- Doctor of Philosophy
Nature of the Program
Scholars in the Learning Sciences and Human Development (LSHD) study learning and development where it happens: in classrooms and on playgrounds, in community centers and on street corners, at kitchen tables and in barber shops, in forests and in fields. Our empirical inquiries are guided by theories of cognition, development, culture, and design. Our program includes a diverse range of faculty from the LSHD department - as well as many faculty affiliates from departments across the college and university - to support innovative and interdisciplinary projects.
Our PhD program positions students for success through extensive research and teaching apprenticeships; support to accomplish authentic research milestones, including published journal articles and national conference presentations; funding for at least three years; and carefully scaffolded coursework designed to guide doctoral work at each stage of the process. Each cohort travels through core courses and milestones together, providing a peer network to complement faculty support.
In addition to the PhD in Learning Sciences and Human Development, students will select a specialization track in Cognition & Learning; Human Development & Family Sciences; Instructional Design & Technology; Research, Evaluation, & Analysis; or an individually-designed track in consultation with advisors.
- Malayna Berstein - PhD (Northwestern University)
Research & Teaching Interests: Teacher Cognition, Professional Development, Reading, Qualitative Research Methods
- William Beasley - Ed.D. (University of Georgia)
Research & Teaching Interests: Instructor presence in online environments, integration of external technologies with learning management systems, elearning in cross-cultural contexts
- Carla Brigandi - Ph.D. (University of Connecticut)
Research & Teaching Interests: Gifted Education and Talent Development, Educational Psychology
- Reagan Curtis - Ph.D. (University of California at Santa Barbara)
Research & Teaching Interests: Educational Psychology, Interdisciplinary Human Development, Cognitive Science, Program Evaluation and Research Methodologies
- Kimberly Floyd - Ph.D. (Old Dominion University)
Research & Teaching Interests: Assistive Technologies, Special Education
- D. Jake Follmer - Ph.D. (Pennsylvania State University)
Research & Teaching Interests: Readers’ strategic processing and comprehension of expository text; self-regulated learning; Program evaluation and assessment
- Ugur Kale - Ph.D. (Indiana University Bloomington)
Research & Teaching Interests: Instructional Design, Computational Thinking, Technology Integration, Online Learning, Professional Development, Teacher Education
- Kristin Moilanen - Ph.D. (University of Nebraska)
Research & Teaching Interests: Adolescent Development, Self Regulation, Risk Behavior, Family Relationships
- Melissa Patchan - Ph.D. (University of Pittsburgh)
Research & Teaching Interests: Mechanisms of Peer Assessment of Writing, Effectiveness and Validity of Peer Feedback, Issues of Measurement, Multiple Sources, and Validity of Peer Ratings
- Amy Root - Ph.D. (University of Maryland, College Park)
Research & Teaching Interests: Parenting and the Development of Emotional Competence, Individual Differences, Development of Shy/Wary Behavior
- Abhik Roy - Ph.D. (Western Michigan University)
Research & Teaching Interests: Program Evaluation, Unification of Evaluation Practice and Theory (Grand Theory), Research on Evaluation (ROE), Evaluation of Non Academic Units within Academia
- M Cecil Smith - Ph.D. (University of Wisconsin)
Research & Teaching Interests: Adult Literacy, Adult Development & Learning, Identity Development, Educational Psychology
- Jessica Troilo - Ph.D. (University of Missouri)
Research & Teaching Interests: Cultural Conceptions of Fathers, Divorced Fatherhood, Influence of Social Media on Relationships, Opioid Impact on Teachers
- Jiangmei Yuan - Ph.D. (University of Georgia)
Research & Teaching Interests: Learning, Design, and Technology; Formative Assessment, Feedback Design, and Learner Engagement in Online Learning Environments; Robotics in STEM Teacher Education
- Johnna Bolyard - Ph.D. (George Mason University)
Research & Teaching Interests: Mathematics Education, STEM Education, Teacher Education, Professional Development
- Matthew Campbell - Ph.D. (Oregon State University)
Research & Teaching Interests: Secondary Mathematics Education, Professional Development, Video Analysis
- Alexandra Hollo - Ph.D. (Vanderbilt University)
Research & Teaching Interests: Language and Communication Disorders, Emotional and Behavioral Disorders, Multicategorical Special Education
- Rodney Hughes - Ph.D. (Pennsylvania State University)
Research & Teaching Interests: Higher Education Administration, Rural Higher Education, Economics in Higher Education
- Melissa Luna - Ph.D. (Northwestern University)
Research & Teaching Interests: Science Education, Teacher Noticing, Garden-based Learning, Elementary Education
- Kimberly Meigh - Ph.D. (University of Pittsburgh)
Research & Teaching Interests: Memory, Motor Learning, Neurogenics, Speech
- Michelle Moore - Ph.D. (University of Pittsburgh)
Research & Teaching Interests: Hearing, Phonological Processing; Language and Literacy Disorders; Language, Acquisition; Phonological Processing, Reading Disabilities
- Natasha Murray-Everett - Ph.D. (University of Illinois-Urbana Champaign)
Research & Teaching Interests: Social Studies Education, Cultural Diversity
- Tiffany Mitchell Patterson - Ph.D. (George Mason University)
Research & Teaching Interests: Secondary Social Studies, Multilingual/multicultural education, Education Policy, Curriculum and Instruction
- Lisa Platt - Ph.D. (Pennsylvania State University)
Research & Teaching Interests: Transgender/Gender Diversity, LGBTQ Populations
- Audra Slocum - Ph.D. (Ohio State University)
Research & Teaching Interests: English Education, Diversity in Appalachia, Critical Literacy, Writing, Language, Teacher Education
- Keri Valentine - Ph.D. (University of Georgia)
Research & Teaching Interests: Learning, Design, and Technology; Mathematics Education, Game Design, Informal Learning Environments
Admissions Guidelines: Admissions are guided by a holistic and individualized assessment of each applicant, in tandem with an evaluation of how their interests and experience align with our faculty, courses, and funding opportunities. Our admissions standards are designed to help ensure that students who enter the program can successfully complete the degree and be competitive for subsequent employment opportunities.
Online applications can be found here [LINK to https://graduateadmissions.wvu.edu/how-to-apply]. When given the opportunity to select a program, choose “Learning Sciences & Human Development. Applications should include:
Letter of intent explaining purpose and motivation for a Ph.D. in Learning Sciences and Human Development. In this letter, applicants should briefly describe their scholarly interests, 1-3 faculty with whom they would like to work, how their interests align with those faculty members, and how they envision completing this program will further their long-term professional goals. Information about LSHD faculty can be found at lshd.wvu.edu/faculty-staff
Transcripts from all previous degree programs*
Three letters of recommendation from referees who can speak to your scholarly potential
Scholarly writing sample (e.g., course paper)
GRE, MAT or TOEFL scores, taken within five years of application*
An interview may be included in the review process at the discretion of the admissions committee
Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis until April 1. Applicants who submit their files by December 15 will have a greater chance of securing funding.
*In line with best practices for evaluation and assessment, set cutoff scores for tests and GPA are not used to make unidimensional admissions decisions. Instead, applicant materials are reviewed as a total package and admissions decisions are based on multidimensional factors. That said, successful applicants tend to be at or above the 75th percentile on the GRE or MAT, have undergraduate GPAs at or above 3.5, and graduate GPAs (if any) at or above 3.75.
Questions: Please do not hesitate to get in touch with questions.
Malayna Bernstein, Ph.D.
Director, Learning Sciences Programs
Allen Hall 604O
Reagan Curtis, Ph.D.
Professor and Chair
Department of Learning Sciences & Human Development
Allen Hall 506E
Administrative Secretary Senior
Department of Learning Sciences & Human Development
Allen Hall 506B
Doctor of Philosophy
|A minimum GPA of 3.00 is required of all coursework|
|LSHD 701||Theoretical Foundations of LSHD||3|
|LSHD 702||Major Topics of Inquiry across LSHD||3|
|LSHD 703||Empirical Design in LSHD||3|
|LSHD 704||New Directions in LSHD||3|
Select from one of the following specializations:
Cognition and Learning
Human Development and Family Sciences
Instructional Design and Technology
Measurement, Evaluation, and Research
Individualized Plan to be developed with advisor and program coordinator
|Statistical Methods 2|
|Mixing Research Methodologies|
|Advanced Qualitative Research|
Advanced Methods Elective
Major Learning Outcomes
Objective 1: Students will demonstrate a depth and breadth of knowledge in research, theory, and scholarship in Learning Sciences as the basis for growth over a professional career.
Objective 2: Students will conduct rigorous theory development and research using multiple and mixed methodologies to understand how people develop and learn in an array of formal and informal educational settings.
Objective 3: Students will design instructional events, environments, contexts, curricula, and interventions that facilitate deep learning and healthy development in an array of formal and informal educational settings.
Objective 4: Students will develop an understanding and appreciation of diverse cultures and contexts for human development and learning.
Objective 5: Students will model professional participation in an interdisciplinary community of scholars focused on promoting deep learning and healthy development of children and adults across a wide range of formal and informal educational settings.