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School of Education - George Mason University

Bachelor's/Accelerated Master's Learning, Cognition, and Motivation Concentration

Mason undergraduates are eligible to apply to this bachelor's/accelerated master's program, which allows them to obtain both a bachelor's degree and a master's degree within an accelerated time frame. The program also offers the advantage of paying undergraduate tuition rates for graduate classes taken while finishing the bachelor’s degree, with some graduate classes able to count towards both degrees.

The MS degree program trains students to conduct research to develop new methods of learning and conveying knowledge. Graduates are prepared to design and implement effective educational programs that are appropriate for a broad range of cultural contexts and that meet the needs of diverse populations, including those who might not benefit from traditional teaching strategies.

What Is Educational Psychology?

Educational psychology is the branch of psychology concerned with the scientific study of human learning. Studying learning processes from cognitive, social, emotional, and developmental perspectives allows researchers to understand individual differences in intelligence, cognitive development, affect, motivation, self-regulation, and self-concept as well as their roles in learning. The field of educational psychology relies heavily on research methods such as testing and measurement to enhance educational activities related to instructional design, classroom management, and assessment and to facilitate learning processes in various educational settings across the lifespan.

Educational psychology is interdisciplinary, informed primarily by psychology, neuroscience, sociology, and cultural studies. It in turn informs a wide range of specialties within educational studies, including instructional design, educational technology, curriculum development, organizational learning, decision making, adult education, special education, and management.

What Does an Educational Psychologist Do?

An educational psychologist may:

  • Assess learning and emotional needs by observing and consulting with multidisciplinary teams to advise on the best approaches and provisions to support learning development
  • Evaluate and analyze teaching methods, training methods, and educational programs
  • Create and develop new educational methods, instruments, or programs
  • Formulate interventions that focus on applying knowledge, skills, and expertise to support local and national initiatives
  • Advise, support, educate, and negotiate with teachers, parents, and other educational professionals
  • Facilitate meetings, discussions, seminars, and courses
  • Review and develop policies

What Are Some Potential Careers for Graduates of the Program?

Students who choose the learning, cognition, and motivation concentration may pursue careers as:

  • community college instructors
  • consultants to families of children with specific needs in specialty areas
  • curriculum specialists
  • instructional coaches
  • research assistants or associates on grant-funded research teams