A PhD in the Learning Sciences
UIC's PhD program in the learning sciences takes an interdisciplinary approach to the study of learning and the design of learning environments. Students pursue the study of learning in relation to a disciplinary specialization of their choosing.
***Please note: At present, the LSRI graduate program is open for the academic year 2021-22. However. we are expecting to have a smaller intake year than normal, with possibly limited funding available. We anticipate that admissions for the academic year 2022-23 will return to normal.***
All students take a series of six core courses plus five semesters of the reading seminar Journal Club. These courses are taught by LSRI faculty. They also take a number of electives in an outside disciplinary specialization that they choose in consultation with their advisor. In this way, students are able to pursue a study plan tailored to their own interests in the arts, literacy, mathematics, computer sciences, biology and more.
We guarantee every accepted student five years of funding.
Every student who is accepted to the highly selective PhD program is fully funded for five years, either by fellowship or through appointment as a research assistant.
Students will accrue valuable experience in their chosen discipline.
Students have the opportunity to work as research assistants on a faculty research project that interests them. This work is one of the ways we fund graduate study.
Accepted students join a vibrant, diverse community of research.
As part of a richly diverse student body, students also have the opportunity to contribute to UIC's commitment to serving underrepresented populations by working in urban communities and contexts.
Frequently Asked Questions
Learning Sciences is the interdisciplinary study of how people learn, in both formal and informal contexts.
The four key questions addressed by learning sciences:
- How do people learn?
- How can we promote and improve learning?
- How do we know what has been learned?
- What learning is valued?
Some things learning scientists do:
- conduct research in elementary school classrooms
- conduct research in zoos
- conduct research in college classrooms
- conduct research in museums
- design useful learning environments based on research
- create tools and technologies to improve instruction
- create new forms of assessment
- study how assessment feeds back into the teaching and learning process
- study cognition
- study the social and cultural dimensions of learning
- study how emerging technologies bolster the human capacity for learning
- study embodiment and learning
Our graduates work
- as university professors
- as learning designers and researchers for non-profit and for-profit research companies
- in design and evaluation centers at local Chicago museums
- teaching K-12
We are a traditional full-time program that holds courses during the day on weekdays. We don’t offer evening or online courses.
We discourage students from working full-time while pursuing their PhD. The program is extremely rigorous. That being said, students often work part-time as research assistants on faculty projects or as TAs.
- We are committed to working with our admitted students to ensure support through the fifth year of study. This support usually takes the form of research or teaching assistantships and fellowships.
- We also encourage our students to learn more about the resources UIC makes available to you. The UIC Graduate College offers information about grants, assistantships, fellowships, scholarships and loans that are provided by the university and outside sources. The Office of Student Financial Aid may also have relevant resources. Tuition and fees are set by the University of Illinois Board of Trustees.
Probably, though we consider each student’s situation individually. The admissions process includes an evaluation of the applicant’s record, desired specialization, and a decision regarding any modifications to the Learning Sciences program requirements.