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Programs and Degrees
What is Educational Studies?
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 Graduate Faculty 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, and research scientists, or 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
- Quantitative and Mixed Methods Research Methodologies
- Second Language Studies
- Special Education
See the kinds of research our doctoral students are engaged in: Doctoral Student Research.
EDST PhD coursework is designed to be completed in three to four years for students with relevant prior graduate work and in five to six years for students entering the program without prior graduate work, given a full-time schedule of 12 hours per semester.
- Minimum: 90 semester credit hours
- Transfer up to 30 credit hours of comparable graduate level coursework from another degree program within UC or from another institution (All transfer credit must be approved by the Doctoral Advisory Committee, must meet Graduate School requirements, and follow Graduate School policy for approval).
Prior to admission to doctoral candidacy, all doctoral students must complete a residency requirement by enrolling in 10 graduate credit hours (12 graduate credit hours if funded by a Graduate Assistantship) per semester for two out of three consecutive semesters of study (Fall, Spring, Summer; i.e., residency in Fall and Spring or residency in Spring and Summer). Part-time students are not exempt from enrollment requirements to achieve residency.
All doctoral students and doctoral candidates are required to complete a review of progress with their Faculty Advisor during the spring or summer semester of each academic year. A Doctoral Student Annual Review Form must be completed and signed. The purpose of the annual review is to ensure that doctoral students / candidates receive feedback on their progress toward degree completion and career goals.
Common Required Core Courses (36-54 credits): A core set of courses is designed to provide a common set of experiences and is required of all students. The focus of core courses is scholarly activity (e.g., research, writing for publication, conference presentations, and grant writing).
- Basic Research Methods (2 courses; 6 credits).
- Professional Induction (1-2 courses and 1-2 research aprenticeships; 9 credits).
- Advanced Research Methods (1 two-semester sequence plus 1 additional course from a different sequence or with a different focus; 9 credits).
- EDST 9073 Dissertation Guidance in Educational Studies (12 credits minimum to 30 credits maximum).
Area of Concentration Requirements and Electives (24+ credits): Area of concentration requirements and electives focus on specialized content that supports students’ interests, expands on current research and evidence-based practices in the field, and facilitates students’ research. Requirements may include courses shared across programs, such as additional research methods and/or statistics courses. A secondary area of concentration, which is optional, should extend students’ knowledge base by providing coursework in an area outside of, but complimentary to, students’ primary area of concentration. A secondary area of concentration may include coursework in other concentrations as well as coursework outside the School of Education. Mentors within areas of concentration may require additional coursework.
- Primary Area of Concentration (18 hours minimum).
- Optional Secondary Area of Concentration (12 credits minimum). For example, a student in Literacy may be interested in a stronger background in Quantitative Research Methodologies or may complete the Assessment and Evaluation Certificate.
- Guide: Educational Studies PhD Curriculum 2018-2019 (SPED-Special Education)
- Guide: Educational Studies PhD Curriculum 2018-2019 (CSTE-Curr Studies & Teacher Ed)
- Guide: Educational Studies PhD Curriculum 2018-2019 (IDT-Instructional Design & Tech)
- Guide: Educational Studies PhD Curriculum 2018-2019 (DLS-Developmental & Learning Sciences))
- Guide: Educational Studies PhD Curriculum 2018-2019 (QMMR-Quant & Mixed Meth Research)
- Guide: Educational Studies PhD Curriculum 2018-2019 (SLS-Second Language Studies)
- Guide: Educational Studies PhD Curriculum 2018-2019 (LTCY-Literacy)
- Guide: Educational Studies PhD Curriculum 2018-2019 (ECAR-Edu & Comm Based Action Research)
Upon admittance to the program, each student is assigned a mentor with Graduate Faculty Status based on fit of research interests. Candidates should initiate contact with their assigned mentor as soon as possible once the admission letter is received. During the first semester of study, the student and mentor will meet to begin working on the process of planning the program of study. It is the student’s responsibility to confer regularly with his or her mentor and make sure the mentor has approved the course choices throughout the graduate program. During the first year of their study, students should actively get to know faculty members’ research and teaching so as to select a committee to advise their studies.
UC Advantages and Special Opportunities
Doctoral students may elect to add graduate certificates to their area of concentration. Options include:
- Adult/International TESL
- Assessment and Evaluation
- Autism Spectrum Disorders
- Developmental and Learning Sciences
- Jewish Education
- Post Secondary Literacy Instruction
- Teacher Leader
- TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages)
Other graduate certificates may be available. Please contact your Faculty Advisor.
Full and part-time graduate students in Educational Studies may apply for financial aid.More information is available at http://grad.uc.edu/admissions/Funding.html.
Minimum admission criteria for all areas of concentration are consistent; however, additional concentration level criteria may be applied. The program is selective. There will be limits on the number of students a faculty member can mentor at one time.
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 (55th 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 (56th 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, you can contact UC Testing Services.
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 advisors 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.
Prospective students will complete the on-line application for the EDST Ph.D. degree by December 1st , at which time they will select a concentration from among the options available. Please note that incomplete applications will not be processed or reviewed. It is the applicant’s responsibility to ensure that all required materials and support documents are successfully submitted. Applicants will be notified of acceptance or rejection by February 15th.
The required documents for application to Educational Studies PhD are noted in the Criteria for Admission. Application to all graduate studies at the University of Cincinnati is fully online and all application materials. Please go to the Graduate School website to submit your application.
Providing academic records during the application process. All applicants are required to upload their unofficial transcripts during the application process. The university defines “unofficial” transcripts as transcripts that have been in the hands of students, are typically printed on plain paper, and do not have a college seal or registrar's signature. Applicants should NOT send official transcripts as part of the application process.
Providing academic records after admission. Once an applicant has been extended an offer of admission to the University of Cincinnati and has accepted the offer, s/he must submit an official transcript showing conferral of a baccalaureate degree or higher as soon as possible to the address below. The university defines “official” transcripts as transcripts that have been received from a secure, authenticated issuing institution and bears validation (e.g., a seal, logo, or watermark), including a date, and an appropriate signature. Official transcripts MUST be sent forward in their original, sealed envelope. The absolute final deadline for submission of official transcripts is one week before the start of the student’s first semester. Students will NOT be allowed to complete a full semester without providing verification of an earned baccalaureate degree or higher. Any discrepancy later found between student-provided unofficial transcripts and official transcripts will be grounds for dismissal. Official Transcripts should be sent to one of the following addresses:
Regular U.S. postal mail:
Delivery via parcel delivery service (FedEx, DHL, UPS, etc.):
Students who have received degrees from the University of Cincinnati do not need to submit official paper copies of their UC transcripts.
Students with degrees received in China
Applicants who have received degrees in China will upload their unofficial transcripts during the application process. The university defines “unofficial” transcripts as transcripts that have been in the hands of students, are typically printed on plain paper, and do not have a college seal or registrar's signature. Unofficial transcripts do NOT need to be verified at this stage of the application process.
After being accepted to join a graduate program
Applicants who have earned a degree in China must submit an English-version verification report from the China Academic Degrees and Graduate Education Development Center (CDGDC) of their final transcripts and degree certificates. All verification reports must be sent to the University of Cincinnati directly by the CDGDC to be considered official. No other verification will be accepted. Applicants with Chinese transcripts must contact the CDGDC after their degree is completed and request that their degree verification report be submitted directly to the University of Cincinnati. Students who request a verification report prior to degree conferral will be required to submit a second report after conferral.
Verification reports can be ordered at the following websites:
Verification reports are due to the Graduate School one week prior to the start of the student’s first semester. Failure to submit verification reports on time will result in a student being placed in non-matriculated status and loss of his/her student visa status. Verification reports should be sent to one of the following addresses:
Regular U.S. postal mail:
Delivery via parcel delivery service (FedEx, DHL, UPS, etc.):
Minimum Required GPA: To be eligible for graduation, the student must maintain a minimum of 3.25 grade point average.
Maintaining Active Status: In order to maintain active status in the graduate program, the student must register for at least 1 graduate credit in any semester during every academic year. If a student fails to maintain active status, he or she must complete a Graduate School Petition for Reinstatement. This request must be received in the Office of Research and Advanced Studies no later than three weeks prior to graduation in order for the candidate to be certified for graduation in that semester. Students who have not been enrolled in classes for more than three years are not eligible for reinstatement and must reapply for readmission to the University. Reapplication does not change the candidate’s original entry date. Time to degree will be calculated from his or her first entry date. To reapply, the candidate must submit a completed Application for Readmission to Graduate School Form.
Graduation: Students must formally apply for graduation in accordance with established Graduate School Graduation Deadlines. Complete information can be found at Graduate School Graduation. Students must maintain active status (i.e., enrolled for at least one credit hour) during the year they plan to graduate and all NG, N, I, UP, SP and F grades must be removed for degree courses.
Prospective students will complete the on-line application for the EDST Ph.D. degree by December 1st, at which time they will select a concentration from among the options available. Please note that incomplete applications will not be processed or reviewed. It is the applicant’s responsibility to ensure that all required materials and support documents are successfully submitted. The Ph.D. Council will conduct an initial review of the applications in all concentrations; however, the interviews and final admission decisions will reside with the faculty for each area of concentration. A minimum of two faculty affiliated with a concentration must review each application. One round of admissions will be conducted in the Spring semester of each year for Fall semester entry into the program the following academic year.
If you would like to submit an electronic application for the Educational Studies program, please visit our On-Line Graduate School Application and complete the form.
AccreditationThe University of Cincinnati and all regional campuses are accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
Doctor of Philosophy Degree in Educational Studies
Full-Time Program Duration
Uptown Campus West
PO BOX 210014
Cincinnati, OH 45221
Phone: (513) 556-6308
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