Ph.D. in Education

High-Impact Education at an R1 Institution. The Ph.D. program in Education prepares you at an advanced level to work in higher education and school/agency leadership roles. 

Program Objectives

The Ph.D. in Education prepares you at an advanced level to work in the professorial ranks of higher education or assume positions of leadership in schools and agencies. The degree provides rich preparation by exposing you to a wide variety of courses and experiences related to fundamental theories and concepts associated with education, as well as current issues and trends in teaching and learning. Strengths of the program lie in the opportunity for you to be exposed to a variety of courses and to faculty members in the College of Education and the University, while having a defined area of emphasis for your study. The graduate program in education leads to both a broad and a deep scholarly knowledge of education, with an emphasis on the production of new knowledge within the profession.

The College of Education offers a Ph.D. in Education (Doctor of Philosophy) degree with eight areas of emphasis and an Ed.D. in Educational Leadership (Doctor of Education). Areas of emphasis available in the education Ph.D. program include the following:

  • Counselor Education and Supervision. This area of emphasis is an excellent fit for individuals who wish to pursue counselor education and counseling leadership positions, excelling in research, writing, teaching, service, securing external funding, assuming professional leadership roles in the counseling field, and providing clinical supervision.
  • Curriculum and Instruction. This emphasis area is for students interested in developing expertise in teaching and teacher education, curricular development and implementation, subject specific areas (e.g., English, social studies, science, mathematics, and other areas), and/or issues in pre-K through college education.
  • Educational Leadership. This area of emphasis focuses on advanced leadership preparation as it applies to K-12 or to higher education settings.  The Ph.D. prepares students for leadership or teaching at the college level or for roles in policy analysis and research.  The Ed.D. option is available in this area of concentration for practicing professionals in K-12.
  • English Language Learners. This area of emphasis provides a strong knowledge base grounded in current research to support students who are learning English as a new language, assess skills of language diverse students, and design ELL and/or bilingual instruction.
  • Equity and Diversity in Education. This program allows educators and those in related fields to enhance their knowledge, skills, and dispositions to work more effectively with individuals from diverse backgrounds.
  • Human Development & Family Science. This emphasis area provides students with a strong foundation in developmental, interpersonal, and family theories, in-depth research skills and expertise, and builds in-depth knowledge in a content area chosen by the student in consultation with their advisor. The Ph.D. emphasis in HDFS is designed to prepare students for academic positions in departments of Human Development and Family Science or equivalent advanced positions.
  • Information Technology in Education. This emphasis area provides advanced training for educators or prospective educators a strong theoretical and practical foundation in dynamic instructional design, and concurrent knowledge and skills to integrate contemporary digital technology in a variety of educational and training settings.
  • Literacy Studies. Literacy instruction and its intersection with English language learning and issues of culture and diversity are the foci of this emphasis area.
  • Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Education. This emphasis area explores the effective teaching of math and science, as well as applications of various technologies in these fields and their impact on society.  Students may focus on math or science education specifically, but will have a broad exposure to the MSTS area.
  • Special Education and Disabilities Studies. Study in this area of emphasis on issues of disability as they apply to education and human service agencies. Students may focus broadly across disability areas and age ranges, or they may focus more narrowly. Courses are available in the categorical areas of learning disabilities, emotional/behavioral disorders, autism, intellectual disabilities and severe multiple disabilities, and early childhood special education. Cross-categorical courses are also offered, as well as special topics courses related to key contemporary issues in special education.

Admission Deadlines

The College of Education & Human Development has application deadlines for Spring (November 15). Students wishing to apply for a graduate assistantship for Fall semester must apply for the Ph.D. program and the college graduate assistantship by February 1. Applications for Fall will continue to be reviewed up to July 15.