Educational Psychology with emphasis in learning sciences


The Program offers a Ph.D. in Educational Psychology with specializations in Cognition, Creativity, Instruction, and Development; Educational Technology; or Research, Measurement and Statistics.

  • How do people learn, adapt and develop within their environmental contexts?
  • How do they develop as they progress from infancy to adulthood?
  • How do they learn the knowledge and skills they need in classrooms and outside school walls?
  • How and where do they use their knowledge and skills?
  • How do the environment and individual differences influence learning and development?
  • How can we best use emerging technologies to design educational experiences and environments that improve learning and social-emotional development?
  • How can we best assess learning and development, evaluate the effectiveness of instruction, and conduct and analyze research that extends our knowledge base of these processes?

These are just a few of the questions that students and faculty in Learning Sciences seek to answer. The Learning Sciences program is designed to expand our understanding of these crucial issues and to prepare the Learning Scientists of the future. With the ever-increasing cognitive demands and the accelerated pace of change in the modern world, understanding and improving learning and development has become both increasingly challenging and vital to thriving in globalized and information-rich societies.

Students select committee members and develop a degree plan, which must be submitted for approval. Applicants must follow all departmental admission requirements.

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Doctoral study is based on the Apprentice Scholar model, in which students become immersed in developing a rich understanding of what we know and in exploring and discovering what has yet to be learned. Learning Sciences students participate on research teams designed to advance our understanding of these issues, and in the development of applications based on theory and research in the learning sciences.

Through our program, Learning Science students can acquire the knowledge, skills, and experiences they need to become university faculty, researchers, or leading professionals in schools, business, and industry. The Learning Sciences program enables students, through the guidance of faculty mentors, to build an individualized program of study that meets their individual needs and professional objectives.

The Learning Sciences Program offers the Ph.D. in Educational Psychology with specializations in Cognition, Creativity, Instruction, and Development; Educational Technology; or Research, Measurement and Statistics.

Doctoral in Educational Psychology with emphasis in COGNITION, CREATIVITY, INSTRUCTION AND DEVELOPMENT (CCID)

Doctoral students and faculty in CCID focus on development, cognition, and how they are influenced by environments such as their home, neighborhood, cultural community, and school or place of work, including the virtual environments provided by emerging technologies. The environments in which learners develop and function affect what they learn, how they learn, and how they use what they learn. Understanding these processes can help us develop environments in which children and adults can learn more effectively and live more enriched lives. CCID graduate students develop expertise in learning theory, human development, instructional design, and emerging technologies.

The CCID concentration is interdisciplinary, meaning that CCID students have the opportunity to benefit from the diverse knowledge bases and perspectives offered by different academic disciplines within the department and college and across the university in areas such as psychology, sociology, and computer science.

CCID Faculty

Doctoral in Educational Psychology with emphasis in EDUCATIONAL TECHNOLOGY (EDTC)

Doctoral students with a concentration in Educational Technology graduate with

  • expertise in how technology can address existing educational goals in innovative ways, and
  • a strong skill set in research methods appropriate to the field.

Research in this field focuses on the use of emerging technologies in the design of innovative educational materials. Faculty mentors work with students to develop a program of study tailored to their research interests. This includes opportunities to assist in faculty-led research projects. These typically result in conference presentations and co-authorship on journal publications. Students can also gain college-level teaching experience through an apprenticeship with a faculty member.

The program is highly valued by employers, and our graduates find their skills in great demand. Graduates of the doctoral program find employment as

  • faculty in higher education,
  • administrators in K-12 school districts, or
  • in industry and higher education as leaders in instructional design, training, or evaluation efforts.

Doctoral students are expected to be in residence for part of their program but can complete much of their coursework at a distance.

EDTC Faculty:

Doctoral in Educational Psychology with emphasis in RESEARCH, MEASUREMENT, AND STATISTICS (RMS)

The Research, Measurement and Statistics (RMS) specialization focuses on a broad range of quantitative and methodological issues, including multivariate statistics, item response theory, generalizability theory, hierarchical linear modeling, structural equation modeling, time series analysis, growth modeling, and Monte Carlo study.

RMS faculty are leading scholars who have earned international recognition. They recently instituted Summer Statistics Workshops attract students and faculty from around the state and across the nation. RMS faculty not only engage in the development and application of cutting-edge quantitative research methods, but they are also committed to training the next generation of methodologists. Graduates with this specialization are in demand for higher education academic positions and school- and industry-based jobs in measurement and evaluation. RMS graduates hold positions at many major universities and research agencies.

RMS courses focus on basic and advanced methods used to develop and evaluate different educational and psychological phenomena. In addition to course work, RMS students work with a variety of faculty from other programs and departments during the course of their training.

Following the apprentice model of the Learning Sciences program, RMS students have ready access to faculty mentors and research advisors. Further, RMS students are in high demand by faculty in other programs and departments to work on their projects as quantitative experts. There are ample opportunities for RMS students to work on federally funded research projects in which they gain invaluable experience related to the design of educational studies and measurement instruments, analysis of educational data, and evaluation and interpretation of educational outcomes. RMS students can also receive financial support through the Educational Research and Evaluation Laboratory (EREL).

The RMS concentration strongly encourages summer internship experiences for its students. Internship sites have included school districts and test development corporations such as Educational Testing Service and American College Testing.

RMS Faculty