If you hold an interest in understanding people’s cognition, learning, and social interaction both inside and outside of schools, our MA in Learning Sciences and Educational Psychology is right for you. You will enhance your current career or be prepared for careers beyond formal instructional settings.

Program Overview

Our program delivers experiences that enable you to develop a principled understanding of how people think and learn and how to use that knowledge for designing, implementing, and evaluating instruction, technology, and the social and material components of learning environments beyond the classroom alone.

Your program advisor will help guide you through the requirements for degree completion.

Program Requirements

For a complete list of courses and requirements

Capstone project

Your experience in the MA in Learning Sciences and Educational Psychology program will culminate in a capstone project of your choosing tailored to your educational and career goals. You will work with your program advisor to choose which of the following is the right option for you:

  • Professional Portfolio: you will assemble pieces for a professional portfolio that will reflect your personal and professional growth and understanding about applying research and theories from Learning Sciences and Educational Psychology.
  • Internship/practicum: you will show your depth of learning from the program by engaging in a real-world project with a client.
  • Comprehensive examination: you will complete an examination including two sections. These sections are scheduled as two 3-hour blocks, each covering a different focus on content.

Admissions and Application

Application Deadline:

Late applications are allowed but may not be considered for funding.

  • January 15 (Fall semester)
  • October 1 (Spring semester)

Review of applications begins February 1, when applicants who wish to be considered for fellowships and other awards are screened. Admission decisions are announced approximately six weeks after the application deadline.

  • A bachelor’s degree from a Regionally Accredited American College or University, or an equivalent degree from another country as determined by the Office of Admissions.
  • Undergraduate grade-point average (GPA) of 3.00 or better on a four-point scale.
  • Graduate GPA or 3.00 or better on a four-point scale.
  • One of the following two items: GRE scores (preferred) OR an academic or professional writing sample (e.g., academic paper (coursework or publication), project report, research proposal, creative work that includes a written component). Please note that the GRE is not required for graduate assistantships, teaching assistantships, or research assistantships within the College of Education, nor is it required for Graduate College fellowships. The GRE is a requirement for Special Graduate Assistantships (SGAs) offered through the Iowa Measurement and Research Foundation.
  • English Proficiency Requirements (international applicants)

  • Copies of official transcripts of all previous college work, graduate and undergraduate.
  • Personal Statement addressing motivation for attending graduate school in general and the University of Iowa specifically; motivation for seeking advanced degree in Learning Sciences and Educational Psychology; potential research interests (Ph.D. applicants); and specific things you have done that are relevant to your desire to attend and potential success in graduate school
  • International students: Official TOEFL scores may be required for some non-native speakers of English
  • 3 academic or professional references who will be prompted by our admissions system to provide letters of recommendation. You will be asked to give the contact information of your recommenders, including their email, on your Admissions Profile. The recommender will then get an email with instructions on how to upload the recommendation letter and/or form.

Following an initial review of your application, you may be asked to participate in a Zoom interview with one or more of our LSEP faculty members. There is nothing to prepare for this interview. It provides our faculty an opportunity to better understand your graduate school goals and provides you an opportunity to ask questions about our LSEP program.

  • Applicants who accept admission or financial aid and do not relinquish either one on or before April 15 may not solicit or accept another offer. Offers made by the program after April 15 include the provision that the offer is void if the applicant has accepted and continues to hold a previous offer from another program listed in the American Psychological Association publication Graduate Study in Psychology and Associated Fields. This policy is consistent with standards set by the association's Board of Educational Affairs.

Apply Now

Please review the required supplemental documents above before starting the general graduate application. There is a $60 application fee for students residing in the United States. There is a $100 application fee for international applicants. To begin the general graduate application process, set up an account with an existing email address and password

Contact Us


Application questions can be directed to: Anne Sparks, 319-335-2146, anne-sparks@uiowa.edu.

We look forward to receiving your application!