How do cognition, motivation, social interaction and culture affect human learning and development? These are some of the fascinating topics you’ll study through UWM’s Learning and Development Program.

This graduate-level program emphasizes the perspective of the learner and trains students to conduct cutting-edge research applied to a broad range of learning contexts — from schools to museums to home — throughout the human lifespan. Students in the L&D program can pursue a master’s or doctoral degree in Educational Psychology while working closely with one of our faculty members.

Graduates of the MS program go on to pursue a PhD (often in Educational Psychology or a related field) or find jobs in education and/or research settings in the private or public sectors. Many graduates of our PhD program pursue careers at research institutes and universities.

Why Choose Our Program?

  • You’ll develop a deep understanding of the psychological foundations of education and explore the latest theories and research related to human learning and development.
  • You’ll work closely with internationally known faculty who have a wide range of research interests, including normative development of ethnically diverse youth, generalization in young learners, and how individual and familial processes are shaped by cultural contexts, including immigration.
  • You’ll be well prepared for jobs in education, research, marketing, program evaluation and more.

Program Faculty

Susie D. Lamborn, PhD, Associate Professor
Dr. Lamborn’s research focuses on adolescents and their families, seeking an empirically-based understanding of the normative development of ethnically diverse youth.

Chris Lawson, PhD, Assistant Professor
Dr. Lawson’s research examines the development of generalization: How do children use what they have learned in one situation to make sense of new situations? The main goal of this work is to understand which examples and situations are the most likely to support generalization in young learners.

Jacqueline Nguyen, PhD, Assistant Professor
Dr. Nguyen’s research explores the ways individual and familial processes (such as ethnic identity development, acculturation, and parent-child/adolescent interactions) are shaped by cultural contexts, including immigration. She specializes in qualitative research and working with community organizations.

About The Program

Students completing the PhD program receive a PhD in Educational Psychology from the School of Education with a specialization in Learning and Development. Students completing the master’s program receive an MS in Educational Psychology with a specialization in Learning and Development; this does not lead to licensure or state certification.

Courses Include

ED PSY 330: Theories of Learning and Development
ED PSY 640: Human Development: Theory and Research
ED PSY 735: Social Cognition
ED PSY 845: Immigrant Children in Developmental Perspective
ED PSY 844: The Multicultural Family

Learning & Development Course Rotation
Upcoming L&D course rotation (subject to change) can be found below and at schedule.uwm.edu.

CourseFall 2015Spring 2016Fall 2016Spring 2017Fall 2017Spring 2018
220: Positive PsychologyXXXXXX
631: CognitionX
640: Human DevelopmentXXXXXX
734: MotivationXX
735: Social CognitionXXX
743: Infancy & Early Childhood
746: AdolescenceX
747: Adult DevelopmentX
833: Psych of Race and EthnicityXX
840: Theories & Issues in Human DevelopmentX
844: The Multicultural FamilyX
845: Immigrant ChildrenXX
779: Special Topics (Teaching Psychology; for Current TAs)XXXXXX
Informational Meetings
Interested in learning more about the MS or PhD degree in Learning & Development program? Please come to campus for our monthly information meeting.

Upcoming meetings in Fall 2016 will be on Fridays of August 26, October 14 and November 4 from 2:00 – 3:00 pm. Meetings will be held in Enderis Hall room 788 located at 2400 E. Hartford Ave. In September, it will be on Thursday, September 15th from 4:00 – 5:00 pm in Enderis 778. The meeting is informal and does not require a reservation in advance. However, please let Dr. Jacqueline Nguyen (nguyen39@uwm.edu) know if you plan to attend.

Master’s Program

The MS degree requires 30 credits, which may include up to 6 thesis credits. Thesis students typically take more than 30 credits. You’ll begin the program with 9 credits of core courses that include the 600-level courses in Development (640), Cognition (631), and Statistics (624). Next, you’ll take 5 courses chosen in consultation with your advisor. Lastly, you’ll take 6 additional credits as electives and may choose electives from a program other than Learning and Development. You may choose to write a thesis or take a 3-hour comprehensive examination in the final semester of your coursework.

You can also participate in research activities with our faculty, though it’s not a required component of the MS degree program.

MS Application Process

Application to the Master’s program requires submission of materials to both the UWM Graduate School and the Department of Educational Psychology. The L&D area reviews applications twice a year. All application materials must be submitted to the UWM Graduate School by the stated deadlines.

The program requires 3 letters of recommendation. These letters can be uploaded electronically through the Graduate School’s online application.

UWM Graduate School Online Application Form

PhD Program

In addition to coursework, you’ll work closely with faculty to develop research skills that will help you prepare for research and teaching positions in academic settings as well as other leadership roles that require expertise in development, learning and research skills. Faculty mentorship is centered on the development of a thesis topic that will become your dissertation. Additionally, throughout the program, you will have opportunities to gain research experience by working on projects with one or more of our professors. The PhD is granted upon a successful defense of your dissertation research. Learn more about degree requirements on UWM’s Graduate School website.

PhD Application Process

Application to the PhD program requires submission of materials to both the UWM Graduate School and the Department of Educational Psychology. The L&D area reviews applications twice a year. All application materials must be submitted to the UWM Graduate School by the stated deadlines.

The program requires 3 letters of recommendation. These letters can be uploaded electronically through the Graduate School’s online application.

UWM Graduate School Online Application Form

Advising

Chris Lawson, PhD
Assistant Professor & Area Chair
Educational Psychology
lawson2@uwm.edu

Program FAQ

Learning and Development Program Frequently Asked Questions (PDF)