Duration

2 years for M.Ed.
Within 10 years for Ph.D.

Credits earned

45 for M.Ed.
90+ for Ph.D.

Format

On-campus

Time commitment

Full-time

Upcoming deadline

January 5, 2024

Improve the lives of real people in real places

Learning Sciences and Human Development is a graduate study option that focuses on the nature and interaction of learning, development, and culture in a variety of settings. We study learning and development where they happen: in families, communities, workplaces, and schools from pre-school to college.

We are an interdisciplinary group working at local, state, national, and international levels with a shared focus on equity. Our research approaches are diverse, from ethnography to design-based research to survey and experimental methods.

Despite this diversity, we are unified in our interest and commitment to how our work can improve the lives of real people in real places. We involve students in innovative research around these issues, supported by federal, state, and private funding sources.

Students in a lab

After graduation

Our students gain technical and intellectual foundations for practice in a variety of research and educational settings. Graduates of the master's program can be found working as educators in settings such as museums and nonprofit organizations and as researchers and consultants in public and private sector positions ranging from schools to software design. Graduates of the doctoral program often take university faculty positions.

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Curriculum

    Master's degree students experience a unique blend of two specializations within the field of education research, both with a strong focus on issues of equity. The program comprises an articulated sequence of courses and experiences designed to allow full-time students to graduate in two years.

    Ph.D. students in work closely with their advisors to create highly tailored programs of study that include intermediate and advanced coursework in LSHD as well as outside coursework to gain broader perspective and deeper insight into specialized topics.

    Master's degree coursework

    The LSHD M.Ed. Course of Study details required and recommended courses and sequence. It includes required core courses in Learning Sciences and Human Development:

    • EDPSY 542A  Proseminar in Learning Sciences & Human Development
    • EDPSY 501 Human Learning and Educational Practice
    • EDPSY 502 Developmental Foundations of Early Learning
    • EDPSY 503 Culture, Learning and Development 
    • EDPSY 532 Adolescence and Youth       

    Also required is a year-long cohort-based seminar (EDPSY 581) designed to facilitate students’ navigation of the program, at least one course in the foundations of education (e.g., Education as a Moral Endeavor, History of Education, Philosophy of Education, Sociology of Education, or Foundations of Curriculum and Instruction), and two quantitative research methods and one qualitative research methods course (EDPSY 490 Basic Educational Statistics, EDPSY 517 Applied Measurement in Educational Research, and either EDPSY 581 Design-Based Research I or EDLPS 558 Introduction to Qualitative Methods).

    Additional coursework reflects four  intellectual strands with multiple areas of focus within each:

    •   Culture and Learning within and across Domains
    •   Culture and Development across the Life Course
    •   Learning across Environments
    •   Learning to Resist Opression & Promote Cultural Resurgance

    Students must have a specialization (3-4 courses in one major strand), plus at least one course in two other supplemental strands.  Additional courses in research methods are recommended, tailored to the interests and goals of individual students. See the above course of study for suggested courses in each strand.

    Ph.D. coursework

    Ph.D. students in Learning Sciences and Human Development work closely with their advisors to create highly tailored programs of study that include intermediate and advanced coursework in LSHD as well as outside coursework to gain broader perspective and deeper insight into specialized topics. 

    Admission requirements and process

      Degree from an accredited institution
      • A bachelor's degree is required for the Master of Education (M.Ed.) program
      • A master's degree is required for the doctorate program
      • Your degree can be in-process at the time of your application but must be completed before the program starts.
      Unofficial transcript(s) with minimum 3.0 GPA
      • Include one from each institution from which you've earned a degree and one from every institution you have attended in the previous 5 years.
      • Your transcripts must include your name, coursework and degree (if completed)
      • If you are offered admission, the UW Graduate School will request an official transcript from your most recent degree earned

      The UW Graduate School requires a cumulative GPA of 3.0, or 3.0 for your most recent 90 graded quarter credits (60 semester credits). However, we review your application holistically. If your GPA is below 3.0, contact us at edinfo@uw.edu for advice on how to strengthen your overall application.

      Three letters of recommendation

      During the online application process, you will be given instructions for adding your recommenders and getting their letters submitted electronically.

      Resume/Vita

      A current academic and professional resume or vita is required. In addition to educational degrees and professional experience, you should include a listing of all relevant awards, publications, presentations or other achievements that will help us evaluate your application.

      Statement of Purpose
      • 1-2 pages for M.Ed.
      • 3-5 pages for Ph.D.

      Admissions committees use your statement of purpose, along with other evidence, to determine whether your goals are well-matched with our our programs. Your statement should address goals, relevant experience, future plans and how the desired specific program meets your needs. Be sure to include personal experiences that have prepared you for the challenge of graduate school, topics like:

      • Scholarly interests
      • Career goals
      • Your match for the program
      • Faculty interests
      Personal History Statement (Optional)

      While optional, you can add to your application by submitting a personal history statement with each application. This statement should address your intellectual growth and development, inclusive of and beyond your academic goals. Speak to topics like:

      • Educational, cultural and economic opportunities and disadvantages you've experienced
      • Ways these experiences affected the development of your special interests, career plans and future goals.

      Statements should be no longer than two pages long. And while there are no standard formatting requirements, we encourage double-spaced text with a legible font.

      Writing sample (Doctoral only)

      Doctoral candidates must submit one sample of scholarly writing (e.g., course papers, articles, essays). The sample should demonstrate how well you can analyze or synthesize and critically reflect on information. The writing sample must have been written by you alone.

      If you have no appropriate examples of scholarly writing, we urge you to consider preparing a medium-length (10-12 page) critical essay review of a book that you feel is central to your interests in education. The writing sample will be uploaded in your online application. Faculty will only review one writing sample. 

      1. Gather all required documents
      2. Visit the Graduate School website
      3. Log into your account or create a new profile if you are a first-time applicant
      4. Complete all steps in application process and upload your documents
      5. Pay the nonrefundable $85 application fee
        • You may request a fee waiver during the application process
      6. Submit your application

      Here is our general timeline for decisions. Have questions about the process? Visit our graduate admissions page.

      Step 1: Application processing

      • Within 7 business days after the deadline, we will check if your application if fully complete
      • We will email you whether your application is complete or incomplete
      • If your application is missing anything, you will have a short amount of time submit these items
      • You can also log into the online application and check your status and see any missing items

      Step 2: Application review

      • Committees begin reviewing applications about three weeks after the deadline
      • You will receiving an email when your application has entered the review phase

      Step 3: Decision notification

      • The final decision will be emailed to you
      • Your status will also be updated in the online application

      We value and welcoming applications from international students! If you are applying from outside the United States, there are additional requirements and application materials.

      Prior degree requirements
      • At minimum, you must have the equivalent of a U.S. bachelor's degree (a four-year degree from an institution of recognized standing)
      • Evaluation of your degree will be based on:
        • The national system of education in the foreign country
        • The type of institution
        • The field of study and level of studies completed
      Transcripts
      • International transcripts must be submitted in the original language.
      • Your transcript should include date of graduation and title of the awarded academic degree
      • If your transcript is not in English, you must also provide a certified English translation
      • You do not need to have your transcript evaluated for the degree by an agency
      English language proficiency

      Per UW Graduate School policy, you must submit a demonstration of English language proficiency if your native language is not English and you did not earn a degree in one of the following countries:

      • United States
      • United Kingdom
      • Australia
      • Bahamas
      • Canada
      • Ireland
      • Jamaica
      • New Zealand
      • Singapore
      • South Africa
      • Trinidad and Tobago

      The following tests are accepted if the test was taken fewer than two years ago:

      • TOEFL
        • Minimum score: 80
        • Recommended score: 92+
        • The UW's 4-digit code is 4854
      • IELTS
        • You must request from the center where you took the test that your scores be sent electronically using the IELTS system (E-TRF) to the following address:
          • University of Washington All Campuses, Organisation ID 365, Undergrad & Graduate Admis, Box 355850, Seattle, WA, 98105, United States of America
        • Minimum score: 6.5
        • Recommended score: 7.0+
        • School information for submission:
          University of Washington, All Campuses
          Undergraduate & Graduate Admission
          Box 355850
          Seattle, WA 98195
      • Duolingo
        • Minimum score: 105
        • Recommended score: 120+
        • Follow the instructions on the Duolingo website to submit your scores
      Financial ability

      If apply and are offered admission to UW, you will need to submit a statement of financial ability.

      Costs and funding

        We are a tuition-based program. Estimated tuition rates are based on your residency: 

        • Washington state residents: $19,584 per year
        • Out-of-state students: $35,352 per year

        Estimates are subject to change and may differ due to course load and summer quarter enrollment. Estimates include building fees, technology fees, U-Pass, etc. Additional program-specific fees are not included in this estimate.

        View the UW tuition dashboard →
        Visit the Office of Planning & Budgeting →

        Federal financial aid is available for students. Visit the UW Financial Aid website for information and resources. The College of Education also provides scholarship and other funding opportunities.

        Graduate students can be awarded $2,000 - $5,000 if they are earning their M.Ed, Ed.S, Ed.D or Ph.D through a College of Education program.

        Program Faculty

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