MS Learning, Cognition, and Motivation Concentration
This 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
Educational Psychology Core Courses (9 credits)
- EDEP 550: Theories of Learning and Cognition (3 credits)
- EDEP 551: Principles of Learner Motivation (3 credits)
- EDEP 632: Human Development (3 credits)
Research Methodology Core Courses (9 credits)
- EDRS 590: Education Research (3 credits)
- EDRS 620: Quantitative Inquiry in Education (3 credits)
- EDRS 621: Qualitative Inquiry in Education (3 credits)
Learning, Cognition, and Motivation Concentration Courses (6 credits)
- EDRS 531: Educational and Psychological Measurement (3 credits)
- EDEP 798: Directed Inquiry in Educational Psychology (3 credits)
Learning, Cognition, and Motivation Concentration Course Electives (6 credits)
Select two from below:
- EDEP 653: Culture and Intelligence (3 credits)
- EDEP 654: Learning, Motivation, and Self-Regulation (3 credits)
- EDEP 597: Special Topics in Educational Psychology (3 credits)
Total: 30 credits
(classes starting in August)
(classes starting in January)
(classes starting in May, June, or July)
Priority*: April 1
Space Available: August 1
Priority*: November 1
Space Available: January 4
Priority*: February 1
Space Available: May 1
For more information and to apply, visit the admissions website.
* Priority deadline ensures consideration for the intended semester as well as financial aid options for students. Programs will continue to review applications until at capacity. Some programs do not review applications past the priority deadline.
All application materials must be submitted through Mason’s online graduate application. In addition to meeting general university admissions requirements, applicants will need to provide the requirements below. Please review the FAQ page for more information.
To be considered for graduate studies, the following items are evaluated during the admission review process:
- Graduate application and fee
- 750- to 1,000-word written statement of your goals and interest in the program
- Current resume
- Two letters of recommendation: Applicants should follow the instructions included in the online application to submit the recommendation forms directly to their recommenders. Mason does not accept paper recommendations. Recommendations should be professional or academic in nature.
- Transcripts from all previous institutions attended in the United States. Please refer to the Office of Graduate Admissions information page for specific requirements regarding uploading unofficial transcripts.
- Applicants with transcripts from institutions outside of the United States could have additional requirements. Please refer to the How To Apply page for specific requirements about submitting international transcripts, evaluations, and English language proficiency.
Admission to graduate programs at George Mason University is competitive. Applicants are evaluated on the strength of their academic backgrounds, results of standardized exams (if required by the program), work experience, and any additional evidence of potential success in the program. Faculty admissions review is a holistic review of requirements as well as the applicant’s potential academic and professional success upon completion of the program.
At a minimum all admitted students must have:
- An earned baccalaureate from a regionally accredited institution of higher education, or international equivalent, verified from official transcripts. Expectation of an earned baccalaureate prior to the first day of classes for the term for which the student is applying will also meet this requirement. See the graduate admissions policy for more information.
- A minimum 3.00 GPA on a 4.00 scale in baccalaureate study. The GPA requirement may be higher for some graduate programs. The university, at its discretion, may additionally consider the difficulty of the baccalaureate degree, relevant work experience, and/or other evidence of ability to succeed in graduate study when evaluating the GPA requirement.
- International students should reference Admission of International Students for additional requirements.
|TUITION CLASSIFICATION||COST PER CREDIT|
(includes MSF*; discounted from $1,624.25)
|VA Resident and PK-12 VA Educator enrolled in a CEHD graduate program**||$603.25
|CEHD Course Fee||$25.00 - $84.00|
|Total Cost for Virginia Residents per Credit||$734.70 - $793.70|
|Total Cost for Non-Virginia Residents per Credit||$934.70 - $993.70|
|Total cost for VA Resident and PK-12 VA Educator enrolled in a CEHD graduate program*||$628.25 - $687.25|
|Graduate New Student Fee
(non-refundable, one-time fee)
Please Note: Refer to the Students Accounts Office website for more information on tuition and fees. Internship courses will incur a higher course fee to fund on-site assistance involving intensive clinical training/supervision.
*Mandatory Student Fee (MSF): $150.25
**VA state residents who are eligible must apply for the 15% PreK-16 VA Educators Discount in order to take advantage of the lower tuition. Eligible students receive 15% off the total tuition and mandatory student fee.
For information on loans and scholarships, visit the Office of Student Financial Aid. For information regarding grants, tuition waivers, and other merit aid, please inquire with your graduate department. Also, many school districts offer tuition reimbursement options. Speak to your employer for more information.