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School of Education

Required Coursework in the Ph.D.

The Doctor of Philosophy in Education (Ph.D.) requires a minimum of 46 credits of graduate-level coursework and 9 credits of dissertation for a total minimum of 55 credits. Most students will take far more than this minimum in order to complete apprenticeship and specialization requirements or maintain full time status. Typically, at least four years of full time study (with at least 18 credits per year) is needed to graduate; a fifth year of study is common.

Each student’s coursework is specified in the Individual Program Plan of study, developed by the student and advisor, and submitted to the Director’s Office in the School of Education no later than the beginning of the third semester in the program.

Educational research applies multiple theoretical and disciplinary perspectives to understand and address critical educational problems. Thus, the core content courses are designed to cover topics or themes of practical importance from multiple theoretical and disciplinary perspectives. Students also need a general understanding of a range of qualitative and quantitative research methodologies to become informed consumers of research using multiple methods, and a deep understanding of specific methodological tools needed to advance their own research. Students choose primarily a qualitative (EDUC 852, 858, 859) or quantitative (EDUC 812, 865, 874) set of three courses to fulfill the methodology core requirement. In some cases, and with the approval of their advisor, students may fulfill the methodology core by choosing courses from both tracks.

In the first year of the program, the core content and core research methods courses are designed to help students understand the relationships between methods and research questions, and to assist them in making informed choices about the methodological tools they will emphasize throughout the remainder of their programs.

The required coursework includes:

Item Credits
Content core (EDUC 805, 806, plus two core courses from one or more specialization areas outside the student’s specialization 12
Research methods core (EDUC 850, 856, plus 9 credits from EDUC 852, 858, 859, 812, 865, 874) 15
Colloquium in education (EDUC 840) 4
Primary Specialization Core (see area requirements) 9
Supervised research/independent study/elective (as needed for specialization or to maintain full time status) 6
Dissertation 9

Students are expected to complete all of the required courses in the degree program, as well as the courses in their area of specialization. On rare occasions, extenuating circumstances may warrant a course substitution. On those occasions, students may write a petition to the School of Education’s Committee on Graduate Studies in Education (CGSE) requesting a course substitution. The petition should describe the extenuating circumstances that warrant the request and explain the benefits that accrue to the students’ scholarly development. The student’s advisor must approve the petition.

Students may earn an M.A. in Education degree by successfully completing the first year doctoral core coursework (EDUC 805, 806, 850, 856), six credit hours of specialization coursework, four credit hours of Colloquium, nine credit hours of electives (three hours must be in research methodology), and passing the First Year Assessment.