Frequently Asked Questions

Review our frequently asked questions regarding admissions to the Educational Psychology program:

Students are assigned a mentor when they first enter the program. Some mentors/faculty members have their own research labs where groups of students work on various research projects. Mentors will organize lab meetings where students can come together to present ideas. Students may work on ongoing research as early as their first semester.  Many students work with multiple faculty members. Collaboration and cross-pollination is highly encouraged!

At a time when the job market in many fields is tough to negotiate, the GC offers unusually robust support as you engage in your doctoral studies. In addition to program support, the GC provides other sources of support. These include a host of supports around pedagogical professional development, and around your research activity including financial and intellectual support. The following Graduate Center initiatives serve to enhance your doctoral studies. Learn more by clicking here.

Students entering with a Master’s degree may apply for transfer credit of courses they have taken. Up to 9 transfer credits are routinely granted for graduate-level courses which are germane to Educational Psychology. 

Our graduates have assumed faculty or research positions in universities, public school systems, agencies devoted to education and evaluation and private corporations. Many graduates secure positions in academic or educational companies such as Educational Testing Services (ETS) or the College. Some students go onto a postdoc before entering academia. As this is a research-intensive program, most graduates continue doing research in some capacity. Click here to learn about what recent graduates are up to!

Many first-year students assist faculty with on-going research. They may be hired to work on research grants with faculty or staff at the Center for Advanced Study in Education (CASE), a research center at the Graduate Center. Students may elect to conduct and report on studies as term papers in their courses. Most importantly, students will complete a pilot study followed by a dissertation. Students are encouraged to discuss their research interests with their mentor, advisor, and/or other faculty members.

Most Urban Education programs rely on qualitative research and observational designs while most Educational Psychology programs rely on quantitative research and experimental designs. Educational psychology programs are generally based on psychological theory rather than application. Urban Education is interested in practical administration. Teachers, superintendents or those wanting professional experience in administration usually enter Urban Education programs. With that said, there is often cross pollination between these two disciplines! Many Educational Psychology students will take Urban Education courses and vice versa.

The program does not take part-time students, but the afternoon and evening classes make it possible to work either full time or part-time and attend the program. Those who are working (e.g., teach in the DOE) usually take 3 classes per semester. Those who are working are also eligible for GC fellowships.

Yes, as it is possible to take the required courses the summer before entering the program. As long as you communicate why you want to enter the program and how the program will help you advance to your next career goal in your statement.

No. However, due to the pandemic, all Graduate Center courses, which includes those offered by the Educational Psychology PhD program, are being conducted remotely.

No, only courses can count towards credit. 

Students are expected to complete the program in approximately five years. This would involve completing 60 units in seven semesters (9 units per semester) followed by a dissertation in 3 semesters.

Yes. It is important to identify the match between current research interests, your background and how our program will help you advance to your next career goal in your statement. Research interests can apply to more than one faculty member so be sure to address this in your statement.

No. Students must enroll on a full-time basis in the program as described below. To be considered full-time, students must take at least 9 credits (three courses) per semester. Our courses are offered in the late afternoon (4:15 p.m.-6:15 p.m.) and early evening (6:30-8:30 p.m.). Each class meets for two hours, one day per week, between Monday and Thursday. This makes it possible for teachers working in schools and others who are employed to complete our program.

Students will be allowed to enroll in courses in other CUNY colleges. Students may also enroll in courses at neighboring institutions through a university consortium. If courses are not offered in our program, and if the courses provide additional preparation for the conduct of a dissertation, then at CUNY tuition rates, students may enroll in courses at Teachers College, Fordham University, New York University, Rutgers University, Princeton University, and SUNY Stony Brook.

No. However, students are welcome to take relevant courses in other programs and universities.

Students are admitted during the fall of each year.

Application review begins in January. 

Ideal candidates have research interests that align with those of the faculty. Prospective students are matched based on their ability to benefit from the mentorship the program offers. Ideal candidates will have a good foundation in psychology. Before entering the program, students should have completed courses in Introductory Psychology, Introductory Statistics, and Research Methods/Experimental Psychology. If an accepted student has not completed these courses, they may do so the summer before starting the program.

As part of their application, all applicants are required to submit transcripts from prior academic institutions, two or more letters of recommendation, a personal statement (see below for more information about the personal statement), a resume/CV, and an application fee payment. International students are required to submit TOEFL scores with their application. Currently, the GRE not required for the 2020 application. Other details about the application and the process can be found here.

Note: A personal statement is meant to tell the admissions committee about your academic background, your research interests, what you feel you'll bring to the program, and what you want to get out of it. The statement should be no more than 2-5 pages. 

December 15. 

Currently, the GRE is not required for the 2020 application. 

Selected students will be called to attend an interview with one or more faculty members. Generally, interviews begin each February and continue until the end of the admissions cycle.

Generally, applicants will be alerted about whether they have been admitted to the program or placed on a wait list between March and April.

Acceptance is approximately 20-30% but depends on how many applications the program receives. The program accepts five to six students per year. 

All accepted receive a tuition fellowship. Some students may receive a GC fellowship (merit based) with a stipend. With this fellowship, students are expected to teach in their second, third, and fourth years in the program. Students can adjunct one additional 3-credit course if they have a GC fellowship. However, teaching more than one additional course is not advisable if a student wants to finish the program within approximately 5 years. Additionally, some full-time students may be considered for financial aid in the form of an Enhanced Chancellor's Teaching Fellowship. This provides funding for five years. Additional sources of financial aid are available for minority students. Click here for more information about funding opportunities available at the Graduate Center.

No. Fellowships are merit and not need-based. 

You may contact the Program Coordinator by sending your message to Additionally, you may reach out to any of our active faculty members who are listed on our website.