MSED Learning Sciences Concentration

MSED Learning Sciences Concentration

The Learning Sciences concentration prepares masters students to advance the understanding and practice of teaching and learning. Research and coursework emphasize instructional, technological, and social policy innovations and the design of effective learning and teaching environments. This program is intended for people with a wide variety of interests, including research, teaching and training, software development, school administration and the study and reform of learning environments.

Northwestern University's Learning Sciences program was the first of its kind in the nation. The program was developed with the understanding that design, cognition and sociocultural contexts are core areas for approaching learning and teaching in both formal and informal settings. The curriculum and research projects in the Learning Sciences program exemplifies continued focus in these areas. We provide opportunities for Learning Sciences students to work with faculty and get involved in active research projects. Click here to apply. 

Program Distinctiveness

Access to Faculty

Master’s students have a great deal of contact with the faculty and the wider community of researchers, both through their coursework and through independent research projects. Faculty members make it a high priority to take time with students to provide direction in courses, answer questions and recommend resources. 

Connected Community

Because the number of master's students and the SESP community as a whole are relatively small, students are easily able to form connections with the faculty and full-time researchers. Indeed, the LS and MSED graduate programs are designed to foster a sense of community and encourage knowledge sharing both inside and outside the classroom.

Customized Curriculum

Whereas some aspects of the program are fixed (e.g., required courses), there is sufficient flexibility for students to tailor their courses and project work to suit their own particular interests. As the program progresses, students are given increasing options for electives, and they join research teams composed of faculty and PhD students, allowing for in-depth research experience.

A Focus on Projects

In addition to extensive course offerings, research projects provide invaluable opportunities for student participation in innovative investigations of learning and teaching in schools, workplaces and other settings. As part of the curriculum, students conduct research with faculty projects or, occasionally, with external organizations.

Flexible Schedule and Advising 

Students work with advisors in Teacher Education and Learning Sciences to design a 12 course program taking 1-3 courses each quarter. The program can typically be completed in 1-2 years. 



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Contact Us

Learning Sciences Program School of Education and Social Policy

2120 Campus Drive
Evanston, IL 60208
Northwestern University

Phone: 847/491-4329