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School of Education-Learning Sciences and Policy

The Learning Sciences and Policy program is based on the belief that understanding learning, teaching, and organizations is best undertaken as an interactive system, and that an integrated and coordinated interdisciplinary approach is best suited to understand, design and implement educational change. The program combines disciplines in learning sciences, teaching in the content disciplines, and organization and policy studies with the goal of improving instruction at scale, and is predicated on the idea that successful policy solutions will require learning on the part of educational professionals at all levels of the system.

• Contact Information

Program Chair
Learning Sciences and Policy

• Admissions

Applicants to the Learning Science and Policy program must meet all of the requirements in addition to specific departmental requirements. Application material should be directed to the University of Pittsburgh, Office of Admissions and Enrollment Services, 5500 Posvar Hall, Pittsburgh, PA 15260 or telephone 412-648-2230.  Application is January 1 for the following Fall cohort.

Admission Information

Application for Admission


• Financial Aid

Financial Aid Information

Learning Sciences and Policy offers financial aid in the form of research assistantships.  Applicants are automatically reviewed for these positions.

Program Information

Degree Requirements

Doctor of Philosophy Degree (Learning Sciences & Policy)

The Learning Sciences and Policy (LSAP) PhD program brings three groups of faculty expertise together into a collaborative research and training environment: learning sciences in education; content-based educational research; and education policy and organizational change. The goal for the new program is to produce a yearly cohort of 5 to 8 nationally-competitive research scholars who have the training, track-record, and vision to become leaders in understanding and promoting educational change.

Degree Requirements:  Doctoral students in the Learning Sciences and Policy program who enter the program without a master’s degree in a relevant field are required to take six core courses, a minimum of six research methods courses, and eight advanced seminars in an area of specialization. Students also participate as part of a faculty member’s research team throughout their time in the program. As part of that research team, students engage in every phase of the research process, apprenticing under the active mentoring of the faculty member. Additionally, doctoral students are expected complete at least two independent research projects under the supervision of the faculty. Students are required to take two one-semester practica/internships, the purposes of which are to expose students to a range of kinds and forms of research and build students’ professional skills.  Students with a Masters degree in a related field can transfer credits toward the PhD with approval by the LSAP faculty.

A redesigned Doctor of Philosophy degree starts Fall 2014. For additional degree information, refer to the introductory school section on Doctoral Degree.

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