The PhD in Education and Human Development links an intensive research-based course of study with a content area specialization to prepare candidates to assume faculty positions in institutions of higher education or research-based organizations. Successful applicants are paired with a faculty mentor who supports the student to engage in research, development, service, and other professional activities.
This full-time program is designed for those whose aspirations are to join an academic faculty at an institution of higher education for a career in higher education teaching and research. Become an expert in the field’s research literatures, contemporary policy/practice issues and research methodologies of your chosen concentration area while working in a close relationship with your faculty mentors. Earning a PhD in Education and Human Development will culminate in an original dissertation; your courses and experiences will prepare you to design and conduct a dissertation study.
- Participate in teaching and research experiences early and throughout your program
- Leverage opportunities to present, write and publish with your faculty to build your dossier
- Become involved with campus faculty governance
Overview of Course Work
Students complete a plan of study that includes at least 48 semester credits of coursework (including all required core courses) and 27 semester credits of dissertation. The PhD program provides each student with an induction into university research and teaching cultures. PhD coursework is intensive and substantive, requiring significant writing, analysis, and critique of theory and professional literature.
Doctoral students complete a series of courses and professional experiences in a specified concentration area. Concentration areas focus on a defined discipline or content area in preparation for professional roles as researchers and faculty members. Students also complete a research apprenticeship and higher education teaching practicum or equivalent experience. Students in Inclusive Early Childhood Education, Early Childhood Policy, and Family Science and Human Development concentrations take an alternate set of Foundation Courses.
|Foundation Courses / Experiences - 12 Credits
|Foundations of Education in Urban and Diverse Communities
|Learning and Human Development
|Epistemologies: Ways Knowing, Res Paradigms, & Counter-Epistemologies
|Culture and Critical Theory
|Research Methods - 18 Credits
|Doctoral Seminar in Research Methods
|Methods of Qualitative Inquiry
|Mixed Methods Research
|Electives (select two courses (6 credits) of advanced research methods)
Concentration Area - 18 credits
The PhD concentration include the following areas. Students will work with their faculty advisor to determine concentration area courses.
Leadership for Educational Organizations. Students and faculty in this concentration area focus on leadership in schools and the crucial assumption that school leadership makes a difference in how schools succeed in improving learning outcomes for all students. The scholarship and research on school leadership focuses on understanding why leadership is successful, what the interactions are between effective leadership and effective teaching, and how best to impact the collective impact of leadership on organizational and student-learning outcomes at all levels.
Inclusive Early Childhood Education. The goal of this concentration area is to introduce students to issues and practices in early childhood special education/early childhood education and prepare students who provide leadership to improve outcomes for all children including children with disabilities across early childhood settings. Students obtain the skills and knowledge of evidence-based practices needed to address state and national leadership needs within institutions of higher education to address issues in ECSE/ECE. Graduates conduct rigorous research related to culturally responsive, evidence-based practices; translate research into practice, thus expanding the use of evidence-based practice in the field; and, create, evaluate, and improve pre-service teacher education programs in ECE and ECSE.
Early Childhood Policy. The goal of this concentration is to prepare candidates to be leaders, policymakers, policy advisors and analysts, faculty members, and researchers who successfully shape, direct, implement, and evaluate early childhood services, infrastructure, and policy and contribute to the scholarly knowledge that undergirds the discipline. Graduates enter a growing and dynamic field with burgeoning research about the critical years in children's brain development, learning, and health. This concentration holds institutional and system reform as its unit of change and equity in opportunity and outcomes as the purpose for change.
Family Science and Human Development. The goal of this concentration is to prepare students to critically examine and understand family science within an ecological life span development lens. This program prepares students to work in academic careers as researchers and scholars in Family Science and Human Development. Students are provided a rich curriculum that centers on theoretical and scholarly knowledge in family science, human development and research inquiry. Another objective of this program is to integrate the importance of family diversity (which includes race, ethnicity, culture, class, gender, sexual orientation, age, religion, ability and language) into the curriculum as it relates to social justice in family science and child, adolescent and adult development. Central to the Family Science and Human Development concentration is the conceptual framework of family and human ecological systems and how that framework impacts research, practice and policy with diverse families in the United States and at the global level.
Math Education. Students and faculty in this concentration area focus on teacher learning and professional development experiences. Specifically, projects investigate the ways that particular interventions used in professional development for mathematics teachers impacts their content knowledge and pedagogical practices in their classrooms. Work in this area is framed by a situative perspective of learning and incorporates mixed methods to answer questions around the ways particular interventions support teacher and student learning. Video data is prominent in both the design of professional development interventions as well as a major data source for analyses. Analytic methods vary based on the research question and grain size.
Research and Evaluation Methods. The goal of this concentration area is to prepare students to design and carry out significant applied research on individual and organizational change in the field of education and human development. Through problem-based pedagogy and hands-on learning, students will be prepared to be collaborative applied researchers who work with community, university, and school partners. Students will learn advanced quantitative, advanced qualitative, and mixed methods research techniques. Course content includes mixed methods, advanced statistics, advanced qualitative data analysis, systems analysis, collaborative team research, and practicum experiences. Graduates of the program are prepared to work as faculty members, school district and organizational researchers, data analysts, and assessment coordinators.
Science Education. The goal of this area is to prepare students to explore, understand, and think critically about the nature of science and science education from a research-oriented perspective. Students may elect to focus on environmental science education as an area of specialization within this concentration area through electives and discipline-specific research agendas.
Critical Studies in Education. This concentration area includes faculty who approach their research and teaching in education with a transdisciplinary and critical lens, especially with respects to race, gender, class, disability, sexuality, language, and culture. Faculty members ground their approach in social justice in education and promote the ideas of educational equity, transformative education, and educational activism in nontraditional ways. Particularly, how schooling, society, and policies are dialectical sites of oppression and liberation; and how the role of educator is that of intellectual activist to facilitate that liberation. Because an activist approach is necessary, this concentration area convenes a monthly research meeting where students and faculty collaboratively work on research, publications, conference presentations, and theory building. The faculty of Critical Studies in Education approach education in critical ways to ensure the futurity of a more transformational, liberatory, and humanizing educational system and society.
Dissertation - 27 Credits
Doctoral students complete a series of courses/experiences in a specified concentration area. Concentration areas focus on a defined discipline or content area in preparation for professional roles as researchers and faculty members. Students also complete a research apprenticeship and higher education teaching practicum or equivalent experience.
The following learning outcomes guide the PhD course and program development.
Graduates of the PhD in Education & Human Development program are able to do the following:
- Apply theories of learning and development to understand fundamental questions involving education, communities, and/or families;
- Identify and analyze an issue related to equity;
- Apply a critical lens to interrogate existing research and theoretical perspectives;
- Critically apply theories, methods, and knowledge to address questions in their primary field;
- Demonstrate skills and knowledge at a level required for college and university teaching;
- Plan and conduct research of significance; and
- Demonstrate skills in oral and written communication sufficient to publish and present work in their field or prepare grant proposals.