Ph.D. Specialization in Educational Psychology, University of South Florida

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Accepting Applications Now!
Application Deadline: February 1, 2017

The Ph.D. Specialization in Educational Psychology is a mentorship model that prepares graduates to be researchers who apply the scientific method to real-world educational problems.

Primary goals are to:

  • Engage students in cutting-edge collaborative research
  • Provide a solid foundation that enables students to integrate theory, research, and practice and fosters a commitment to excellence in research and scholarship
  • Help students acquire a deep understanding of human development and learning for the preparation of future educational professionals in all contexts

Faculty Research Interests

  • Dr. Darlene DeMarie, Associate Professor: Memory development; children’s photography as a way to represent experiences; schools’ missions and achievement reflected in children’s photographs; early childhood curriculum, the impact of a preschool music program on children’s cognitive development, child care.
  • Dr. Sarah Kiefer, Associate Professor: Academic and social motivation, how it develops over time, and how it impacts early adolescents’ adjustment in elementary and middle school; the role of peers and contextual influences on adolescent motivation; help-seeking beliefs and behaviors in the classroom.
  • Dr. Lisa López, Associate Professor: Bilingual language and literacy development in young children; phonological awareness and cross-language transfer; school readiness development in young Latino children; parent involvement in young children’s education; cultural factors in the attitudes and expectations of immigrant parents towards education; home and classroom experiences on academic achievement in Head Start.
  • Dr. Tony Tan, Associate Professor: The post-adoption social and emotional adjustment of children adopted from China; the development of ethnic identity of Chinese adoptees.

Program website:
Online application:
Contact: Dr. Sarah Kiefer,, (813) 974-0155