriate advisor.

Deadline To Apply

Applications for this program are due December 1 for admission the following Fall semester.

This program only admits for the Fall Semester.

Log Into Existing Application

Additional Resources

Please use our online form if you have any questions for the department. Please be as specific as possible so that we may quickly assist you.

Faculty and Advisors

The College’s programs are taught by dedicated faculty who are experts in a range of areas and are passionate about helping students succeed both in their programs and professionally.

Meet the Faculty

Most graduate students at UGA are not assigned to a faculty advisor until after admittance. A close working relationship with your advisor is paramount to progressing through your program of study.

Tuition and Financial Aid

Almost all in-state students begin their studies at UGA paying limited tuition or fees. Please note that these amounts are subject to change and are meant to give prospective students an idea of the costs associated with a degree at the University of Georgia College of Education.

Students may qualify for a variety of assistantships, scholarships, and other financial awards to help offset the cost of tuition, housing, and other expenses.

Tuition Rates   Browse Financial Aid

Student Life

You are welcome to participate in the Graduate Researchers in Educational Psychology student association. But students can find specialized experiences related to their area of emphasis. Eligible students may be elected to the Beta Chapter of Kappa Delta Pi international honor society.

Our students also benefit from a low student-to-faculty ratio. For example, in the applied cognition and development program, faculty advise no more than five graduate students.

See for yourself how much UGA College of Education has to offer! Schedule a tour of campus to learn more about the UGA student experience.

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