Date of Conferral







Stacy Orr Sprague


The effect of emotional intelligence (EI) among students in education settings could prove essential to determining the needs of student satisfaction leading to retention and graduation. However, lack of research has yet to determine whether EI is an important factor of student satisfaction. The purpose of this quantitative survey study was to determine whether a relationship exists between EI in graduate students and satisfaction with their overall academic experience at their online institution of higher education. Participants included graduate students enrolled in a masters' or doctoral program at an online institution of higher education. They were surveyed to measure their level of EI by Mayer-Salovey-Caruso Emotional Intelligence Test v. 2 and satisfaction of overall academic experience measured by the Priorities Survey for Online Learners. Research questions were focused on satisfaction of graduate students and elements of EI including overall EI and the 4 branches of the EI model. Statistical regression analyses revealed no significant relationships between EI, branches of EI, and overall satisfaction. Nevertheless, the results have implications for positive social change. No significant relationship demonstrated between EI and satisfaction may help accentuate other factors such as motivation and expectations that affect student satisfaction. These results can contribute to social change by supporting focus and improvement of the quality of factors that do affect overall satisfaction of students.