Mind Brain Education (MBE) Certificate


Three students in a classroom

The certificate consists of four courses (3 required, 1 elective). Coursework will draw on basic and applied interdisciplinary research from the disciplines of neuroscience, psychology and cognitive science in order to inform educational pedagogy through research, collaboration, and advocacy. The timeframe for completion is two semesters (one academic year) or four semesters (two academic years), depending on the number of courses taken per semester.

Program Structure

This graduate-level course is designed to provide an overview of important models, principles, and research findings related to the chronological sequence of cognitive, physical, social, and emotional development through eight major age periods: infancy and toddlerhood (the first two years), early childhood (two to six years), middle childhood (six to eleven years), adolescence, early adulthood, middle adulthood, late adulthood, and the end of life. This chronological organization allows you to explore and apply theories covering several age periods to each and to remember how different domains of development evolve simultaneously and impact one another throughout the lifespan.

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This graduate-level course provides an overview of important models, principles, and research findings related to the learning process. Attention is given to learning and information processing theories that explain perceptual behavior, verbal learning, memory, and social learning processes. Emphasis is placed on student development of research proposals in human learning and achievement.

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This graduate-level course is designed to provide an overview of important models, principles and research findings related to behavioral and systems neuroscience in education. Attention is given to the basic structure of the nervous system, the fundamental units of the nervous system (the neuron and the synapse), the function of different components of the central nervous system, the sensory, motor, and memory systems, and the networking of these systems in perception, learning, and cognition. Also, attention is given to how the nervous system behaves with other brain structures that support fundamental mental abilities such as attention, cognitive control, emotion, language, memory, and social cognition. Finally, within these topics, attention is given to understanding how the nervous system works by studying the physiological basis of adaptive behaviors and maladaptive behaviors of the mind.

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Using a neuroscience lens, this graduate-level course focuses on integration of research and theory on motivation and emotion from across developmental, affective, cognitive, and social fields. Emotion and motivation are the core of human life and thought, without which we could not survive even in the most benign environments. This course examines how emotion and motivation innervate thought and behavior to enrich human experience and "bias" the decisions we make in everyday life, as well as how thought, behavior, and environment innervate emotion and motivation.

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This graduate-level course explores the neurodevelopment of executive function (EF) across the lifespan, underscoring its vital role in daily life. The developmental trajectory of EF commences in infancy and typically shows improvements in effectiveness and efficiency during childhood, adolescence, and early adulthood. This EF progression often plateaus, followed by stasis, before experiencing a relative decline in later years. Nevertheless, executive function should not be viewed as a unitary construct; it encompasses distinct cognitive components, each displaying unique developmental patterns that are malleable throughout the lifespan. This course will explore the development, maintenance, and decline of executive function across the lifespan.