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Learning sciences post baccalaureate certificate

Shape your teaching and research through better understanding of how people learn

As a student in our learning sciences certificate program, you’ll study learning theories, methodologies, designs, and evidence-based practices central to teaching and conducting research that supports the learning process. You’ll take courses in educational psychology, curriculum and instruction, computer science, and broader areas of education and human development. Throughout your coursework, you’ll explore how individuals learn and develop across educational, social, cultural, and technological contexts. This understanding will help you inform effective and equitable educational research, instruction, and policies.

You’ll be exposed to a variety of learning science topics and methods, including:

  • classroom-based research
  • collaborative learning
  • design-based research
  • digital literacy
  • embodied learning
  • epistemic cognition
  • learning analytics
  • personalized learning
  • playful learning
  • productive failure
  • research-practice partnerships
  • social media and misinformation
  • user interface design
  • video-based interaction analysis

What is the learning sciences?

The learning sciences: an interdisciplinary and global community of educational researchers dedicated to investigating and facilitating learning in real-world settings.

Learning scientists partner closely with teachers to develop, implement, and evaluate learning supports designed to address problems in education. By studying both the outcomes and process of these designs, learning scientists attend to what works for students, while contributing to learning theory.

The learning sciences community is increasingly committed to uncovering and tackling power and privilege in learning environments, with implications for persistent inequities in our society’s approach to fostering learning for all. Emerging from the disciplines of educational psychology, cognitive science, ethnography, sociology, and conversation analysis, learning scientists are applied researchers who embrace the complexity and heterogeneity of students, teachers, and the learning process.


This certificate is ideal for current University of Minnesota graduate students or anyone with a bachelor’s degree looking to gain better understanding of the learning sciences, including:

  • current or future teachers
  • graduate students pursuing research in education and/or psychology
  • policy makers
  • educational technology developers
  • school leaders
  • user experience researchers
  • public health professionals
  • coaches, community organizers
  • others interested in rethinking their approach to help those they work with learn and grow


Most of the learning sciences certificate classes are taught in-person, during daytime hours at the University of Minnesota’s Minneapolis campus. Note: For course descriptions and schedules, refer to the University of Minnesota Class Schedule.

Coursework (12 credits)

Ashley Hufnagle headshot
I came to graduate school with the goal of producing research that could be applied in learning contexts. Through my learning sciences classes and research, I've had opportunities to collaborate with students, parents, and educators and have been encouraged to learn from a wide range of perspectives and methodologies (social psychology, educational psychology, cognitive science, and sociology—to name a few). This has helped me approach my research in new (and sometimes unexpected) ways!

Ashley Hufnagle, PhD student and learning sciences researcher, psychological foundations of education program


Jeffrey Bye headshot

Jeffrey ByeLecturer
Affiliate faculty, Learning Informatics Lab

  • Math teaching and learning
  • Mathematical cognition
  • Causal learning
  • Reasoning
  • Open source programming
  • Computational modeling
David DeLiema headshot

David DeLiemaAssistant professor
Core faculty, Learning Informatics Lab

  • Productive failure
  • Playful learning
  • Embodied cognition
  • Spatial reasoning
  • Social interaction
Panayiota Andrea Kendeou headshot

Panayiota Andrea KendeouDistinguished McKnight University Professor, Guy Bond Chair in Reading
Co-director, Learning Informatics Lab | Lab

  • Reading comprehension
  • Cognitive processes
  • Learning at scale
  • Technology
  • Misinformation
Martin Van Boekel headshot

Martin Van Boekel Lecturer | Lab

  • Cognitive biases (ie., hindsight bias)
  • Academic feedback
  • Memory strategies for improving learning in the classroom
  • Informal learning environments (ie. school-organized sports)
Keisha Varma

Keisha VarmaProgram coordinator, psychological foundations of education
Associate vice provost, Office of Equity and Diversity | Lab

  • Cognitive processes in science learning
  • Scientific visualizations and student learning outcomes
  • Teacher knowledge development and effective teaching practice

Program contact

David DeLiema