Learning & Mind Sciences

Learning and Mind Sciences


Portrait of child wearing psychometric head gear Learning is what defines us as humans, not only in formal classrooms but across our whole lives. In Learning and Mind Sciences, we focus on the learner. Within the School of Education and beyond, our faculty examine learning and development—in sociocultural contexts and among diverse and special-needs populations—and how best to assess, measure, and investigate these fascinating and complex processes. Collectively our work crosses a wide spectrum of fields, from the micro-level of neurological development to the macro-level of social systems, yet learners are always at the center of our attention.  In addition to conducting basic research, we are also makers and designers. We create and study learning environments, learning technologies, learning and behavioral interventions, and measurement and assessment systems. Come build the future of learning with us. 

Course Information

Graduate students in Learning and Mind Sciences typically specialize in one of the following strands, although course enrollment across areas is common and encouraged:

Assessment, Measurement, and Psychometrics


Sample Courses

  • 203 – Educational Testing and Evaluation
  • 237 – Survey Research Methods
  • Psych 205F – Item Response Theory
  • Psych 205C – Structural Equation Modeling

Learning, Design, and Social Context


Sample Courses

  • 210 – The Psychology of School Learning
  • 211 – Social & Situative Perspectives on Learning & Cognition
  • 209 – Image-based Field Research
  • 292* – Digital Literacies
  • 292 – Informal Learning 

Cognition and Interventions for Special Populations


Training Opportunities

Sample Courses

  • 292* – School Based Interventions for Neurodevelopmental Disorders
  • 242 – Text Comprehension
  • 213 – Individual Differences and Assessment in Education
  • Psych 212A – Developmental Psychology: Cognitive & Perceptual Development
  • Psych 230 – Cognitive Psychology

PhD students are admitted into the emphasis area and into a faculty advisor’s research lab.  Full-time students who are willing to commit to a complete immersion in the graduate school experience can be fully funded by a combination of research assistantships, teaching assistantships, and fellowships. 

Alumni Information

LMS graduates pursue careers in academic and non-academic environments. Recent graduates are currently employed as faculty at research-intensive and teaching-focused universities and colleges, post-doctoral researchers, academic staff, specialists and program evaluators for non-profits, clinicians, and measurement scientists.

Some recent graduates 

  • Laura Greiss-Hess, PhD: Assistant Professor of Special Education, Dominican University, San Rafael CA
  • Ali Sakkal, PhD: Assistant Professor of Education, Wake Forest University
  • Kevin Lai, PhD: Post-doctoral researcher, University of California, Berkeley
  • Maria Regalado, PhD: Faculty Research Chair, Educational Psychology, Sacramento City College
  • Betsy Faber Rogers, MA: Project Manager, Gateways Project, UC Davis Arboretum
  • Heather Breen Worker, MA: Data and Evaluation Specialist, First Place for Youth, Oakland CA

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