Masters of Educational Technology and Applied Learning Sciences (METALS)

Applications will open in August for Fall 2025 admissions

Thinking of applying to METALS?


Missed our Virtual Open House on October 10, 2023? You can still learn more about our innovative degree in educational technology and learning sciences offered through the renowned School of Computer Science at Carnegie Mellon University. Watch a recording of the Virtual Open House here Sign up for our mailing list, and we’ll keep you up to date with all the deadlines. 

Enhance your skills and demonstrate your potential to succeed in the program by taking one of our certificate courses in learning engineering. If you earn a certificate, be sure to mention it in your application. 

METALS is a one-year, interdisciplinary masters program that trains graduate students to become learning engineers and LX (learning experience) designers. In these roles our graduates apply science of learning principles, evidence-based research, qualitative and quantitative cognitive task analysis, and data-driven methods to design, create, and improve educational resources and technologies that enable students and instructors to succeed. The professional program culminates with a seven-month capstone project for an external client. Guided by industry and faculty mentors in this team-based research and development project, students experience the end-to-end process of a product cycle from idea through prototyping. Students learn to create effective solutions for formal and informal settings such as schools, workplaces, and museums.

Our graduates answer Carnegie Mellon University professor and Nobel Laureate Herb Simon’s observation that “Improvement in post-secondary education will require converting teaching from a solo sport to a community-based research activity.”

What is Learning Engineering?

The METALS program is a union of the Human-Computer Interaction Institute and the Department of Psychology which brings significant value to the program.  We strongly believe that the whole is greater than the sum of the parts and that we can all learn from each other.  METALS not only intersects Psychology and HCII but it is at the crossroads of cognitive science, statistics, computer science, education and design. To understand how people learn, our students are trained in applying cognitive science methods to map learning objectives to sub-objectives and finally to well-designed instructional activities. To continuously improve instruction, we need to collect and analyze student progress. To do that our students learn how to use statistics to analyze extremely large datasets (data analytics). These analyses drive continuous improvement. To create effective online educational courseware, our students need to understand at least the basics of tutor creation. We teach our students to use software engineering techniques to create these tutors. We teach our students how to design an appropriate curriculum using the latest theories.

METALS graduates are trained to be:


  • Learning Engineers
  • Instructional Designers and Evaluators
  • Curriculum Developers
  • Project Managers
  • Educational Data Scientists
  • Educational Technology Consultants
  • UX Designers
  • Entrepreneurs

METALS alumni are employed by:


  • Apple
  • Microsoft
  • Pearson
  • Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
  • Carnegie Mellon University
  • EY
  • Carnegie Learning
  • among others…

METALS is a two-year masters degree set into a 12-month duration. During the first and second semesters, students learn core knowledge and skills through courses in learning principles, technology design and implementation. During their second and third semesters, students teams collaborate on a substantial capstone project for an external client.


In this unique opportunity, METALS culminates with a seven-month capstone project for an external client. Guided by industry and faculty mentors in this team-based research and development project, students experience the end-to-end process of a product cycle from idea through prototyping.


Jointly taught by leading researchers in learning analytics, curriculum design, and educational data mining. Our faculty have collective expertise in computer science, psychology, cognitive science, and linguistics among others. As interdisciplinary program, we value the experience and perspectives that our diverse students possess.

Applying to METALS

For this intense program, we seek talented individuals from diverse fields of study and backgrounds who demonstrate their desire make a long-lasting effect impact on education. Applications must be submitted online.

Students with backgrounds in computer science, design, psychology, education, or business are encouraged to apply.

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