University of Pittsburgh School of Education

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

The University of Pittsburgh School of Education’s Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) programs prepare students to be nationally competitive and highly qualified for research careers in both academic and non-academic institutions. Our full-time, research-intensive PhDs produce scholars who demonstrate excellent writing and research skills, independent scholarship and productivity, and proficiency in teaching. Under the guidance of our distinguished graduate faculty, students will have the opportunity to produce peer-reviewed publications, present at professional conferences, and collaborate on grant-writing and review, positioning them to excel in their careers as researchers and faculty. Because the PhDs are full-time, students can be fully immersed in their coursework and research in preparation for an impactful scholarly career.

Learning Sciences and Policy - Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

The University of Pittsburgh's PhD program in Learning Sciences and Policy at the School of Education and the Learning Research and Development Center (LRDC)

Why Learning Sciences and Policy?

Our program is based on the belief that understanding learning, teaching, and organizations is best undertaken as an interactive system, and that an integrated and coordinated interdisciplinary approach is best suited to understand, design, and implement educational change. The program combines disciplines in learning sciences, teaching in the content disciplines, and organization and policy studies with the goal of improving instruction at scale, and is predicated on the idea that successful policy solutions will require learning on the part of educational professionals at all levels of the system.

Innovative features of the Learning Sciences and Policy Program (LSAP):

  • Students will be immersed in rigorous interdisciplinary research and training experiences from their first day in the program.
  • The University of Pittsburgh Learning Policy Center will serve as a vehicle for dissemination of LSAP faculty and student research as well as a location for policy internships.
  • Access to Pittsburgh's rich talent pool of analysts and research in education policy and learning including research scientists at Learning Research and Development Center (LRDC), policy specialists at the RAND Corporation, research methodologists at Carnegie Mellon, and education reform specialists at the Institute for Learning.
  • Admitted students will be guaranteed full funding (for three years) through research assistantships that will allow them to work alongside active researchers on funded research programs.
  • Students will participate in a year of field placement or a semester of field placement and a semester of teaching practicum at the college level. Field placements provide experiences outside the university (e.g., museums, school districts, community centers, and research centers).
  • Policy and design internships with projects including the Institute for Learning, the Learning Policy Center, University of Pittsburgh's Center for Out-of-School Learning Environments (UPCLOSE), Pittsburgh Science of Learning Center (PSLC), SWoRD, the Design-based Learning Project.
  • Active involvement in ongoing research projects.
  • Integrated coursework that covers the fields of Learning Sciences, Learning Policy and Organizations, and Content Area Learning.
  • Rigorous training in quantitative, qualitative, and mixed research methods.

Contact Information

Admissions Inquiries and General Information

School of Education
Admissions and Enrollment Services
5500 Wesley W. Posvar Hall
230 South Bouquet Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15260
PHONE: 412-648-2230
FAX: 412-648-1899
Apply Online