PHD in Educational Psychology

1. Rationale for the Program

In recent years, the Ethiopian government has been setting up new universities in various parts of the country, and strengthening and expanding the existing ones, as well as private higher learning institutions have been mushrooming. In these institutions the demand for highly training teaching and research staff has been a major setback. There is a serious scarcity of high-level professionals in higher learning institutions who can provide various courses for undergraduate and graduate students. It is therefore high time to launch programs in different disciplines. Being cognizant of this problem, the Ministry of Education has envisaged to train about 2000 PhD candidates in the coming few years to fill in the gap. As a center of excellence in teaching and learning, Bahir Dar University intends to contribute its share to the production of qualified personnel by offering various programs. One of those programs the University intends to launch is educational psychology.

On top of this, Ethiopia needs professionals who can undertake high-level research to solve many of the county’s intricate problems in various fields, mainly education. Moreover, highly qualified personnel are required in developing different programs, become leaders and experts of training center, consultants, curriculum designers who take into account the needs of children and adolescents, and who do many other activities in educational and other related business sectors.


2. Program Objectives

The major purpose of launching this program will be producing individuals who can

  • carry out independent research
  • demonstrate knowledge of the basic fields of educational psychology (and of related areas in psychology and education)
  • apply various types of research methods in the investigation of different research problems.
  • manage training programs in educational & business organizations
  • develop training packages that may fit the needs of the country in general and those of institutions in particular
  • design curriculum materials together with curriculum specialists that take into account the psychosocial and physical aspects of the learners and other significant stakeholders in education
  • analyze research outcomes, policies, and programs developing valid criteria
  • train workers, teachers and other personnel in educational and business organizations.
  • assess and evaluate the effectiveness and impacts of policies and programs
  • develop assessment techniques to measure characteristics, behaviors, traits, and performances of students, workers, and others in educational and business organizations.
  • develop assessments techniques for the selection of applicants for various positions
  • use assessment techniques to identify talents and the gifts students, workers or applicants possess.
  • develop standardized tests that can be used for different purposes.
  • teach psychology, research, psychometrics, and measurement and evaluation courses in higher learning institutions
  • guide and consult educational and business personnel in the fields of educational and psychological measurement and evaluation procedures.
  • become directors or leaders in educational and business organizations that deal with performance assessment, selection, recruitment and promotion of staff.

3. Admission Requirements

3.1 Grades

A minimum undergraduate grade-point average (GPA) of 2.75 and a minimum of graduate GPA of 3.25 (on a 4.00 scale). International applicants must have a strong academic performance comparable to a "B" or above average grades.

3.2 Degree

A master's degree from an accredited institution, or a comparable degree from an international institution. International applicants must have a degree comparable to an accredited bachelor’s and Masters degrees by the Ministry of Education or a relevant body in the country. Students wishing to join the program should be graduates of psychology or should have taken at least 30 credit hours of courses directly related to educational psychology in undergraduate and graduate programs. More preference will be given to those applicants who did research in the area of educational psychology or related fields where the articles are published in reputable journals. If the applicant’s degree and transcript are other than in English language, the institution from which he/she graduated should provide an official translation of the transcript; otherwise they need to have a translation done by an official translator.


3.3 English Proficiency

Every applicant must show a good level of English language to join the program. An applicant whose English language competence is poor will not be admitted to the program. The applicant’s English proficiency will be evaluated by presenting a lecture on selected topics in psychology for a group of examining board members, which at least will constitute two judges, who shall be nominated by the department, which will last for 50 to 60 minutes. The topic of presentation shall be selected by the examining board. Moreover, a written essay examination will be conducted. Both tests will be used to evaluate the language competence and subject matter knowledge of the applicants. The English command of the applicants will account for 100% of the total score of the tests. The same examination will also be used to determine the examinees’ subject matter knowledge. This will account for 100%, which together with the language result constitutes 200% of the score. The applicants should get at least 80% in the language component and 75% in the subject matter component of the examination to be eligible for the program. Foreign applicants who want to join the program need also present proof of English language competence but will take subject tests


Other requirements

  • Letters of recommendation are submitted to graduate programs through face-to-face or using online applications.
  • Sponsorship letter or proof of financial statement to cover tuition and other related costs as determined by the department
  • Copies of research works done so far, if any.
  • Statement of intent that describes the reason for joining the program (3 to 4 pages).
  • Complete and detailed CV that is genuine. Any counterfeited CV that does not represent the candidate shall result in rejection for ever at any time of investigation.


4. Application Procedures

A student who wishes to apply to the program should first pay a nonrefundable application fee (350.00 Birr) and fill in an application form obtainable from the University’s Registrar Office. Once the application letter is submitted and the registration fee is paid, a preliminary assessment will be made to shortlist those who may qualify for the exam. Examination will be given to those who are shortlisted. Based on their results, those who scored the highest will be selected to join the Program. The Department will notify those who passed the exam and qualify for the program. However, as the study is mostly carried out with close relationship between the supervisor and the candidate, the supervisor will have a strong say in the admission of the candidate.


5. Degree Nomenclature

The name of the degree conferred to students upon successful completion of the study is:

In English

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Educational Psychology