Message from the Chair

The Department of Learning and Instruction (LAI) is devoted to educating teachers and conducting research related to all areas of teaching and learning.

Portrait of Erin Kearney, Chair of the Department of Learning and Instruction.

Erin Kearney, PhD
Chair and Associate Professor
Department of Learning and Instruction
Graduate School of Education
University at Buffalo

We offer graduate degrees (at both the master's and doctoral levels), advanced graduate certificates and certification programs for teacher education.

Our degree programs are extremely flexible. Students work with their advisors to choose from classes that focus on their content areas while also having a wide array of electives. Our face-to-face courses are offered after 4:00 p.m. to accommodate working teachers and professionals. We also offer a growing number of online programs and individual online courses.

If you do not yet hold a teaching certificate, one can be earned through our programs that work in cooperation with the Office of Educator Preparation (OEP). Student teaching is offered at all levels (early childhood through high school), and in both urban and suburban settings.  Our teacher residency program offers year-long co-teaching placements and a range of supports. If you do not yet hold an initial teaching certificate, you can earn professional certification through one of our teacher education master's degree programs.

Those who pursue doctoral degrees in LAI work closely with distinguished faculty who explore current issues in teaching, learning, curriculum and assessment. Our faculty members work in a number of subject matter areas that span from the education of young children to adults. Flexibility and cross-disciplinarity are also important in these programs, as students pursue a concentration in a content area of choice, along with a variety of research courses.

We offer unparalleled opportunities for hands-on experience and observation through our unique research centers. The Fisher-Price Endowed Early Childhood Research Center (ECRC) and the Center for Literacy and Reading Instruction (CLaRI) allow our students to teach while they are learning. Additional opportunities for research are available in a variety of advanced centers and laboratories affiliated with LAI.

As a long-time LAI faculty member and resident of Buffalo, I hope you will decide to study with us. Should you have questions concerning study at UB in the Graduate School of Education, our faculty and staff would be delighted to speak with you. We wish you the best in your pursuit of a career in education and hope you decide UB is the place for you to prepare for that career.


Erin Kearney, PhD
Chair and Associate Professor