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Learning Analytics: Harnessing Data to Power Educational Outcomes

The Wisconsin Idea is one of the deepest and longest-held principles surrounding the University of Wisconsin: that education should influence people’s lives beyond the boundaries of the classroom. The Master of Science in Educational Psychology, Learning Analytics option (Master’s in Learning Analytics) program empowers graduates to impact teaching, learning, and policy by harnessing vast amounts of educational data. This program is intended to help students break down this ‘big data’ into dynamic analyses that will help guide decisions and improvements in education to bridge the equity gap. Coursework equips students with the foundational knowledge and skills necessary to successfully navigate the educational data mining landscape: A focus on both quantitative and qualitative courses provides balance and trains students to make calculated analyses and have meaningful conversations. Students will learn the theoretical perspectives on learning, cognition, and ethical decision-making, as well as practice applying and adapting analytic methodologies and tools. This 24-month program includes a capstone project that partners students with an educational organization, providing the opportunity to practice and present real-world data. The program is committed to bridging the equity gap in education; learning analytics is the first step to do so.

Is this program right for you?

The Master’s in Learning Analytics is a convenient, fully online education program offered through the Department of Educational Psychology in the School of Education at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. In just two years, working professionals can complete this Master of Science in Educational Psychology degree in one of the leading educational psychology departments (as listed in the rankings of the U.S. News & World Report’s edition of best graduate schools).



Join us for a live Faculty Spotlight webinar on November 19, 2020 at 12:00 pm (CST). Dr. David Williamson Shaffer, faculty director of the MLA program and area chair in the Department of Educational Psychology, will discuss the future of the learning analytics industry and take your questions.


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Program Overview



Program Type

Master’s degree


24 contiguous months with cohorts beginning in summer


30 graduate credits

Prerequisite Courses



$1,000 per credit for residents & non-residents

Application Deadline

Admissions close May 15

International Eligible

Yes. Classification of Instructional Programs (CIP): 42.2806. More information

Offered By

School of Education

Degree Conferred

Master of Science in Educational Psychology, Learning Analytics option

A Message From Our Chair

"Between the exciting curriculum emphasizing effective use and interpretation of cutting-edge integrated methodologies, the opportunities to interact with and learn from the world-renowned faculty, and the accessibility and convenience that can only arise from an entirely online program, the Master's of Learning Analytics at UW-Madison provides a truly world-class education, and an educational experience unlike that of any other program available."

James Wollack,  Department Chair

Leader in inclusion and equity

The School of Education is a diverse and inclusive campus leader of academic programs that focus on equitable solutions and innovative research through the Office of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion.


The Power & Promise of Learning Analytics

"Learning Analytics provides researchers with exciting new tools to study teaching and learning. Moreover, as data infrastructures improve — from data capture and analysis, to visualization and recommendation — we can close the feedback loop to learners, offering more timely, precise, actionable feedback. In addition, educators, instructional designers and institutional leaders gain new insights once the learning process is persistent and visible."

Society for Learning Analytics Research (S0LAR)

"Whether educational data is taken from students’ use of interactive learning environments, computer-supported collaborative learning, or administrative data from schools and universities, it often has multiple levels of meaningful hierarchy, which often need to be determined by properties of the data itself, rather than in advance. Issues of time, sequence, and context also play important roles in the study of educational data."

The International Educational Data Mining Society (IEDMS)

Questions? Chat with Pat, our Enrollment Coach

Pat Walsh, Enrollment Coach

I work with prospective students considering the Master’s in Learning Analytics program. Most people, no matter what program interests them, share many of the same concerns. My favorite part of my work is hearing about a prospective student’s dream of getting the promotion, changing careers, or advancing their expertise. I am here to answer whatever questions you have about UW–Madison and to welcome you into the Badger family.

Contact me directly: pjwalsh@wisc.edu or 608/327-9789

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