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Grand Canyon University | Doctor of Philosophy in General Psychology - Cognition and Instruction (Qualitative Research)

Those interested in pursuing a career focusing on the cognitive processes affecting instructional practices could build the knowledge and skills needed for this professional goal in the Doctor of Philosophy in General Psychology - Cognition and Instruction (Qualitative Research) program at Grand Canyon University. Read more details about this online doctorate here.

Official Program Name:

Doctor of Philosophy in General Psychology - Cognition and Instruction (Qualitative Research)

School Offering Program:

Grand Canyon University

Degree Level:


Program Prerequisites:

Students seeking entry into the PhD in General Psychology - Cognition and Instruction program are required to hold a master's degree or doctorate from an accredited institution. An academic background in psychology and an understanding of basic psychological concepts could prove beneficial, as coursework will cover basic schools of thought and cognitive processes.

Applicants to Grand Canyon University should have a high school diploma or equivalent; some programs may have additional requirements.

Program Description:

Grand Canyon University's Doctor of Philosophy in General Psychology - Cognition and Instruction (Qualitative Research) program is designed to provide students with an extensive education in research methodologies, cognitive science theories, and principles and theories relating to cognitive psychology. Specific course topics students could expect to review in this program include the history of psychoanalysis; developmental processes regarding memory, creativity, perception, intelligence, and reasoning, among other areas; the relation between humanistic, transpersonal, and existential psychology to motivation, love, and will; and concepts in social cognition. Other courses address behavioral theories, origins and theories of different psychological schools of thought, and educational research in motivation, intelligence, information processing/memory, and learning. Throughout the program, students will complete a dissertation that includes observation-driven research design courses, residencies allowing for the oral defense of dissertation research, and the writing of the scholarly paper through a committee-guided process.

Learning Format:


Program Length:

60 credits.

Financial Aid Available:

Eligible students could be able to receive financial aid in the forms of grants, loans, and scholarships. Contact Grand Canyon University's financial aid office for more information.

Tuition, Financial Aid & Start Dates

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Required Courses for a Doctor of Philosophy in General Psychology - Cognition and Instruction (Qualitative Research):

In addition to 15 psychology- and cognition-based and research design courses, students of this PhD in General Psychology program must complete two residencies and three dissertation research/writing courses to complete their scholarly paper. Degree program and course requirements are subject to change. Contact Grand Canyon University to confirm the most accurate information before enrolling in a program.

Degree Requirements (60 credits)

  • Introduction to Research
  • The Literature Landscape: Psychology
  • History and Systems of Psychology
  • Psychoanalysis and Psychodynamic Theory
  • Foundations of Research Design 1
  • Residency: Dissertation
  • Foundations of Research Design 2
  • Behaviorism
  • Cognitive Science
  • Humanistic, Transpersonal, and Existential Psychology
  • Designing a Qualitative Study 1
  • Designing a Qualitative Study 2
  • Cognition and Instruction
  • Residency: The Qualitative Dissertation
  • Social Cognition
  • Dissertation I
  • Qualitative Data Collection and Management
  • Dissertation II
  • Qualitative Data Analysis, Results and Findings
  • Dissertation III

Post-Graduation Opportunities

Career Paths:

Graduates of the PhD in General Psychology - Cognition and Instruction (Qualitative Research) program could apply their skills in various areas of education, research, or counseling. They might oversee educational program development, instructional strategy development, psychological testing design, or behavioral analysis for schools, government agencies, community learning centers, adult learning centers, or even corporate training departments.

The following identifies some career titles that could be open to graduates:

  • Curriculum designer
  • Learning analyst
  • Educational consultant
  • Professor of cognitive psychology

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