College of Education, Criminal Justice, & Human Services

College of Education, Criminal Justice, & Human Services

Educational Studies Doctoral Degrees

The Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Educational Studies is geared toward the rigorous preparation of educational researchers who have the knowledge and skills needed to design, conduct, and disseminate high-quality scholarship, and who have a strong foundation in one or more high-demand areas of specialization. The Ph.D. degree emphasizes the scholarly pursuit of the theoretical underpinning and methodological advancement of educational research. Courses provide critical training in the intellectual pursuit of advanced knowledge in educational, social, and behavioral sciences. A distinguishing feature of the program includes research apprenticeships with faculty who have Graduate Faculty Status in the School of Education. Through faculty mentoring, students author and/or co-author publications and presentations at national and international conferences. Working for a Ph.D. degree prepares the graduate for academic and administrative positions in educational institutions and social service agencies. Graduates of the Ph.D. program typically become university faculty members, higher education administrators, research scientists, and assume other leadership roles. Drawing upon multiple theoretical perspectives and research paradigms, the program represents the breadth of knowledge that leads to deeper understanding in the following areas of concentration:


  • Curriculum Studies and Teacher Education
  • Developmental and Learning Sciences
  • Educational and Community-Based Action Research
  • Educational Policy and Higher Education
  • Instructional Design and Technology
  • Literacy 
  • Quantitative and Mixed Methods Research Methodologies
  • Second Language Studies
  • Special Education


Program Requirements

Degrees. Earned Bachelor’s degree or Master’s degree in areas of concentration or closely related area from an accredited college or university. Students with bachelor’s or master’s degrees in unrelated areas, but with clear evidence of experiences and/or credentials appropriate to the degree and a specific area of concentration may be accepted. All applicants must submit official undergraduate and graduate transcripts.


Minimum Grade Point Average (GPA): Successful applicants must have cumulative GPAs of 3.0 (on a 4.0 scale) from their undergraduate coursework and 3.2 (on a 4.0 scale) from previous graduate work.


Graduate Record Examination (GRE): Applicants must take the GRE. The recommended minimum GRE scores for tests taken prior to August 1, 2011 are 482 (55 th percentile) for Verbal Reasoning, 620 (55th percentile) for Quantitative Reasoning, and 4.5 for Analytical Writing. For tests taken after August 1, 2011, the recommended minimum scores are 152 (56th percentile) for Verbal Reasoning, 151 (56 th percentile) for Quantitative Reasoning, and 4.5 for Analytical Writing. The GRE must be taken within the five years prior to application to the program. To register for the GRE, contact the Testing Services Center.


Speakers of English as Second Language: If an applicant’s first language is not English, he or she must take the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or another comparable test unless he/she has previous degrees from higher education institutions in the United States. The recommended test scores are: 92-93 for Internet-based TOEFL; 237 for Computer-based TOEFL; 580 Paper-based TOEFL; 6.5 for IELTS; and 62-63 for PTE. The test must be taken within two years prior to application to the program.


Letters of Recommendation: Applicants must have a minimum of three current letters of recommendation that address their academic background and accomplishments submitted by college or university faculty, graduate advisers or other individuals who can address applicants’ accomplishments or potential as educational researchers.


Goal and Research Interests Statement: A typewritten statement about research interests and academic and professional goals should be submitted that includes brief narratives about: a) previous research and academic and professional experiences; b) immediate and long-range aspirations; and c) how the Educational Studies Program will help you to meet your goals. When applying to the doctoral program, the applicant should explain specifically which area of concentration he or she would like to study. Those who are undecided about their area of concentration are strongly encouraged to indicate potential interest in one of the areas of concentration. More specific goal statement requirements will be established.


Curriculum Vitae: A copy of a curriculum vitae or resume that indicates the applicant’s name, address, phone number, e-mail address, colleges attended with degrees and dates, employment history, professional experiences, any publications, or conference presentations, and names of references who will be sending letters.

Interview: Applicants may be selected for participation in a face-to-face, internet, or phone interview.

Note: Students who previously completed or are currently enrolled in an existing School of Education doctoral degree program will not be grandfathered into the Ph.D. program. All potential students must go through the application process.