Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Teacher Education

Use research to improve teacher performance and student learning.

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Teacher Education - A row of 5 seated students look towards the instructor at the front of the classroom.

About this Program

The Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Teacher Education is a research-intensive program that prepares graduates to assume academic positions in universities and research institutions as well as leadership positions within school districts, such as curriculum coordinators or administrators.

The Ph.D. in Teacher Education has four separate emphasis areas students can choose from:

  • Early Childhood Education
  • Elementary Education
  • Special Education
  • Secondary Education (with specializations in Social Studies, Mathematics, English Language Arts, or Science)

Students will learn to conduct research that aids practitioners while also learning how to disseminate discoveries in publications, at conferences, and in the college classroom. 

On this Page…

    Program Information

    Program Type

    Doctorate Program

    Area of Study



    4 years


    Ph.D. in Education

    Program Location



    Elementary Education;
    Early Childhood Education;
    Special Education;
    Secondary Education (with specializations)

    Required Credit Hours


    Ph.D. in Teacher Education

    Students receive specialized coursework in their identified area of emphasis in addition to training in research methodologies that equip students to investigate the impacts of different variables on student outcomes, including teaching strategies, technologies, learning environments, and inequities.

    The Ph.D. in Teacher Education requires the following courses for a minimum of 69 credit hours.

    To complete the Ph.D. in Teacher Education, students must complete:

    • 6 hours of Doctoral Seminar
    • 18 hours of Professional Core Courses
    • 18 hours of Specialization Courses
    • 9 hours of Professional Competencies
    • 18 hours of Dissertations

    Doctoral Seminar (6)

    • EDCI 700 Doctoral Seminar I - (Research Review, Literature Review, Procedures, CV)
    • EDCI 790 Doctoral Seminar II - (Job Search, Job Interviews, Grant Writing)

    Professional Core Courses (18)

    • EDFD 609 The Cultural Context of Education
    • EDFD 707 The Professional Philosophy: Foundations of Ed Epistemology
    • EDRS 701 Educational Statistics II
    • EDRS 604 Intro to Qualitative Research Methods
    • EDRS 705 Advance Quantitative Research Methods OR EDRS 605 Applied Qualitative Research Methods
    • EDRS 733 Special Topics (either Quantitative or Qualitative)

    Specialization Courses (18)

    This section is designed to meet the student's individual goals and is approved by the graduate committee.

    Professional Competencies (9)

    • EDCI 705 Directed Studies - Professional Competency College Teaching
    • EDCI 702 Directed Studies - Professional Competency Research
    • EDCI 706 Directed Studies - Professional Competency Collaborative Writing

    Dissertation (18)

    • EDCI 797 Dissertation

    Other Academic Requirements

    • Ph.D. in Teacher Education students are required to pass a comprehensive exam to demonstrate that they have satisfactorily mastered the body of academic material appropriate to the degree.
    • Ph.D. in Teacher Education students must complete and orally defend the Dissertation Prospectus. Upon successful defense, candidates must complete the Dissertation Study as outlined in the Dissertation Prospectus and approved by the committee.
    • The final written dissertation must be orally defended by the Doctoral student. Upon defense, the committee will evaluate the merit of the dissertation.

    For specific questions, students are encouraged to contact the Graduate Program Coordinator.

    Students applying to the Ph.D. in Teacher Education must meet the following requirements. Students must have:
    • A Master’s degree in credits with a 3.5 GPA minimum from a regionally or nationally accredited college or university
    • Full or Part-time employment in the field of education
    • A completed online Graduate School application which includes:
      • Official transcripts
      • GRE scores (less than five years old with verbal, quantitative, and writing component sub-scores)
    • 2 years teaching or relevant experience (letter from employer on letterhead)
    • Hold or be eligible to hold a valid teaching license in the content or related area
    • A personal statement (not to exceed 750 words) including responses to the following:
      • What are your goals for completing the degree?
      • Describe a significant issue relevant to your current context of professional practice.
        • Why is this issue important?
        • Discuss the ways in which this problem aligns with your chosen area of specialization.
    • Two letters of recommendation signed by the recommenders. Letters of recommendation should speak to the applicant's competency to conduct rigorous scholarly work as well as the applicant's impact on his or her professional practice.
    • Interview with doctoral admissions committee.

    To properly complete the application process for fall admission, students must submit all application materials before the following deadlines:

    • Priority application deadline: March 1
    • Final application deadline: June 1 (with no guarantee of openings in this cycle)
    Joel C Amidon

    We're here for you!

    If you have any questions about the Ph.D. in Teacher Education, don't hesitate to reach out!

    Joel C Amidon

    Professor of Teacher Education

    How much can you make with a Ph.D. in Teacher Education?


    Median salary for a University Professor in 2022.


    Average salary of a University Researcher in 2024.

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