Psychology in Education

About the Psychology in Education Concentration at USC Rossier

The focus of the Psychology in Education concentration is on learning, motivation, instructional technology, assessment and mental health issues in urban education. Much of the research and scholarship that guides teacher education, educational administration, and student affairs stems from the fields of psychology in education and counseling, emphasizing the importance of these fields to educational practitioners.


Faculty expertise in this broad area expands to marriage and family therapy, school counseling, learning theory, cognitive technology, educational measurement, performance assessment, school violence, test anxiety, motivation, cross-cultural learning, human development, cognitive science, self-regulation, and social and cultural influences on the classroom.

Leading Experts

  • Cognitive neuroscience and the study of the brain bases of emotion
  • Social interaction and culture and their implications for development
  • Curriculum and pedagogy
  • Computer-based simulations and games for training and learning
  • The study of complex adult learning and problem-solving

Editorial Boards

  • American Educational Research Journal
  • Review of Education Research
  • Journal of Literacy Research
  • Learning Disabilities Research & Practice
  • Mind, Brain and Education


  • American Psychological Association
  • Association of Applied Psychology
  • American Psychological Society
  • Association for Psychological Science
  • American Educational Research Association



The PhD program in Urban Education Policy includes research in the areas of learning and motivation, especially how people learn, what motivates them, what instructional and motivational strategies are most effective for individuals from different cultures, and how the social context of instruction affects learning.


The EdD program includes a focus in Educational Psychology designed for professionals in K-12, higher education, and business, military, and government organizations who seek to improve the motivation, achievement, performance, and retention of diverse learners by focusing on research and practice in the areas of learning and motivation in diverse social contexts.


The Educational Psychology concentration also included Marriage and Family Therapy. Research centered on the relationship between technology and learning is prolific in the Center for Cognitive Technology (CCT), which studies the role of new technology in the development of advanced expertise and performance motivation.