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Learning Sciences

(Graduate Certificate)

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.

Choose Courses from 5 Areas


Credits Needed to Graduate

Doctoral Level

100 Percent Faculty Commitment

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.

Admission Requirements: To complete the Graduate Certificate in the Learning Sciences, students must be enrolled currently and in good standing in any graduate program at Virginia Tech. Students considering the Certificate should consult with faculty in one of the associated programs in the Department of Learning Sciences and Technologies to plan their study to be consistent with prior experience, career goals, and certificate requirements.

Certificate Requirements: 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 5174: Informal Learning for School Age Youth
  • 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.

Our Faculty 

Research Interests:

  • How students' beliefs impact their motivation
  • The methods instructors can use to design instructional environments that support students' motivation and learning.

Brett Jones, Professor

Brett Jones, Professor

Research Interests:

  • Multimedia learning
  • Constructivism
  • The investigation of learning efficacy in mobile and multimedia learning environments
  • Cognitive processes and multimedia teaching and learning.

Peter Doolittle, Professor

Peter Doolittle, Professor

Students interested in applying to the Learning Sciences and Technologies (Graduate Certificate in Educational Psychology) should contact Dr. Brett Jones, by email at

Visit our office at Suite 201 in the Public Safety Building (0313), 330 Sterrett Drive, Blacksburg, VA 24061


Dr. Brett Jones
Program Leader
School of Education (0313)
Public Safety Building
Suite 201 (0313)
330 Sterrett Drive

School of Education (SOE) Programs

School of Education
Public Safety Building
Suite 201 (0313)
330 Sterrett Drive
Blacksburg, VA 24061