Graduate Certificate: Mind, Brain, and Teaching

The 15-credit graduate certificate in Mind, Brain, and Teaching is designed for PK-16 teachers, administrators, and student support personnel seeking to explore how research from the learning sciences has the potential to inform the field of education. Courses will promote integration of diverse disciplines that investigate human learning and development.

The certificate builds upon basic and applied research from the fields of cognitive science, psychology and brain science, neurology, neuroscience, and education. It will provide educators with knowledge of cognitive development and how emerging research in the brain sciences can inform educational practices and policies.

This program is offered in a fully online format. The timeframe for completion is one academic year plus one semester. Courses are offered in a sequential order in a cohort structure.

See profile of Dr. Mariale Hardiman’s Brain-Targeted Teaching Model in the Baltimore Sun

Frequently Asked Questions

Program Goals

Cohort Schedules


887.615 Explorations in Mind, Brain, and Teaching

During the past decade the learning sciences have produced a vast frontier of knowledge on how the brain processes, stores, and retrieves information. Educators have increasingly recognized a role as consumers of this emerging knowledge. Participants in the course will review this research, examining how it intersects with the correlates of a model of research-based effective teaching including the teaching of the arts across content areas. Topics of study will include the brain’s memory systems, the impact of emotions on learning, the processes involved in higher order thinking and learning, and issues related to child development. Participants will apply course studies to the creation of learning units that emphasize application of knowledge and the integration of the arts.

887.616 Fundamentals of Cognitive Development

This introductory course surveys theoretical and empirical work in the study of cognitive development. A variety of methodological approaches are addressed, with a focus on cognitive processes related to learning. The course proceeds from behaviorist, cognitivist, and sociocultural perspectives of the early and mid- 20th century to recent and ongoing research in the neuro- and cognitive sciences. Topics include the development of language, motivation, and intelligence, as well as the acquisition of skills and concepts related to mathematics, reading, writing, and problem-solving. Implications for education are considered.

887.617 Neurobiology of Learning Differences

This course is intended to prepare educators with information about how differences and disabilities in brain development impact the abilities of school aged children and adolescents to participate in instructional activities. Particular attention is given to autism spectrum disorder (ASD), specific learning disabilities (SLD), attention deficit disorder and attention deficit disorder with hyperactivity (ADD and ADHD), and psychiatric disorders that are found in the constellation of disabling conditions identified as emotional disturbance (ED). The course will include case studies of students with each disabling condition, with a focus on how the disability affects learning, the current status of imaging technologies, and the current uses of medications for assisting students in school settings. Students taking this course will review research and link information from lecture to the creation of an instructional unit demonstrating knowledge of how a disabling condition can be accommodated in school.

887.618 Cognitive Processes of Literacy & Numeracy

This course is designed to offer students an opportunity to study, discuss and explore aspects of brain function that influences learning, remembering, and utilizing textual and numeric concepts. The inter-relationship of developmental factors, prior knowledge, instructional design and implementation, and assessment mandates will be investigated and discussed. Current research, differentiated strategies, technologies and the impact of disabilities will be included.

887.619 Special Topics in Brain Sciences

This capstone course addresses specific topics in brain research and encourages the participants to apply research to inform instructional practices.


Graduate Certificate: Mind, Brain, and Teaching
Start Terms:Fall
Application Deadline: Rolling
Application Requirements:
Online application form
$80.00 application fee
A 500-word essay discussing the reasons you wish to pursue a degree at Johns Hopkins University, focusing on your long-term goals and how your academic program will complement those goals. Discuss the strengths and weaknesses in your academic background, as well as any additional comments that will assist in evaluating your application materials. Essays should be submitted in a typed format on a separate sheet of paper.
Scholarly Writing Sample (e.g., a paper written for prior coursework or for professional purposes)
This writing sample should be between 750 and 1500 words (3-6 double-spaced pages, 12 pt. font). Longer papers will be accepted, but will likely not be read in full. Papers that are analytical or research-focused are strongly preferred. If you do not have an appropriate sample of scholarly writing to submit, as an alternative you may instead write a brief essay (750-1000 words) in response to the following prompt: “Consider an educational setting of your choice. What kinds of questions about teaching and learning do you think researchers from the neuro- and cognitive sciences could help address?” We do not expect you to do any considerable research to respond to this prompt, and we do not expect that applicants will have background knowledge from the neuro- and cognitive sciences. Rather, we simply want you to analyze an educational setting you are familiar with and formulate relevant questions about teaching practices and the learning process. Your goal should be to construct a simple, well-organized response that focuses on a few key points of interest.
Two Letters of Recommendation:
Official transcripts from all post-secondary institutions attended


In accordance with US Department of Education regulations, the JHU School of Education is required to disclose graduation rate data, median loan debt data, and other select information for all Title IV eligible gainful employment (GE) programs. To see the most recent data available for this GE program, please view the attached disclosure.


Students should be aware of additional state-specific information for online programs.

Contact Us

Faculty Contact
Dr. Ranjini JohnBull

Academic Coordinator
Camilla Mika-Simms