Learning Sciences and Policy Program

The PhD program in Learning Sciences and Policy at the Pitt School of Education combines disciplines in learning sciences, teaching in the content disciplines, and organization and policy studies with the goal of improving instruction at scale. The program 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: 

  • 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