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Admissions Requirements

To apply to the graduate program, students must submit the Virginia Tech Graduate School online application.

The Graduate Certificate in Cognition and Education provides an advanced understanding of current theories and principles of academic learning and motivation, as well as strategies that instructors can use to foster students’ learning and motivation. Students who complete the certificate will have documentation that they have developed the intellectual and practical tools necessary to design effective instruction.

The Certificate in Cognition and Education is appropriate for graduate students who are considering careers as teachers, higher education professors, educational researchers, educational program administrators, educational leaders, instructional designers, sports coaches, and others interested in designing effective instruction.

Admission Requirements: To be eligible for the certificate, students must be enrolled and in good standing in any graduate program at Virginia Tech.

Certificate Requirements: Students must complete 3 of these 4 courses (for a total of 9 credit hours of coursework) with a grade of B or better:

  • EDEP 5114 (Learning and Cognition),
  • EDEP 6114 (Cognitive Processes and Educational Practice),
  • EDEP 6224 (Constructivism and Cognition), or
  • EDEP 6444 (Motivation and Cognition).

Students may complete the three courses in any order; however, it is recommended that students complete EDEP 5114 before enrolling in EDEP 6114 because some of the foundational learning concepts are provided in EDEP 5114.

Faculty Contact. The certificate is offered by the faculty of the Educational Psychology Program in the School of Education at Virginia Tech. Students considering the certificate should consult with the Educational Psychology Program leader, Dr. Brett Jones (, to ensure that the certificate courses are consistent with their interests and career goals.


Application Process: Applications are reviewed as they are received during the fall and spring semesters; there are no deadlines for applications.

1.     To apply for the certificate, students need to complete the Application for Certificate (in the Enrollment section of and give it to Brett Jones (, who will provide the “Certificate Program Approval Signature.” Dr. Jones will then give the form to the “Department Contact” to sign and the department will forward it to the Graduate School. This form starts the process by designating the courses that will be taken for the certificate.

2.     During the semester in which the certificate requirements are completed, students should complete the Degree or Certificate Conferral Request (in the Graduation section of and give it to Nancy Nolen (


To request further information about the program or the application process, please contact the Student/Staff Support.

School of Education (SOE) Programs

The official transcripts showing degree conferral should be sent directly from your institution(s) to Graduate Admissions:
Virginia Tech Graduate Admissions
120 Graduate Life Center at Donaldson Brown
Mail Code 0325p 155 Otey Street NW
Blacksburg, Virginia 24061