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PhD in Educational Psychology (Gifted and Creative Education)

Become a traditional researcher or a scholar-advocate at the highest level through our personalized graduate program, which offers multiple pathways for scholarship, leadership, and career development.

Graduate students in Gifted and Creative Education (GCE) are recognized across the United States and internationally for their cutting-edge research, instructional innovation, and impactful leadership, advocacy and outreach. Doctoral study in GCE involves tailored experiences to develop educational psychologists with knowledge, skills, and dispositions through grant-funded research lab, center-based research initiatives, partnerships with local school districts, state agencies, policy-focused groups, professional associations focused on giftedness and creativity, or other university units such as the Torrance Center for Creativity and Talent Development.

GCE doctoral students typically pursue one of two unique graduate pathways as educational psychologists: a traditional research scientist pathway or a scholar-advocate pathway. Both pathways include personalized advising and mentorship led by faculty members with expertise in gifted education, creativity, measurement, and educational program/services for advanced learners.

The GCE Research Scientist (GCE-RS) pathway represents an intensive research-oriented doctoral program of study focused on areas within educational psychology such as a giftedness, creativity, neuroscience, cognition, social-emotional development, math talent development, motivation, measuring potential, and achievement. The GCE Research Scientist pathway involves experiences that typically lead to professional careers as faculty researchers in higher education institutions or other research, assessment or policy-oriented agencies.

The GCE Leadership (GCE-L) pathway is designed as a scholar-advocate model to prepare leaders in PreK-12 schools and other educational settings or organizations to meet the needs of youth from culturally different backgrounds who demonstrate giftedness, creativity, and talent in diverse areas. The GCE-L pathway leads to the Georgia certification of educators who hold a Master’s degree or higher to serve as assistant principals or coordinators at the school or district levels who do not aim to supervise principals. Professional educators with 3 years of teaching or professional education experience are preferred candidates for the GCE-L pathway.

Highlights

  1. Engage in a program with a scholarly emphasis on cutting-edge research, instructional innovation, impactful advocacy and outreach.
  2. Many graduates in the GCE-RS pathway are employed in higher education and actively engage in research and publication.
  3. Many graduates in the GCE-L pathway become school or educational leaders in PreK-12 public or private schools settings.

Curriculum

Built on the research and traditions of experts in gifted and creative education, your coursework will develop your expertise in the following areas: gifted education foundations, creativity, diversity/equity, social-emotional development, educational psychology foundations, research methods. You may also receive a Georgia Gifted In-field endorsement as part of this program. You will also take two semesters of an internship where you may design a personalized experience in the areas of instruction, advocacy, administration, or research.

This degree program meets the GaPSC requirements for a certification upgrade for public school teachers.

Our faculty members are active at the state, national and international levels in professional associations comprised of experts in gifted and talented education, creativity, underserved or underrepresented populations of high-ability students, social-emotional learning, and measurement of students’ intellectual, academic and creative potential.

Additional information and disclosures regarding state licensure for professional practice in this field can be found at the UGA Licensure Disclosure Portal .

Admissions

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 PhD in Educational Psychology (Gifted and Creative Education)

Pathways to the PhD in Educational Psychology in the Gifted and Creative Emphasis Area represent unique graduate training and the application documents should be aligned accordingly.

Research Scientist Pathway

The Gifted and Creative Education-Research Scientist pathway requires the following documents with the graduate school application:

  • Current resume/CV
  • Statement of Purpose
  • GRE Scores
  • TOEFL/IELTS for international applicants
  • 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 a faculty member who has instructed the applicant in a previous program of study.

Admission to the GCE-RS pathway depends on factors including prior academic success, research interests, test scores and availability of an appropriate advisor.

Leadership Pathway

The Gifted and Creative Education-Leadership pathway requires the following documents with the graduate school application:

  • Current resume/CV
  • Statement of Purpose
  • GRE Scores (Optional)
  • TOEFL/IELTS for international applicants
  • Unofficial transcripts from all institutions attended
  • Three (3) letters of recommendation.

Your 3 letters of recommendation should be from individuals who can evaluate your leadership ability and potential for using research and best practices to impact student and school success for advanced learners. Preferably, one of your letters of recommendation is from a former college professor, representing your most recent degree, who can speak to your academic achievement and potential for success as a doctoral student.

The other letters may be from educational leaders, at least one with a doctorate, who have supervised your capacity to be an effective scholar and advocate for policy, programs and services supporting advanced learners. Admission to the GCE-L pathway depends on factors including prior academic success, demonstrated impact on students, school and/or community, research interests, leadership goals and capacity in gifted and creative education, test scores (if submitted) and availability of an appropriate advisor.

Log Into Existing Application

Deadline To Apply

GCE-RS Pathway

  • December 1

GCE-L Pathway

  • September 1 for spring matriculation
  • March 1 for summer matriculation

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

Students 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.

Gifted and creative education students may work with the Torrance Center for Creativity and Talent Development.

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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