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Become an expert in basic human development and learning and motivation, or focus on gifted and creative education or quantitative methods. With flexible core classes, you will be able to study a research area that suits your needs.

A large portion of our program involves in-depth research and analysis, and you will graduate with a strong grasp of your chosen topic and the research experience to be a leader in your field. Our graduates are consistently recognized for their innovative work, which covers diverse topics such as the impacts of curriculum and beliefs on learning, empirical studies of student behavior, new methods of assessment, and pushing the boundaries of giftedness and creativity.

Graduates of our program go on to teach in schools or other educational settings, or they continue studies to become research leaders.

This program is available on campus and in a fully online format. Both will enhance your knowledge of human development, learning, and motivation.

Because we have a rigorous but fixed number of required courses within and outside the department, you may create personalized programs of study suited to your interests. Our student researchers tackle diverse topics such as children placed at risk for learning difficulties; the development of science, mathematics, and literacy skills; and instruction in preschools.

Our online Applied Cognition and Development emphasis accepts a cohort of 10 students each year, which provides individualized attention. Our graduates improve education through research, implement projects in schools, and apply research and methods to a variety of settings. A minimal number of required courses allows you to create your own program of study, choosing from:

  • Learning with technology
  • Learning across the lifespan
  • Qualitative approaches to education
  • Development of high intellectual capability

Learn more about our online program ยป

Program Highlights

  1. Faculty are Fellows of the American Psychological Association
  2. Find programs in Athens and online
  3. Low faculty-to-student ratio

Deadline to Apply

Refer to application requirements

View admissions criteria

Faculty and Curriculum

There are two options for completing the program: A 36-hour option that requires a comprehensive exit exam, and a 33-hour option that requires an applied project reflecting your interests and coursework. Along with departmental core requirements, you may take either seven (with project) or eight (without project) courses in an area of concentration.

Our faculty members are experts in an array of fields, including:

  • Emergent reading, vocabulary, and oral language development
  • The development of mathematics strategies and mathematics achievement
  • Cultural influences on motivation and achievement
  • Early intervention
  • Economic disadvantage

Our Applied Cognition and Development faculty members are active in national-level organizations and have served in a number of positions, including dean of the University of Georgia's College of Education, editor of the Journal of Research in Childhood Education, and president of the American Psychological Association Division 15 (Educational Psychology). Most of our faculty members are Fellows of the American Psychological Association.

This degree program does not meet the GaPSC requirements for a certification upgrade for public school teachers.

Tuition and Financial Aid

Almost all in-state students begin their studies at UGA paying limited tuition or fees. Please note that these amounts are subject to change and are meant to give prospective students an idea of the costs associated with a degree at the University of Georgia College of Education.

Students may qualify for a variety of assistantships, scholarships, and other financial awards to help offset the cost of tuition, housing, and other expenses.

Tuition rates Browse financial aid

Meet Your Advisor

Most graduate students at UGA are not assigned to a faculty advisor until after admittance. A close working relationship with your advisor is paramount to progressing through your program of study.

Find your advisor

Student Life

Book a campus visit

See for yourself how much UGA College of Education has to offer! Schedule a tour of campus to learn more about the UGA student experience.

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Part 1: Apply to the University of Georgia


  1. Submit an online application to the Graduate School
  2. Test scores (depending on your program)
  3. Unofficial transcripts (native language and English for international applicants)
  4. Three letters of recommendation

Part 2: Apply to this program


The program faculty may request additional materials from applicants. As you complete your application for the UGA Graduate School, you will be able to attach the following documents:

  1. Curriculum vita (CV) or resume
  2. Statement of purpose (short essay)
  3. Official transcripts
View full admissions requirements