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

Education PhD, Learning Sciences Track ♦

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College: https://ccie.ucf.edu/ Degree: PhD
Department: https://ccie.ucf.edu/lser/
Program Websites: https://ccie.ucf.edu/education-phd/

Track Description

The Learning Sciences track in the Education PhD program is an interdisciplinary track within the Education PhD that will expose students to key components of research on learning with additional training on using big data for research on learning analytics and data science for focus on learning for both humans and machines. The track will provide learning opportunities (i.e., cognitive science, computer science, data science, education, psychology, statistics) for graduate students at UCF who seek careers in both academia and industry. The program will contain the core courses from the Education PhD, but requires at least 6 hours of required specialization credits in specific Learning Sciences courses and at least 6 hours of required elective credits, providing students the opportunity to earn a certificate in a related field of human-machine learning, if desired. This will increase career opportunities for interdisciplinary research jobs in academia or industry across the country.


The Learning Sciences track in the Education PhD program requires a minimum of 60 credit hours beyond a master’s degree in Learning Sciences or a related field.

Students must complete 24 credit hours of core courses, 6 credit hours of specialization courses, 6 credit hours of electives, and 24 credit hours of dissertation. All students must also complete the candidacy examination.  

Total Credit Hours Required: 60 Credit Hours Minimum beyond the Master’s Degree

Required Courses: 30 Credit Hours

Core: 24 Credit Hours

Specialization: 6 Credit Hours

Students will select at least 2 courses from the following

Elective Courses: 6 Credit Hours

Students will select at least 2 courses from the following disciplines:

  • Psychology (PSY)
  • Statistics (STA) can include the SAS Data Mining Graduate Certificate (15 credit hours)
  • Philosophy and Cognitive Science (PHI) can include the Cognitive Sciences Graduate Certificate (18 credit hours)
  • Computer Science (CS)
  • Multidisciplinary Neuroscience Alliance (MDNA) interdisciplinary program

Dissertation: 24 Credit Hours

Doctoral students must present a prospectus for the dissertation to the doctoral adviser, prepare a proposal and present it to the dissertation committee, and defend the final research submission with the dissertation committee.

  • EME 7980 - Dissertation Research 24 Credit Hours minimum


To enter candidacy for the PhD, students must have an overall 3.0 GPA on all graduate work included in the planned program and pass all required examinations. Examinations will be scheduled by the student and major adviser. The associate dean for graduate studies and research must be notified of the date and location of the exam 30 days in advance. Students must be enrolled in the university during the semester an examination is taken.

The following are required to be admitted to candidacy and enroll in dissertation hours:

  • Submission and completion of approved program of study, except for dissertation hours.
  • Successful completion of the candidacy examination.
  • The dissertation advisory committee is formed, consisting of approved graduate faculty and graduate faculty scholars. 
  • Satisfactory progress toward the independent learning requirements as evidenced by the annual accomplishments and activities report.

Candidacy Examinations

All PhD candidates will be required to complete two examinations.

Please note that there may be variations in length of exam time and content based on the respective requirements of each track.

  • Research in the Specialization—8-hour written examination.
  • Specialization—3-hour oral examination.

Independent Learning

During their program of study, PhD students are required to meet the following requirements for independent learning to enter candidacy, including:

  • Submitting a manuscript that is deemed appropriate by at least one program faculty member for publication in a peer-reviewed journal.
  • Presenting research in at least one international, national or state conference.
  • Presenting at university and/or college research symposiums annually.
  • Providing service to professional organization, community partner, and/or program.
  • Documenting and presenting independent learning accomplishments and activities along with development of an individual research agenda deemed satisfactory by at least two or more program faculty on an annual basis.

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

  • One official transcript (in a sealed envelope) from each college/university attended.
  • A master’s degree in a closely related field.
  • Official, competitive GRE (Verbal, Quantitative, and Written) score taken within the last five years.
    • NOTE: The GRE has been removed as an admission requirement for this graduate program for applicants applying Spring 2021 through the Fall 2021 term. This is a temporary measure in response to disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Three letters of recommendation.
  • Goal statement.
  • Résumé.
  • Writing sample of a ten to twenty-page original paper on any topic.
  • Applicants to this program, except those that have earned or will earn a Masters or Doctoral degree from an accredited U.S. institution recognized by UCF, 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

Learning Sciences *Fall Priority Fall Spring Summer
Domestic Applicants Jan 1 Jan 1    
International Applicants Jan 1 Jan 1    
*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

Michelle Taub PhD
Assistant Professor

Graduate Admissions

Christine 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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