Developmental & Learning Sciences

Developmental & Learning Sciences Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)

The Developmental & Learning Sciences program represents the theoretical core of the Department of Educational Psychology and the Ph.D. program prepares students for the high level research and professional positions. Other programs focus on methodology (QQPM) or preparation for specific professional roles (counseling and school psychology). Although virtually all areas of psychological theory and research are potentially relevant to education, this program sees the psychological study of cognition, learning, and development as particularly crucial.

Ph.D. students in DLS develop a broad understanding of cognitive, educational, and developmental psychology, develop expertise in specific topics important to education and learn the high level skills required for successful careers in their chosen areas. Doctoral students are prepared to conduct original research and to teach a variety of courses in psychology and education. Graduates have worked in public and private post-secondary education, have directed, taught and conducted research in private sector training programs, and have worked conducting advanced research and managing programs in state and federal government.

Doctoral students file a customized program of studies that must (a) meet the following program requirements (see .pdf – download at right) and (b) be approved by the student’s own doctoral supervisory committee. Students and their advisors create doctoral supervisory committees have broad latitude to approve individualized programs of study that meet student needs. Doctoral students work with their advisers and committees to prepare a program of studies that meets university and department requirements and further progress toward their own specific educational and career goals.

Other UNL Graduate Studies requirements also apply – please refer to the UNL Graduate Studies Graduate Bulletin and/or the degree requirements webpage: http://www.unl.edu/gradstudies/current/degrees/doctoral

Program Director

Dr.Kathy Rudasill
221 TEAC
(402)472-2455
krudasill2@unl.edu

PhD Coursework

Application to this program

Doctoral Admission
In general, admission to the Ph.D. program requires a Master’s degree in educational psychology (or a closely related field) with a relevant thesis and evidence of ability to complete a Ph.D. There are no specific cutoffs but factors considered include grades, GRE scores, letters of recommendation, research experience, match of goals to program, and availability of a suitable adviser. Students not meeting the requirements for direct admission to the Ph.D. program are encouraged to apply to the Masters program (Ph.D. track, including thesis), and then apply to the Ph.D. program after completing the Masters degree. Nearly all DLS Masters coursework can be applied to the subsequent Ph.D. program.

Contingent Doctoral Admission
Students who do not meet the requirements for direct admission to the Ph.D. program but who have a strong background in psychology and substantial research experience may be admitted simultaneously to the Master’s program and (contingently) to the Ph.D. program. To be considered for simultaneous admission students must have a Bachelors degree in psychology or a closely related field with substantial coursework in human cognition, learning, and/or development; must plan to enroll full time; and must demonstrate evidence of ability to complete a Ph.D. There are no specific cutoffs but factors considered include grades, GRE scores, letters of recommendation, research experience, match of goals to program, and availability of a suitable adviser. In these cases, admission to the doctoral program is contingent on completion of the Ph.D. track of the Master’s program within a period of 24 months with satisfactory annual reviews. Students not meeting the time requirement may apply to the Ph.D. program upon completion of the Master’s degree but will not be transferred into it automatically.

How To Apply