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Learning Sciences

*Graduate Certificate


Program Overview

Graduate Certificate in the Learning Sciences as new forms of digital and online resources transform communication and social interaction, the learning sciences emphasize the design of effective learning and teaching environments. Learning sciences is a rapidly evolving field dedicated to the study of learning in many environments in which it occurs, and the use of that knowledge to design innovative learning products and experiences.


Why choose this program?

The Certificate in the Learning Sciences provides an advanced understanding of learning in formal and informal environments, integrating perspectives from instructional design and technology, educational psychology, and social foundations of education. Students who complete the Graduate Certificate in the Learning Sciences will have demonstrated requisite knowledge and skills necessary to conceptualize, design, deliver, and measure effective learning. 

The Graduate Certificate in the Learning Sciences is appropriate for advanced graduate students considering careers such as higher education faculty, research scientists, educational administrators, funding agency program directors, and policymakers.

What You'll Study

Students must take at least twelve credit hours in the options listed below. All students are required to enroll in EDIT 5234, Introduction to the Learning Sciences. Students will then choose one elective, equal to a three-credit-hour course, from three of the other four categories listed below, Cognition, Design, Social Foundations, and Technology. The order of these courses, including EDIT 5234, make be taken at the discretion of the student after consulting with his or her advisor.

a. Introductory Course (Required for Certificate)

    EDIT 5234: Introduction to the Learning Sciences

b. Courses in Cognition 

    EDEP 5114: Learning and Cognition

    EDEP 6114: Cognitive Processes and Educational Practice
    EDEP 6224: Constructivism and Education

    EDEP 6444: Motivation and Cognition

c. Courses in Design 

    EDIT 5164: Design for Learning* 

    EDIT 6334: Applied Theories of Learning*

    EDIT 5224: Principles for Learning Message Design

d. Courses in Social Foundations 

    EDEP 5184: Sociocultural Influences on Learning and Instruction
    EDCI 6024: The Analysis of Educational Concepts
    EDCI 6044: Classroom Discourse

e. Courses in Technology

    EDEP 6334: Multimedia Cognition
    EDIT 5594: Topics in Learning Environment Design and Development
    EDIT 5614: Digitally Mediated Learning

    EDIT 5634: Interactive Learning Media Development

*Prior permission of instructor required for non-degree students outside Department of Learning Sciences and Technologies.

Current and Admitted Students at Virginia Tech
  1. When students decide to obtain the certificate, they should complete the Application for Certificate form. This form starts the process, designating the courses that will be taken for the certificate.
  2. During the semester in which the certificate requirements are to be completed, students should complete and return the Application for Degree or Certificate Conferral form.

Applicants New to Virginia Tech
Recommendations for admission to the certificate program for nondegree-seeking students will be made by our Graduate Admissions Committee, based on transcripts, the letter of interest, and the minimum requirements specified in the Graduate Catalogue. These admission criteria differ from our regular degree admission in that they require neither the GRE nor letters of recommendation. 

Apply (Applicants new to Virginia Tech)

There is a discount for in-state K-12 teachers; use this application form in order to receive the reduced costs. Otherwise, as with on-campus students, we refer you to the VT Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid for information on financial assistance. Generally, distance learners may qualify for federal loans if they take 5 or more credit hours per semester.

Find out what loans are available as a graduate student and other opportunities.

Dr. Katherine Cennamo
School of Education (0313)
Virginia Tech
Blacksburg, VA 24061
540-231-9122  |


Dr. Katherine Cennamo
School of Education (0313)
Virginia Tech
Blacksburg, VA 24061
540-231-9122  |