University of Pittsburgh

School of Education

Learning Sciences and Policy Program


4200 Fifth Ave

Pittsburgh, PA 15260

United States


1-412- 624-9300

Program Information

Degrees Offered:

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) - Learning Sciences and Policy

Format: Campus

Program Description:

In 2007, the University of Pittsburgh established a Learning Policy Center and a Learning Science and Policy (LSAP) Ph.D. program to advance ideas that lie at the intersection of policy and learning. The LPC utilizes the rich talent pool of the School of Education, the Learning Research and Development Center, the Institute For Learning and other regional assets to connect high quality learning research with education policy decision-makers. Our goal is to produce a yearly cohort of 5 to 8 nationally-competitive research scholars who have the training, track-record and vision to become leaders in understanding and promoting educational change. 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. Unique Features of the Learning Sciences and Policy Program • Admitted students will be guaranteed full funding (for 5 years) through research assistantships that will allow them to work alongside active researchers on funded research programs. • 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. • 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, & Content Area Learning. • Rigorous training in quantitative, qualitative and mixed research methods. We invite you to visit our website to learn more about our current projects.


Education Policy Alliance; American Associate of Colleges for Teacher Education; and Association of Colleges and Schools of Education

International Student Requirements:

In addition to the general admission requirements listed on our website, international students need to complete an additional forms and to provide an official score report from ETS for the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), with a minimum score of 550 on the written test, 213 on the computer-based test, or 80 on the internet-based test. Additional details can be found on our website.

Facts & Figures

Classification: Doctoral/Research University—Extensive

Loans Offered: To determine eligiblity for federal student aid, students should begin by completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Federal School Code: 00337900

Locale: Large City

Size & Settings: 0-999

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