The Learning Sciences & Human Development (LSHD) master's program focuses on research, theory and professional knowledge, with an emphasis on learning and teaching in K–12 educational settings—both inside and outside of the traditional classroom. The program is structured in accordance with a researcher-practitioner model, with primary emphasis given to academic study and research. Students in the MA in LSHD should expect to engage in rigorous and robust individual and collaborative inquiry around key issues and concepts of learning design, pedagogy, and individual and social cognitive development.
The program is designed to provide an academic and practical foundation that prepares students for a variety of career pathways, for example, for work in K–12 education, with youth-serving community organizations, or employment in the private sector. In addition, faculty advisors and students build programs of study that meet both the program goals and the student's interests.
To make the most of the LSHD MA program, it is helpful—though not required—for students to have taken coursework focused on learning and human development. For example, courses that address topics such as how people learn, cognition and the social and cultural contexts of development, including the study of culture, race, ethnicity, gender or linguistics would be relevant. Commensurate professional or paraprofessional experience in educational settings—in and out of school and with youth and adults—is also a valued prior experience.
Required Courses and Credits
Students must successfully complete 30 credit hours of approved coursework while maintaining at least a B (3.0) average in all work attempted while enrolled.
Students develop a degree plan in consultation with their faculty advisor, typically in their first semester. The frequency of course offerings varies; therefore, candidates should plan ahead so that the required 30 credit hours are completed within the four-year limit.
|EDUC 5716||Basic Statistical Methods||3|
|EDUC 5726||Introduction to Disciplined Inquiry||3|
|EDUC 6318||Psychological Foundations of Education||3|
|EDUC 6328||Advanced Child Growth and Educational Development||3|
|Choose at least 6 additional credit hours of courses at the 5000 level or above from within the School of Education, to be chosen from the following categories in consultation with your advisor. (Suggested options below.) 1||6|
|Learning and Development|
|Seminar: Human Learning|
|Seminar: Human Development|
|Curriculum and Instruction|
|Teaching for Understanding and Equity|
|Learning and Technology|
See special topics courses.
|Philosophy of Education|
|Area of Specialization|
|Students will develop their Area of Specialization in close dialogue with their advisor. Courses for the Area of Specialization may be taken outside or inside of the School of Education.||6|
|Total Credit Hours||30|
GRTE courses may not count toward a master's degree.
The capstone project is the culminating academic experience for students in the MA program. The capstone project is meant to provide a context in which students can use the conceptual and methodological tools, along with their grounded professional experiences to develop a project designed to integrate their lived experiences with the knowledge they have gained through coursework.
Students will be supported to develop their capstone project through three phases.
Phase 1: In EDUC 5726 Introduction to Disciplined Inquiry, students will develop a literature review focused on a topic of interest connected to the study of learning sciences and human development.
Phase 2: In EDUC 5XXX Critical Design for Learning and Development, students will develop their proposal for their capstone project. This will involve building on the literature review they developed in EDUC 5726 and then identifying, with the course instructor, how they could ground their understandings in a real world setting. The proposed project will be an empirical investigation; it could take multiple forms such as an observational study or an intervention study or a process of improvement developed in collaboration with an external organization. Students can take EDUC 5XXX Critical Design for Learning and Development, contact their faculty advisor to make appropriate arrangements to support the capstone work.
Phase 3: In EDUC 6945 MA Capstone Seminar in Foundations of Education, students will complete their proposed study and write a report of their findings. Students are expected to draw on their coursework and independent research to develop their capstone project. The students will share their written proposal with the instructor of EDUC 5726, their advisor, and (as appropriate) the external organization with whom they are collaborating to get feedback on their plans. Although students are not required to implement their intervention, they need to discuss the research that supports their logic, methods, and claims.
The master's degree must be completed within four years.
Transfer credit is defined as any credit earned at another accredited institution, credits earned on another campus of the CU system, or credits earned as a nondegree student within the CU system. Students who have transfer credits must complete the transfer of credit paperwork.
The maximum amount of work that may be transferred from another accredited institution to CU Boulder is 9 credit hours, and is accepted only after approval of the department chair/program director and under the special conditions outlined in the Graduate School Rules. All courses accepted for transfer must be graduate-level courses. A course in which a grade of B- or lower was received will not be accepted for transfer.
Transfer coursework must have been completed in the five years prior to acceptance to the program. Credit may not be transferred until the student has completed 6 credits of graduate-level coursework as a degree-seeking student on the CU Boulder campus with a 3.0 GPA.