Studyportals placeholder

Learning Sciences, M.A.

  • Application Deadline
  • 11 months
University rank #31 (QS) , IL,
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

Detailed Programme Facts

  • Programme intensity Full-time
    • Full-time duration 11 months
  • Credits
    60 alternative credits
  • Languages
    • English
  • Delivery mode
    On Campus

English Language Requirements

  • Minimum required score:


    The IELTS – or the International English Language Test System – tests your English-language abilities (writing, listening, speaking, and reading) on a scale of 1.00–9.00. The minimum IELTS score requirement refers to which Overall Band Score you received, which is your combined average score. Read more about IELTS.

    Schedule IELTS
  • Minimum required score:


    The TOEFL iBT ® measures your English-language abilities in an academic setting. The test has four sections (reading, listening, speaking, and writing), each with a score range of 0-30, for a total score range of 0-120. Read more about TOEFL iBT ®.

    Schedule TOEFL®
  • Minimum required score:


    The TOEFL®PBT is administered in a paper format and measures your ability to use and understand English in a classroom setting at the college or university level. It accurately measures how well you can listen, read and write in English while performing academic tasks. Read more about TOEFL®PBT.

    Schedule TOEFL®

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 11 months.
  • National

    18689 USD/year
    Tuition Fee
    Based on the original amount of 18689 USD per year and a duration of 11 months.
  • In-State

    18689 USD/year
    Tuition Fee
    Based on the original amount of 18689 USD per year and a duration of 11 months.
We've labeled the tuition fee that applies to you because we think you are from and prefer over other currencies.

Living costs for Evanston

  • 1100 - 1500 USD/month
    Living Costs

The living costs include the total expenses per month, covering accommodation, public transportation, utilities (electricity, internet), books and groceries.


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.

The Global Study Awards: get funded with up to £10,000 to study abroad

Together with the ISIC Association and British Council IELTS, Studyportals offers you the chance to receive up to £10000 to expand your horizon and study abroad. We want to ultimately encourage you to study abroad in order to experience and explore new countries, cultures and languages.


Did you know you can compare your wishlisted programmes with our new Comparison tool?