Developmental & Learning Sciences

Developmental & Learning SciencesMaster of Arts (M.A.)

The masters degree program is designed to provide students with the foundational background and research skills necessary to advance their career goals and/or (with thesis) enter into a Ph.D. program. Students completing a masters (only) have worked as teachers, as educational/training personnel in schools and the private sector, in psychology and/or educational research support positions, and in other public- and private-sector positions that require masters-level skills and training. The DLS program has two potential tracks for incoming masters degree students.

1) The Applied track is designed for students seeking a terminal masters degree in Educational Psychology and/or for those who wish to complete a thesis and perhaps apply to a Ph.D. program at a later date. Thesis work typically extends the amount of time required to complete the degree relative to the non-thesis option.

2) The Ph.D. track is designed for students with a strong background in psychology and substantial research experience. Students admitted in the Ph.D. track are simultaneously admitted to the masters program and (contingently) to the Ph.D. program with the expectation that they will continue directly into the Ph.D. program upon successful completion of the degree requirements and the masters thesis. Thesis work typically extends the amount of time required to complete the masters degree.

All DLS masters students must meet DLS, Educational Psychology and general Graduate Studies degree requirements (see the DLS coursework documents available for download using the links to the right). Please also refer to the UNL Graduate Studies Graduate Bulletin and/or the general degree requirements:

Program Director

Dr. Mary Zeleny
220 TEAC

The Roger and Mary Bruning Scholarship
The Brunings

New DLS graduate students are eligible for the Roger and Mary Bruning Scholarship each year. Recipients receive a $5,000 award applied towards tuition and fees. All new applicants are automatically considered for the Bruning Scholarship.
Roger Bruning was a long-time DLS faculty member who recently retired and he and his wife Mary have given generously to our program in order to provide this award.

Application to this program

Admission to the Master’s program requires a Bachelor’s degree and evidence of ability to complete the Master’s degree. There are no specific cutoffs but factors considered include coursework in psychology and/or education, grades, GRE scores, letters of recommendation, relevant experience, match of goals to program, and availability of a suitable adviser.

Application Guidance: Indicate in your Personal Statement your preference for the Applied Track or Ph.D. Track. Your Personal Statement should reveal your relevant experiences and your future academic and professional goals. Tell why you want this degree from this program, why you are a good fit for the program. If there is a professor you would want to advise you, then indicate that. Choose letter writers that are familiar with your academic success and potential.

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