Learning Sciences

Northwestern University

12 months
18689 USD/year
18689 USD/year
Tuition fee
Apply date
Start date


The Learning Sciences program of Northwestern University is a full-time, 11-month course of study that prepares researchers, developers and practitioners to advance the scientific understanding and practice of teaching and learning. As with the PhD program, the master's program focuses on learning from three interacting perspectives, namely, cognition, design and sociocultural context.


The Learning Sciences program of Northwestern University offers students 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. The Dean of the School of Education and Social Policy also teaches in the program and often mentors students.

Because the number of master’s students (typically 10 to 12 per year) and the LS community as a whole are relatively small, students are easily able to form connections with the faculty and full-time researchers. Indeed, the LS graduate programs are designed to foster a sense of community and encourage knowledge sharing both inside and outside the classroom. Master’s students and first-year PhD students share offices and participate in a substantially overlapping curriculum. Shared common workspace is also available for students to form study groups, work on project teams and socialize. In addition, students gather regularly for brown bag discussions to share knowledge and research findings.

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.

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.

Career paths

Graduates of the Learning Sciences master's program find employment as educational designers, human factors engineers and school technologists. They are employed by schools, software companies, consulting firms and training providers. In addition to immediate employment, many students choose to pursue further education in a PhD program.

Programme Structure

Courses include:

  • Cognition in Action
  • Culture and Cognition
  • Design of Learning Environments
  • Social Contexts of Education
  • Redesigning Everyday Organizations
  • Inclusive Making

Key information


  • Full-time
    • 12 months

Start dates & application deadlines

More details

Rolling admissions throughout the year.




30 alternative credits


On Campus

Academic requirements

GRE admission requirements GRE® The GRE® General Test is a widely administered admissions test that measures the skills needed in today's graduate and business school programs worldwide. It contains three sections - Verbal Reasoning, Quantitative Reasoning, and Analytical Writing. Three scores are reported: a Verbal Reasoning score on a 130 - 170 score scale in one-point increments, a Quantitative Reasoning score on a 130 - 170 score scale in one-point increments, and an Analytical Writing score on a 0 - 6 score scale in half-point increments.

English requirements

TOEFL admission requirements TOEFL® IBT The TOEFL iBT® is given online through the internet at designated testing site. The test measures your English-language abilities in an academic setting. The score refers to the total score of 4 subjects (writing, listening, speaking, and reading), each subject has a range of 0 - 30.
IELTS admission requirements IELTS The International English Language Test System (IELTS) tests your English-language proficiency on a scale of 1 – 9. The score refers to the combined average score of 4 subjects (writing, listening, speaking, and reading).

Other requirements

General requirements

  • Graduate School online application
  • Application fee of $95
  • Two letters of recommendation (minimum; three maximum)
  • Statement of purpose
  • Resume/CV
  • Writing sample
  • All post-secondary official transcripts
  • Optional GRE scores
  • English proficiency scores for non-native English speakers

Tuition Fee

  • International

    18689 USD/year
    Tuition Fee
    Based on the original amount of 18689 USD per year and a duration of 12 months.
  • National

    18689 USD/year
    Tuition Fee
    Based on the original amount of 18689 USD per year and a duration of 12 months.


Studyportals Tip: Students can search online for independent or external scholarships that can help fund their studies. Check the scholarships to see whether you are eligible to apply. Many scholarships are either merit-based or needs-based.

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Learning Sciences
Northwestern University