2020-2021 Graduate Catalog 
    Apr 21, 2021  
2020-2021 Graduate Catalog

Applied Learning and Instruction MA ►

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College: Community Innovation and Education Degree: MA
Department: Learning Sciences and Educational Research Option: Thesis, Nonthesis
Program Website: https://ccie.ucf.edu/lser/applied-learning-and-instruction/
Graduate Program Handbook

Program Description

The Master of Arts in Applied Learning and Instruction program is designed for students from diverse academic majors who have an interest in the application of psychological theories and research to improving learning, instruction, and training in a variety of instructional contexts.

Graduates of the program will be prepared for a wide range of professional education, government, and industry positions, and for conducting activities such as instruction, training, evaluation, and consulting.

Students are able to tailor the program to meet their particular needs and interests by choosing among a large variety of courses for their concentration, including courses in teaching, instructional design, program evaluation, and psychological foundations. Courses are available in mixed mode (M) or fully online (W). The degree can be completed in the fully online mode.

Specialization and core courses are offered in the areas of the psychology of teaching and learning, motivation, human development, measurement, and research methodology. Both a thesis and a non-thesis option are available. All students will be required to complete a comprehensive examination before completing the program.

Applications are accepted only for Fall admission. There are no Spring or Summer applicants accepted.

Please note: Applied Learning and Instruction (MA) may be completed fully online, although not all elective options or program prerequisites may be offered online. Newly admitted students choosing to complete this program exclusively via UCF online classes may enroll with a reduction in campus-based fees.

International students (F or J visa) are required to enroll in a full-time course load of 9 credit hours during the fall and spring semesters. Only 3 of the 9 credit hours may be taken in a completely online format. For a detailed listing of enrollment requirements for international students, please visit http://global.ucf.edu/. If you have questions, please consult UCF Global at 407-823-2337.

UCF is not authorized to provide online courses or instruction to students in some states. Refer to State Restrictions for current information.


The Applied Learning and Instruction MA (ALIMA) program requires a minimum of 33 credit hours beyond the bachelor’s degree including 15 credit hours of core courses, 12 credit hours of specialization, and 6 credit hours of a research component. The research component can be completed by choosing the thesis or nonthesis option, which requires a 6 credit hour Capstone research course. The program of study can be tailored to meet the specific needs of each student. The degree program can be completed in mixed mode (M) or fully online (W) formats.

Total Credit Hours Required: 33 Credit Hours Minimum beyond the Bachelor’s Degree

In addition to the course work, students are expected to meet the Continuous Attendance policy for graduate students. Please see the Continuous Attendance and Special Leave of Absence  policies in the Graduate Catalog.

Required Courses—27 Credit Hours

Specialization—12 Credit Hours

Students have the choice of taking specialization courses in multiple areas. Specialization courses may be taken within one specialization, or from multiple specializations. The purpose of this choice is to provide course offerings which appeal to student interest, but concurrently facilitate depth of knowledge in a particular discipline.

The student, program director and student advisers together determine a course of study to meet the student’s needs while simultaneously developing core knowledge in a specific area with the adviser’s approval. In addition, the adviser may approve courses taken as part of a UCF certificate program for this area of the MA (up to 12 credit hours). The adviser must approve all specialization courses.


Other electives to be determined by adviser with program approval.

Program Evaluation

Other electives to be determined by adviser with program approval.

Thesis Option—6 Credit Hours

  • EDF 6971 - Thesis 6 Credit Hours

Steps for Completing a Master’s Thesis

  1. Submit a 2–3 page thesis prospectus and preliminary bibliography on a topic to their thesis adviser. Prior to enrollment into thesis credit hours, the student will identify a Thesis Committee to be further approved by the College Graduate Dean and the College of Graduate Studies. This committee is chaired by the adviser and includes two or more additional faculty members from the School of Teaching, Learning, and Leadership (minimum of 3 committee members required).
  2. The formal thesis is initiated by the preparation of a proposal that meets both departmental and university requirements for the thesis. The members of the student’s thesis committee review the proposal as the preliminary step to beginning the thesis. Students are responsible for sending their proposal to all committee members at least three weeks before the end of the semester. This committee must approve the Thesis Proposal before academic credit can accrue.
  3. Once the proposal is approved by both the committee and the UCF Institutional Review Board, students should begin collecting and analyzing their data. Students should expect to defend their proposal during the semester in which they are enrolled for thesis credits.
  4. The thesis is a formal written document. The introduction cites similar, related, and antecedent work. The body explains the purposes of the project, the method of its production, and any evaluation that was performed. The conclusion includes plans for future work. The thesis also includes an archival copy of the resulting creative product. Both the thesis and the creative product must be delivered in digital form, acceptable by the College of Graduate Studies and UCF library according to standards for digital dissertations and theses.

Nonthesis Option—6 Credit Hours

Six credit hours of Capstone coursework is required to give the student a foundation in conducting research.

Scholarly Product Requirement (Review 1)

Before the end of three years in the ALIMA program, students are required to submit evidence of their ability to conduct a scholarly examination of research in a chosen area in the field of educational psychology. They will demonstrate this ability by producing a scholarly review of literature to present a thorough overview of research surrounding a particular problem involving learning and/or instruction. As part of the review, students will present a list of research and theory-based potential solutions to the identified problem. This project will be introduced in the Seminar in Applied Learning and Instruction I and completed the following semester in Seminar in Applied Learning and Instruction II.

Comprehensive Exams (Review II)

The comprehensive exams serve as the culminating experience of the ALIMA program. The comprehensive exam must be completed no later than 30 days before the end of the semester in which the student graduates.

Nonthesis Option

For students electing not to write a thesis, the comprehensive exam will consist of three questions. The student will have one week to answer the questions in a take-home, extended essay file format. Students must cite all instances where their ideas are directly or indirectly related to outside sources. Students may not consult with other students or use Wikipedia or other online sources to complete their exams. Exams will be graded based on a pass or fail basis. Students who fail the exam marginally may be asked to rewrite specific questions. Students who fail the exam may be requested by their adviser to retake courses in areas of deficiency and will not be eligible to receive their master’s degree until the exam is passed.

Thesis Option

For students electing to submit a thesis, their comprehensive exam will take place as an oral exam no less than 3 weeks after the final version of their thesis is submitted to their committee. During the course of the oral exam, students will be asked to defend their thesis, as well as respond to questions that require them to integrate and synthesize information learned in their core courses.

Independent Learning

The MA program requires the completion of a research project. Research projects are independent learning activities in which students must apply, reflect upon, and refine knowledge and skills required in the program. By the end of the fourth semester in this program, each student must satisfy a scholarly product requirement (Review I). This requirement can be met in one of two ways: students can submit a research study to a refereed journal (with faculty assistance), or submit a proposal for a presentation at an annual conference of a national or local organization (from an approved list of resources). The student must be primarily responsible for conceptualizing, carrying out, and reporting the results in both of these options. The student is responsible for obtaining approval of the product from his or her master’s committee.

Application Requirements

For information on general UCF graduate admissions requirements that apply to all prospective students, please visit the Admissions  section of the Graduate Catalog. Applicants must apply online. All requested materials must be submitted by the established deadline.

In addition to meeting the general UCF graduate application requirements , applicants to this program must provide:

  • One official transcript (in a sealed envelope) from each college/university attended.
  • One page statement of professional interests and goals addressing why the applicant is interested in the degree program.
  • A scholarly or professional writing sample (preferably an undergraduate academic paper).
  • Applicants applying to this program who have attended a college/university outside the United States must provide a course-by-course credential evaluation with GPA calculation. Credential evaluations are accepted from World Education Services (WES) or Josef Silny and Associates, Inc. only.

Application Deadlines

Applied Learning and Instruction MA *Fall Priority Fall Spring Summer
Domestic Applicants Jan 15 Jul 1    
International Applicants Jan 15 Jan 15    
*Applicants who plan to enroll full time in a degree program and who wish to be considered for university fellowships or assistantships should apply by the Fall Priority date.


Graduate students may receive financial assistance through fellowships, assistantships, tuition support, or loans. For more information, see the College of Graduate Studies Funding website, which describes the types of financial assistance available at UCF and provides general guidance in planning your graduate finances. The Financial Information  section of the Graduate Catalog is another key resource.


Fellowships are awarded based on academic merit to highly qualified students. They are paid to students through the Office of Student Financial Assistance, based on instructions provided by the College of Graduate Studies. Fellowships are given to support a student’s graduate study and do not have a work obligation. For more information, see UCF Graduate Fellowships, which includes descriptions of university fellowships and what you should do to be considered for a fellowship.

Contact Info

Graduate Program

Bobby Hoffman PhD
ED 220N

Graduate Admissions

Christina Dabrowski
Telephone: 407-823-2766
Millican Hall 230
Online Application
Graduate Admissions

Mailing Address
UCF College of Graduate Studies
Millican Hall 230
PO Box 160112
Orlando, FL 32816-0112

Institution Codes
GRE: 5233
TOEFL: 5233
ETS PPI: 5233

Graduate Fellowships

Grad Fellowships
Telephone: 407-823-0127

Graduate Financial Aid

UCF Student Financial Assistance
Millican Hall 120
Telephone: 407-823-2827
Appointment Line: 407-823-5285
Fax: 407-823-5241

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