Learning and Cognition


Ranked as a top 25 Educational Psychology degree program nationally, our Learning and Cognition program offers students and professionals an advanced understanding of cognition, learning, and developmental theories. Our students come from many backgrounds to apply Learning and Cognition in research, classroom, government, or organizational settings. A background in Educational Psychology allows our alumni to design and evaluate effective learning contexts, evaluate the research evidence behind education-related interventions, and (in the case of thesis and doctoral students), conduct research.

A degree in Educational Psychology does not lead to licensure in teaching, school counseling, or school psychology. Sometimes Educational Psychology is confused with School Counseling or School Psychology. School Counseling and School Psychology are separate professional degree programs in the Department of Educational Psychology & Learning Systems that lead to licensure. If you are interested in conducting mental health interventions or assessments, please check out the School Counseling and School Psychology programs.

As you progress through our Educational Psychology degree program, you will enjoy a highly individualized experience. You can also select the training that meets your needs, adding flexibility and customization to our educational psychology degree program.

Our program provides an excellent grounding in research. Furthermore, you’ll develop close working relationships with nationally and internationally recognized faculty. Faculty members work on important research and regularly involve students. Learn more about current research conducted by our Learning and Cognition faculty members:

  • Dr. Beth Phillips – early childhood education and the intersection of self-regulatory and literacy development
  • Dr. Alysia Roehrig – teacher professional development and fostering students’ literacy development
  • Dr. Jeannine Turner – student and teacher motivation for learning and the study of emotion in educational contexts

We offer educational psychology degrees at the master’s (online and on-campus) and doctoral levels.

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Admission Requirements

In order to meet minimum program admission requirements, an applicant must have:

  • For application to the master’s degree program: A bachelor’s degree with at least a 3.0 GPA – An earned bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited U.S. institution, or a comparable degree from an international institution, with a minimum 3.0 (on a 4.0 scale) grade point average (GPA) in all coursework attempted while registered as an upper-division undergraduate student working towards a bachelor’s degree.
  • For application to the doctoral degree program: A graduate degree with at least a 3.3 GPA – Applicants for PhD programs must have an earned graduate degree from a regionally accredited U.S. institution, or a comparable degree from an international institution, with a minimum 3.3 (on a 4.0 scale) grade point average (GPA).
  • GRE test scores – Official test results are required from the General Test of the Graduate Record Examination (GRE). The Educational Testing Service (ETS) does not retain scores longer than five years. If your test scores are older than five years, you may have to retake the test to have official scores sent directly to FSU from the testing agency. If you have the official report that was mailed to your home address for older scores, then FSU will accept that report. FSU Institution Code: 5219.

Target Scores:
Verbal – 50th percentile (with preference given to those at 75th percentile or above)
Quantitative – 20th percentile (with preference given to those at 35th percentile or above)
Analytical – 3.5

Note: The GRE requirement will be waived for outstanding applicants to the master's program (non-thesis track) who meet ONE of the following criteria:

  • Two years of experience as an instructional (e.g., K-12 teacher, college instructor, trainer, etc.) or non-instructional (e.g., instructional designer, curriculum expert, etc.) educational professional, OR
  • Successful completion of 6 graduate credit hours from the Learning and Cognition program with a graduate GPA of 3.30 or higher, OR
  • Passing score on the General Knowledge Test of the Florida Certification Teacher Exam or an equivalent teacher certification examination (e.g., PRAXIS), OR
  • A completed master’s, J.D., M.D., or Ph.D. degree with a 3.0 (or better) GPA from a regionally accredited U.S. institution, or a comparable degree from an international institution.

NOTE: The GRE requirements for master’s and specialist programs have been waived for the Spring 2021, Summer 2021, and Fall 2021 terms.

  • Language proficiency test scores  International applicants whose native language is not English are required to submit language proficiency test scores.

Target Scores:
TOEFL (paper-based) – 575
TOEFL (internet-based) – 90
IELTS – 6.5
MELAB – 80

If you have received a bachelor’s degree or master’s degree from a U.S. institution or other institution where English is the required language of instruction, this test requirement may be waived.

  • Transcripts  Applicants must submit an official transcript (in a sealed envelope) from each college and/or university attended to the Office of Graduate Admissions:

Florida State University
Office of Graduate Admissions
314 Westcott Building
P.O. Box 3061410
Tallahassee, FL 32306-1410

For this program, the following supporting documents must be uploaded to the Admissions Application Portal:

  • Personal Statement (1 required)  The personal statement should describe you purpose for pursuing a degree, qualifications, and long-term career goals and should be no more than 3 pages in length.
  • Letters of Recommendation (3 required)
    • Letters of recommendation should be written by persons who are in a position to comment on the likelihood of your success within the department.
    • Learning and Cognition program applicants are encouraged to submit at least 2 letters written by faculty
    • International students may, if they wish, substitute Confidential Report forms for letters of recommendation.
  • Resume/Curriculum Vitae (1 required)
  • Writing Sample
  • Unofficial Transcripts  Include transcripts from all colleges attended. Uploading a copy will expedite the review process, though you must still send official copies to the Office of Admissions.

Application Deadlines

Priority Application Submission Deadlines

  • Fall admission: February 15
  • Spring admission (for non-thesis MS only): October 1

We strongly recommend that PhD applicants complete their applications early (by Dec 15) to be considered for fellowships beginning in the following Fall semester.

Final Application Submission Deadlines

  • Fall admission: July 1
  • Spring admission (for non-thesis MS only): November 1

These are the final University deadlines by which all application materials must be received for applications to be reviewed.

Tuition & Aid

Information about tuition and fees at Florida State is available here. You can learn more about the scholarship and aid opportunities for College of Education students here.

Career Opportunities

An important focus of our educational psychology program is on developing the reflective researcher and practitioner- someone who critically assesses their own practices by acquiring the knowledge of how to study learning and behavior systematically.

The master’s degree is designed for students and professionals interested in learning, cognition, development and group processes in a variety of contexts, such as the classroom at any level, government, private enterprise, nonprofits, and other organizational settings. For example, you may be a teacher, a supervisor concerned with adult learning processes to develop employees who are prepared to meet the challenges of the 21st century workplace, or a professional who develops training seminars.

Students who complete their doctorates in our program become university faculty or independent researchers in government or private industry settings.


Check out the video below to learn more about the field of educational psychology, including career opportunities!


Admissions Contact