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School of Education

Doctoral Programs

Make a Difference Through Significant Research

The doctoral programs in UD’s School of Education are designed to help students develop the proficiency to analyze difficult problems, apply the latest methodological and statistical tools to research these problems, and learn how best to share their findings with other researchers and practitioners in the field of education. Students study a range of issues that impact children’s academic, intellectual and social development and educators’ professional development.

We fully recognize the challenges that education faces in this new century. Our students are trained to address these challenges in novel and authoritative ways that influence the educational dialogue around the world. We prepare students to become leaders in the advancement of education through our interdisciplinary course offerings that probe the historical, cultural, developmental and psychological climate of today’s educational system.

Our PhD students are typically funded for four years, and many complete their degree during this time period. Funding packages include a monthly stipend, health insurance and conference travel to present papers. The college and the university also have additional honor scholarships and fellowships which are awarded on a competitive basis, which supplement the baseline college award. Funding to continue research apprenticeships during the summer are also available.

Work with Acclaimed Faculty

The University of Delaware is a dynamic Research 1 university, committed to graduate student professional development and the preparation of the next generation of educational scholars.

Our students work with 50+ faculty conducting groundbreaking research in a range of areas. Each year our faculty are awarded millions of dollars in grants from organizations such as the Institute of Education Sciences, the National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation and the State of Delaware’s Department of Education to conduct innovative research projects.

Working alongside productive faculty, our students develop research projects to pursue questions that are meaningful to them. Prior to completion of the degree, students receive broad-based analytic training — routinely publishing in academic journals and presenting papers at national and international conferences — gaining valuable methodological and statistical skills that often lead to jobs in their field of expertise.

Follow Your Passion

Our Ph.D. students can follow their passion as they explore problems that are fundamentally significant to schooling in America. With only 20% of children’s time spent in school, and with the advent of electronic devices, we have expanded our research focus to include learning opportunities outside the formal classroom. Students in our Ed.D. program are expected to identify and address a problem that has significance to a local situation.


Learn about the Ed.D. and Ph.D. programs

Teacher points to computer while teaching students
Ph.D. in Education

This program prepare scholars whose research will address critical problems in education, develop our understanding of teaching and learning in diverse contexts, and lead to improved outcomes for all learners. This rigorous doctoral program emphasizes high quality educational research utilizing varied methodological approaches and prepares students to assume leadership roles in both academic and non-academic settings.

Doctoral student shows her research poster to a woman
Ed.D. in Educational Leadership

This program improves the leadership and decision-making capabilities of practitioners in educational organizations. It equips candidates with the knowledge, skills, and tools for effective decision-making and problem-solving related to organizational improvement. Graduates are expected to lead and design solutions across a broad range of K-12, higher education, and educational environments.

Recent PhD in Economic Education alumna Amanda Jennings (center) with UD alumna Donna Fontana (left) and Carlos Asarta (right). Fontana’s recent gift established the Financial Literacy Fund.
Ph.D. in Economic Education

A joint program of Lerner’s economics department and the School of Education, this program is designed to train the next generation of leaders in this fast-growing field. The field of economic education focuses on developing and evaluating economic and financial literacy programs and curricula in the K-12 school system, universities and a wide variety of outreach programs.


The Ph.D. in Education has specialization areas in:

Graduate student Dandan Chen stands next to her research poster
Evaluation, Measurement and Statistics

Evaluation, Measurement, and Statistics (EMS) offers a comprehensive range of courses designed to prepare students to develop, critically evaluate, and properly use quantitative and mixed methodologies to advance educational research.

Doctoral student engages in research activity with a child
Learning Sciences

The Learning Sciences is an interdisciplinary specialization area that focuses on the systematic study of learning and teaching, human development, and educational technology as well as the application of research to design educational innovations and interventions.

Teacher working with Student
Literacy Development and Learning Problems

The focus of the Literacy Development & Learning Problems specialization is on literacy development and instruction with particular attention to students with learning problems, including problems due to disability and to background.

Doctoral student discusses research with professor
Mathematics Education

The specialization area of Mathematics Education focuses on examining issues of teaching and learning mathematics. A distinctive feature of this specialization area is the integration of research experiences, including teaching mathematics content and methods courses for prospective K-8 teachers.

Laura Eisenman speaks with a student
Sociocultural and Community-Based Approaches

The Sociocultural and Community-Based Approaches (SCA) specialization emphasizes the development of expertise in conducting high-quality research on significant issues in sociocultural and community-centered approaches to education.

Doctoral student discusses research with professor
School Psychology

Grounded in the scientist/practitioner model, the school psychology program provides students with a strong foundation in psychological theory and research. This Ph.D. specialization is no longer accepting new students, but we continue to accept applications for the 3-year MA/EdS program in School Psychology.

Looking for more information about becoming a student?
Learn about our PhD in Human Development and Family Sciences.