The M.Ed. program requires completion of a minimum of 35 credit hours (including the six-credit internship).
Courses are shown in the course overview section below. These guidelines may be used to plan, review, and document progress. The guidelines offer opportunities for electives and we encourage students to shape their Master’s experience to be consistent with their interests and their long-term goals.
Required courses fit into two categories: substantive courses on developmental science and methods courses in education science. The substantive courses in developmental science offer students a broad understanding of child, adolescent, and lifespan development. Students are required to take two development courses (e.g. Lifespan Development, Child Development, Adolescent Development, Adult Development and Aging).
The methods courses provide instruction on the qualitative and quantitative tools that researchers use to answer questions about child and youth development. Students are required to take three methods courses: Statistics 1, Tests and Measurement, and at least one additional 3-credit methods course (e.g., Statistics 2, Qualitative Analysis, Single-Subject Research, Program Evaluation). Students often take a one credit Statistics Laboratory course, also.
Students are permitted (and encouraged) to take elective courses. In addition, students can choose which of several methods courses they would like to pursue during their second semester. Students should make these decisions in collaboration with their advisor. Advisors must approve all elective courses.
In the event a student has already completed one or more of the recommended offerings with graduate courses taken elsewhere, up to six credits may be transferred into the program. The advisor must approve all transferred credits and substitutions; see your advisor for details. Although you can only transfer in six credits, that does not mean you must repeat coursework already completed. Instead, we encourage students to substitute electives for courses that are recommended but they have already taken to avoid duplication of content.
In accordance with Graduate Record requirements, at least 24 of the 35 required credit hours must be taken at the University of Virginia. Further, at least 18 credits must be completed after admission to the program.
A key launching course for the program is Educational Psychology (EDLF 7150). This class provides a basis for an understanding of the field of Educational Psychology. Since your program builds on this class, it is important to take it your first semester. All of our classes strive to include practical application of principles and theories; for example, in EDLF 5470 students work with a group to investigate the motivational component of community programs, providing feedback to community partners. In EDLF 7180/90, students create a survey with practical value (e.g., student attitudes), administer the survey, summarize and analyze the results, and report on the data to the target group.
EP-ADS Planning Schedule for Master’s Students
August -- Meet with your advisor, choose and register for fall courses.
October or November -- Choose and register for spring courses with help from your advisor, identify leads for your internship experience (if you plan to take internship credits starting in January).
January -- Prepare your internship contract (if you plan to take internship credits starting in Jan), gather faculty signatures.
March -- Choose your summer course(s); if you haven't already, identify internship opportunities for summer; watch for notice (from Sheilah Sprouse) about filing your paperwork for August graduation.
May -- Prepare your internship contract (if you plan to start your internship in the summer).
June -- Discuss your comprehensive exam plans with your advisor; choose 2nd reader and confirm individual is willing and available in July.
July (first half of the month) -- Take your comprehensive exam.
August – Graduate! Students who graduate in August are invited to the formal graduation ceremony the following May.
Masters Comprehensive Exam for EP-ADS
The goals of the comprehensive exam are to: 1) give students an opportunity to read and synthesize a body of empirical literature on a topic of their choice; and 2) give faculty an opportunity to evaluate students’ ability to understand, describe, and synthesize a small body of empirical research. Students must pass the comprehensive exam prior to receiving a masters degree. All comprehensive exam questions include issues that pertain to developmental science.
Comprehensive examinations are typically administered during the summer terms at a time set by the advisor and student. The examination must be taken during the last term of academic study and at least one month prior to the date when all materials must be approved to enable graduation.
Procedures for the comprehensive exams follow:
Students determine general content and dates with their advisor at least four weeks before the anticipated date of completion. The advisor will select an appropriate second faculty reader within EP-ADS (based on fit with substantive expertise) and convey the choice to the student. The student will invite the second reader to review the comprehensive exam. Further, the student will determine the availability of the second reader on the dates desired so that the graduation deadline can be met.
The advisor and reader will create one question to address during the examination period. The question will create an opportunity to examine empirical literature in a specific area pertaining to Educational Psychology: Applied Developmental Science. The final version of the question will be determined by the advisor and be presented to the student on the comprehensive exam start date.
The exam is completed in a one-week period. Trainees respond in writing in no more than 10 double spaced pages. Typically, students cite no more than 15 empirical articles (and, on occasion, several non-empirical articles to provide context for the research) in preparing their essay. A 10-page essay is fairly short and thus, the ADS faculty does not expect a comprehensive literature review of a broad area of research. Rather, the faculty expectations for the document are aligned with what a very competent masters student can be expected to do in a one-week period of time on a question with limited scope. In other words, students are not expected to present an exhaustive literature review. References should be cited using APA style, 6th Edition. The student turns in their exam to their advisor and reader electronically.
The completed essay will be evaluated based on the students’ ability to describe the definition and/or scope of the topic; organize selected literature in a meaningful way; describe findings clearly; provide synthesis of the selected empirical literature; and draw conclusions with implications for future inquiry, practice and/or policy.
The advisor and reader assess the student’s performance, rating it in one of three ways: 1) acceptable/pass, 2) marginal pass/revisions, and 3) unacceptable.
For marginal pass, the trainee may make revisions and resubmit the examination within one week for re-grading. If the second submission is not acceptable, the student may take the examination one additional time with a new question using the same process and timeline as described above.
If student receives an unacceptable rating, the advisor and reader will determine whether the student will retake the exam on the same or different question. Students who receive two unacceptable ratings will have a meeting with their advisor and will likely not be eligible for the master’s degree.
In accordance with the University of Virginia Honor Code, we encourage students to cite their work carefully and use quotations where necessary.
Several examples of questions for the Masters Comprehensive Exam follow:
Select, describe and synthesize empirical literature describing the extent to which teacher characteristics, school administration, school culture, and community factors and processes have been shown to relate to fidelity of implementation of school-based social and emotional learning interventions.
Summarize and discuss the literature on high quality elementary science instruction, focusing on specific classroom processes and teacher practices that relate to student science achievement (apart from curricular features).
Describe cognitive and emotional components of Executive Functioning (EF). Describe selected literature about what we currently know about the biological basis, behavioral correlates, developmental course, and implications of EF for young children's learning and behavior in classrooms? Throughout your essay, be sure to note the common elements and differences between the two types of EF.
Classroom quality can be examined in different ways. One perspective looks at structural features of the classroom including things like teacher credentials, student-to-teacher ratio, and the supplies available in a classroom. Another perspective looks at process features of the classroom. This way of looking at classroom quality examines the nature of the teacher-child interactions. Select and describe literature guided by the following question: What structural and process dimensions of classroom quality in early elementary schools have been identified, and what are their links to child social and academic outcomes?
Students must complete a six-credit field experience internship. This requirement may be met by working as an educational scientist in a professional setting, collaborating on an evaluation project, or a number of other opportunities. The goal of the internship is to give students an in depth experience with some aspect of educational psychology and/or developmental science. Interns are expected to work cooperatively or under the direction of a work supervisor for a total of 200 hours. Some students conduct their internships over the summer as a 12-week summer term whereas other students work on half of their internship during their spring semester and finish their internship in the summer. Both the supervisor and a program faculty member develop an internship plan and evaluate job performance and any final products. Interns may receive remuneration for their work.
Students have engaged in a variety of internship experiences and we describe a few here as examples. Typically, students develop their internship experience with the support of their advisors.
In the past, we have had students engage in the following types of experiences:
Students have conducted evaluation of summer educational programs designed for teens, college students, or young children.
Students have worked with faculty at Curry as research assistants on research projects.
Students have gone to DC or other cities during the summer months to engage in internship work at children’s museums or education research institutes.
Students have played leadership roles in relation to the coordination of local interventions, involving the management of research teams, data collection, data analysis, and synthesis.
Students occasionally produce research products from their internship experiences that result in conference proposals for the Curry research conference, regional, or national conferences.
Developing the Internship Experience Contract
All students work together with their immediate supervisor of the internship and/or advisor to develop a single page internship contract. The contract describes the time and work involved (e.g., observational coding, data collection, literature search and organization, reliability analysis); designates specific products likely to emanate from the internship experience (e.g., poster or conference presentation), if applicable; and describes any payment involved in the internship experience. The student, students’ advisor, and the immediate supervisor of the students’ internship experience sign the contract. (Occasionally, the students’ advisor is also the supervisor for the internship experience, in which case, the student should ask an additional EP-ADS faculty member to read, approve, and sign the contract.) Each person signing the contract receives the final signed contract before the work begins.
TO ASSURE COMPLETION OF A DEGREE PROGRAM, THE STUDENT MUST COMPLY WITH ALL RULES AND REGULATIONS CONTAINED IN THE UNIVERSITY OF VIRGINIA GRADUATE RECORD (http://records.ureg.virginia.edu/index.php).
Fall Courses (typically 15 credits):
EDLF 7150 Educational Psychology (3 credits)
EDLF 7160 Lifespan Development (3 credits)
EDLF 7310 Educational Statistics: Stat I* (3 credits)
EDLF 7180/7190 Tests and Measurement/Classroom Assessment (3 credits)
Plus, one of the following:
EDLF 7200 Child Development (3 credits) OR,
EDLF 7210 Adolescent Development OR,
EDLF 5470 Motivation in Achievement contexts (3 credits) OR,
EDLF 5500-03 Neurobiological Perspectives on Learning and Instruction OR,
EDLF 9740 Internship in College Level Teaching: Some masters students have enough masters level credits to work as a graduate teaching assistant with a faculty mentor. This is a highly mentored activity intended for master’s students who would like to have rich teaching experiences involving frequent and intensive contact with undergraduate students OR,
EDLF 8998 (3 credits): Some master’s students want to gain research experience to create a research experience for part or the full duration of their program. Students may find a faculty mentor and engage in research with that mentor by enrolling in research internship credit.
EDLF 7320 Statistics Laboratory* (optional, 1 credit)
EDLF 8300, 7404, 7330, or 7402 - A methods course of choice such as Statistics II, Qualitative Analysis, Single-Subject Research, or Program Evaluation (3 credits)
EDLF 5500 Cognitive Psychology of Education (3 credits)
EDLF 7210 Adolescent Development (or an elective if you plan to take Adult Development and Aging in the summer) (3 credits)
Plus, one additional elective (3 credits)
Summer Courses (please note: Summer courses [except master’s internship or research credits] are dependent on enrollment numbers; low enrollment can result in classes being cancelled, so check with instructors and have a back up):
EDLF 8998 Master’s Internship (6 credits)
Elective (optional) (EDLF 5270 Adult Development and Aging)
Total: Must equal at least 35 credits
Examples of Possible Electives:
Note: “Selected Topics” are new courses (offered less than 3 times) or limited-time offerings identified by the course number 5500 or 8500 + a section number – check these numbers in each department (EDLF, EDHS, and EDIS) for other potential electives.
Measurement & Evaluation
EDLF 7300 Foundations of Educational Research
EDLF 7402 Program Evaluation
EDLF 8310 Correlation and Regression: Stat III
EDLF 8340 Measurement Theory I
EDLF 8350 Multivariate Statistics
EDLF 8440 Advanced Qualitative Analysis
EDHS 5600 Contemporary Health Issues
EDHS 5630 Nutrition
EDHS 7431 Exercise Principles for Health, Fitness, and Chronic Diseases
EDIS 7700 Foundations: Reading Instruction
EDIS 7720 Word Study: Language Structure Phonics
EDIS 7751 Literacy Leadership & Coaching
Language and Cognitive Development
EDHS 7040 Cognitive Linguistic Development
EDIS 5210 Introduction to Language Development
PSYC 7005 The Science of Self-Regulation and Decision Making
PSYC 7300 Advanced Cognition
PSYC 5260 Psychobiology and Memory
PSYC 5325 Cognitive Neuroscience
Social and Affective Development
EDLF 5470 Motivation in Achievement Contexts
EDLF 5711 – Globalization, Childhood, & Culture
EDLF 7280 – Creativity and Problem Solving
EDLF 8655 – Politics of Difference
EDHS 7440 – Motor Development
PSYC 5035 Leading and Managing Diverse Groups
PSYC 5315 Pleasure
EDLF 7060 Theoretical Perspectives on Education Policy
EDLF 7602 History of American Education
Other relevant courses:
EDLF 7300 Foundations of Educational Research
EDLF 7601 Social Foundations of Education
EDLF 7604 Sociology of Education
EDLF 7390 Differentiating Instruction
EDLF 7605 Anthropology of Education
EDHS 7020 Evidence Based Practice
EDHS 768 Psychopathology
EDIS 5040 Psychoeducational Assessment
EDIS 5041 Behavior Management
EDIS 5440 Applied Teaching with Technology
EDIS 7100 Contemporary Educational Issues
EDIS 7250 Models and Strategies for Teaching the Gifted
PSYC 7475 The Psychological Study of Ethnic Minority Issues in Research and Practices
SOC 5320 Sociology of Gender