Education Psychology Applied Developmental Science

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The Educational Psychology and Applied Developmental Science (EP-ADS) program focuses on improving the social and cognitive lives of children and adolescents.  EP-ADS students learn theory and engage in research experiences that examine how school and out-of-school settings influence learning and development.  Students engage in hands-on experience developing and evaluating interventions designed to support children and youth.  Course work targets educational and applied developmental psychology as well as research design, methods and statistics.  EP-ADS faculty and students work together as close-knit teams, fostering a productive, engaging, and exciting learning environment.

Four EP-ADS features:

  • EP-ADS is an interdisciplinary program.  Challenges facing children and youth do not fit neatly into a single domain of study.  EP-ADS faculty and students draw from education, psychology, education policy, and other areas in their work.
  • EP-ADS focuses attention on rigorous research designs and advanced data analytic procedures.  Students are well-taught and mentored to develop expertise in these areas.
  • EP-ADS takes a strengths-based approach to understanding the complex challenges that children and youth face in their homes, schools, after-school programs, and communities.
  • EP-ADS work is relevant and applied.  Many of the important research questions emanate from challenges that teachers, school administrators, communities and policy-makers face on a day-to-day basis.

Our current students chose this program because...

Shannon Varga (Ph.D program)

"I became interested in the Educational Psychology - Applied Developmental Science program because the work that was being conducted by my mentor was in concert with my research interests and because of the interdisciplinary curriculum it offers its students. I realized it was the right program for me when I visited UVA during an internship and found that the people of Curry created a group dynamic that was unlike any other graduate program I visited; it was a community that was driven, structured, and supportive. I knew it was definitely an environment that I wanted to be in."


Melissa Stalega (M.Ed program)

“EP-ADS was the only program in which the advisor personally reached out to me to offer an open line of communication. With both the inviting conversations with students and faculty as well as the impressive organization of the program itself, it became clear to me that EP-ADS was a unique program unlike any other I was considering.”


Kaitlyn Washburn (M.Ed program)

Kaitlyn Washburn"I chose Educational Psychology- Applied Developmental Science because of the structure of the program, which allowed me to incorporate my own interests in physical activity, nutrition, and overall wellness and see how these factors are related to development across the life span. I fell in love with the Curry School and all it has to offer including a faculty that is so eager to help motivate and guide you to reach your goals, as well as provide research opportunities to enhance the learning experience. Charlottesville truly is the happiest place on earth!"



See what our Master's alumni are doing.

See what our Doctoral alumni are doing.

More Information

Affiliated Research and Programs

Masters and doctoral students in the Educational Psychology - Applied Developmental Science program learn about schools, classrooms and other social settings as contexts critical to child and adolescent development. Research opportunities are available in relation to teacher professional development and teacher effects, preschool classroom quality, English Language Learners in early childhood, social and emotional learning interventions, youths’ perception of stigma, early childhood classroom quality, peer-mentoring programs, and positive youth development programs.

The Curry School of Education has several key, educationally-relevant research opportunities available.

And please follow these links for information about these related programs:


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