Interdisciplinary and experiential, this one-year, full-time program prepares you to design engaging and effective learning experiences that are informed by the learning sciences and incorporate cutting-edge technologies. This first-to-market program in a pioneering discipline leverages the expertise of faculty from across the Lynch School of Education and Human Development.
Throughout the on-campus program, you’ll complete design challenges, shadow working professionals, take field trips to technology incubators and collaboratories, and intern with local organizations. You’ll graduate with a dynamic portfolio that showcases the depth and breadth of your design work and demonstrates your capabilities in learner-centered design, leadership, and forward-thinking imagination.
Learning engineering is the systematic application of principles and methods from the learning sciences to support and better understand learners and learning. The discipline leverages human-centered design approaches to iteratively develop and improve design solutions that address specific learning needs and opportunities—often using technology.
The program is built around a well-facilitated and increasingly challenging experiential core. Three-credit courses and one-credit modules emphasize the knowledge and skills needed to develop design and leadership capabilities and improve understanding of learning.
Our program is designed as a cognitive apprenticeship in which you participate as an active member of a knowledge-building community with teachers, mentors, and peers.
Hands-on learning through a design studio every semester, opportunities to shadow groups engaged in designing for learners, and internships with local organizations.
Classes and modules designed specifically to support you as you learn what you need to thrive as a learning engineer. You’ll use what you learn in classes to guide the decisions you make while completing studio projects.
Reflection. You will continuously reflect on your experiences and the design challenges you face, using those reflections to develop new insights. You’ll track your thinking, record and justify your decisions, continually identify what you learn, and synthesize across your experiences in the Reflective Seminar.
Throughout the program, you’ll develop the expertise and imagination to design learning experiences that dynamically engage learners’ interests, passions, and prior knowledge. You will also acquire interpersonal and leadership skills that will prepare you to thrive as leaders and collaborators.
How people learn and what influences their engagement. You will be introduced to the theoretical foundations of how people learn, pedagogies and practices for fostering learning, and how to design and use technology to engage learners.
Learner-centered design and designing for diversity. You’ll master design thinking, design decision-making practices, and how to use what you learn about learning to create engaging and effective designs that address learners in all of their complexity.
Design for social justice and equity. Across classes, design studio experiences, and reflective activities, you will account for the full range of social, cultural, affective, and cognitive influences on access and learning. Promoting social justice is a pillar of both Boston College’s mission and the mission of the Lynch School of Education and Human Development.
Vocational discernment and career readiness. You will have opportunities to identify what you enjoy doing as a designer of learning experiences, your personal values and aspirations, what your strengths are, and concrete steps to achieve your goals. You’ll work with and be mentored by practicing learning engineers.
Leadership skills. Whether you are a team member or a team leader in your first position, you’ll learn valuable skills and knowledge you can use to influence your team, organization, or clients.
Learning engineers design innovative learning experiences and environments informed by the learning sciences. They deftly combine knowledge, tools, and techniques from a variety of technical, pedagogical, empirical, and design-based disciplines while collaborating with subject-matter experts, software engineers, and others.
The Learning Engineering program is available for students from various academic, professional, and personal backgrounds. All majors are open to apply, no previous computer science or technology experience is required.
Schools, districts, colleges, and universities
Museums, zoos, aquariums, and national parks
Businesses ranging from startups to large corporations
Nonprofits and foundations
Social service and community agencies
Designing the next generation of educational technology
Developing online, hybrid, makerspace, and active-learning environments
Constructing technology-enhanced curriculum, pedagogy, and assessment
Creating employee training and consumer education programs
Building after-school and community programs
Learning Experience (LX) and User Experience (UX) Designers
Instructional Designers and Evaluators
Educational Technology Consultants
Fall semester admission only
Orientation: Last week of August
Boston College is a partner in the Industry Connections Industry Consortium on Learning Engineering (ICICLE), an open forum and community-driven platform for defining and supporting the discipline. Dr. Janet Kolodner, Visiting Professor and Special Projects, serves as Chair of the ICICLE Design for Learning special interest group and on the ICICLE Steering and Conference Committees. Find out more about ICICLE.
Education should level the playing field – we feel the same way about financial aid.
The Lynch School of Education and Human Development provides more than $7.5 million in financial aid to students each year. As a result, the quality of BC’s instruction, the benefit of our alumni network, and the impact a BC degree will have on your employment options is both affordable and invaluable. Here’s why:
In addition to your academic history and relevant work experience, please include any licenses currently held, any social justice-related experience, any language skills other than English, and any research experience or publications.
In 1,000-1,500 words, describe your academic and professional goals, any experience relevant to this program, and your future plans, expectations, and aspirations.
Two letters of recommendation are required with at least one required from an academic source. Applicants with significant relevant professional experience may submit additional recommendations from supervisors.
Undergraduate transcripts are required as part of the application process and graduate transcripts are accepted, but not required. Please note the following:
Transcripts must be mailed to the following address:
Boston College, Lynch School of Education
Office of Graduate Admission, Financial Aid, and Student Services
Campion Hall 135
140 Commonwealth Avenue
Chestnut Hill, MA 02467
For all Boston College students and alumni
If you received any type of degree from Boston College, or if you are a current Boston College student, the GRE is not required.
For all other applicants
If you did not receive a degree from Boston College or if you are not a current Boston College student, the GRE is required.
The Lynch School GRE code is 3218.