What is a Master’s in Educational Psychology with a Specialization in Evidence-Based Decision Making?

A Master s in Educational Psychology with a specialization in evidence-based decision making is a graduate program designed for those who want to work with students in and out of the classroom.

Unlike school psychology, which provides career and personal counseling to students, those majoring in educational psychology look at how humans learn and come up with new ideas for helping students learn more effectively. While you may want to look at the jobs and salaries available for these professionals, you’ll also want to look at the program itself and the classes you’ll take.

Program Format

Educational psychology programs often follow the same format. You need to submit an application that includes letters of recommendation from professors or supervisors, take a standardized test like the GRE and send an official college transcript to the university. Once you enroll, you spend at least two years taking classes on both educational psychology and evidence-based decision making. The evidence-based decision making classes you take look at how you can find research and studies done by others, determine the validity of that research and then use that research to create a new curriculum or program.

Related: Top 25 Online Master’s in Educational Psychology 2016

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Types of Classes

Many of the first classes that you take are introductory courses that go into greater detail about the psychological topics that you studied in college. Those classes look at topics like how changes in a school or classroom can impact children, how kids develop at different ages and using educational technology in classroom settings. You may also take some classes on educational philosophies, working with children from different cultures and how social issues impact development. Evidence-based courses focus more on teaching you how to evaluate and use the research others did and the research you do.

Final Year Requirements

In a Master s in Educational Psychology with a specialization in evidence-based decision making program, you will need to spend your final year gaining some more experience. Colleges give you several options, including writing a thesis paper, doing some type of final project or completing an independent study project. Though psychology grad students often write a thesis, those studying evidence-based decision making may prefer doing a final project or independent study project that lets them research current studies done by others. A final project also lets you make decisions regarding the best method of teaching certain populations or children of a specific age with the evidence currently available.

Jobs and Salaries

Some of the jobs open to you with a degree of this type include school counselor, clinical counselor, curriculum designer and instructional leader. The Bureau of Labor Statistics, which places most psychologists under the same category, found that there are more than 105,000 people working in this field and that those professionals earn a mean salary of more than $76,000 a year. They work in schools, medical facilities, outpatient centers, family care facilities and hospitals. States that employ the largest number of psychologists include California, New York, Texas, Pennsylvania and Massachusetts.

Psychology graduate programs let you study more complex topics, including school, clinical and educational psychology. A Master s in Educational Psychology with a specialization in evidence-based decision making looks at how you can conduct your own research and use the research of others to make decisions that impact students in your school or a wider population of students.