Skip to main content

Learning and Design (M.Ed.)

Components of Learning and Design:  Core and Electives


The Learning and Design M.Ed. program is designed as an immersive 10-month program spanning mid-July to graduation in early May, and involves 31 credit hours. Coursework is directly connected to schools, museums, libraries, and community organizations to support the L&D cohort in exploring connections and implications of theory in practice. Coursework for the program focuses on three interrelated core emphases: learning, design, and diversity. This common core includes 16 credit hours of coursework completed by all students in the program. The learning core focuses on theories of learning and their application and implications in formal and informal settings. These theoretical perspectives provide the foundations for the design work. The design core explores implications of the learning core through a user-centered design process, which emphasizes the importance of interacting with users from the very beginning of the process. The diversity core drives and informs both the learning and design cores. Traditionally, organizations and activities are often tacitly designed to support only a narrow segment of the population reflecting the backgrounds of the designers. Such a narrow perspective is not only inequitable and unethical, but it is also highly ineffective (e.g., designing an educational system that “works” for less than 10% of the population). The focus of the diversity core explores diversity and approaches for supporting diversity through design.

In addition to the core courses, students choose 15 credit hours of electives in conjunction with their advisors that are relevant to each student’s interests and goals. At least one of these electives will have a primary focus on diversity and equity and at least one of these electives will have a primary focus on design. Any graduate level course in the department, college, or university for which the student is eligible can be considered for these electives based on the approval of the student’s advisors.


COMMON CORE 16 hours

Summer (Second-Half Summer Session Begins Mid-July)

EDUC 7100 - Learning Out of School (3)

EDUC 8040 - Diversity and Equity in Education (3)


EDUC 6030 - Learning and Instruction (3)

EDUC 6080 - Designing for Contexts (3)  


EDUC 7810 - Inquiry Into Contexts (3)

EDUC 7992 - Capstone Seminar (1 credit total for fall and spring)


ELECTIVES 15 hours (6 in Fall Semester and 9 in Spring Semester)

Selection of elective courses is made in consultation and approval with the program advisor. At least one of these electives should have a primary focus on diversity and at least one of these electives should have a primary focus on design.


Find out more on our core schedule and sample elective trajectories pages.

Vanderbilt University M.D/M.Ed. Dual Degree

Further information about the dual degree program with Vanderbilt University can be found  on the program webpage .

The dual degree program is outlined in this pdf.