Doctor of Philosophy in Education (Ph.D.)
SCHOOL OF EDUCATION
The Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Education program is a 90-quarter credit (post-master's) interdepartmental degree offered by the SPU School of Education. The aim of this program is to educate and prepare scholars to serve as college and university-level educators who can effectively prepare teachers and conduct publishable research and other scholarly work. The Ph.D. program will emphasize teaching and learning theory, research, teacher preparation, and university teaching.
For additional program information, see the Doctoral Handbook (PDF).
COURSE OF STUDY
Using the educational benefits of collaborative and cooperative learning combined with continued professional association, the program uses a cohort approach for core doctoral classes. Students admitted to the program proceed though these cohort courses as a group, following a defined schedule and sequence. Cohort courses are noted with an asterisk in the following listings.
Because this is an interdepartmental degree, the student selects courses and learning experiences, with the assistance of the director of doctoral studies, from a variety of areas and opportunities in the School of Education, or from other schools within Seattle Pacific University (subject to approval by the School of Education Doctoral Committee) .
AREAS OF SPECIALIZATION
The specialization/elective component provides the opportunity to develop an area of expertise appropriate to the student's professional and academic goals. Areas of specialization include the following:
- Curriculum and instruction (may include a specific content area)
- Teacher preparation
- Global education
- Literacy education
- Educational technology
- Or other area of interest
(90 quarter credits, post-M.S./M.A. degree; 135 quarter credits post-B.A./B.S.)
Foundations and Instructional Leadership (24 credits)
EDU 6085 (3) Moral Issues in Education
EDU 6120 (3) American Education: Past and Present
EDU 7101 (3) Instructional Theory*
EDU 7102 (3) Curriculum Design*
EDU 7106 (3) Trends and Research in Global Education*
EDU 7910 (3) Seminar in Educational Values
EDU 7912 (3) Review of Theory and Research in Curriculum and Instruction
EDU 7990 (3) Leadership Colloquium
Inquiry and Dissertation (39 credits)
EDU 7107 (3) Program Evaluation*
EDU 7911 (3) Review of Research Methods and Statistics
EDU 7972 (3) Doctoral Research Design and Analysis I*
EDU 7973 (3) Doctoral Research Design and Analysis II*
EDU 7974 (3) Doctoral Research Design and Analysis III*
EDU 7970 (3) Advanced Quantitative Research*
EDU 7991 (1) Dissertation Orientation Seminar*
EDU 7995 (20) Dissertation
* cohort course
Specialization and Electives (27 credits)
EDU 6600 (3) Communication and Collaboration: Parents, Colleagues, and Community
EDU 6882 (3) Positive Psychology and Spirituality in Schools
EDU 7110 (3) Advances in Educational Assessment
EDU 7115 (3) Advances in Educational Psychology
EDU 7930 (3) University Teaching Practicum (teaching and intern supervision)
EDAD 7588 (3) Improving Student Learning
Electives may include internships, practicum, graduate seminars, or existing graduate courses. The electives are to be decided by the program advisor and approved by the Director of Doctoral Studies.
Students may choose from the following specializations:
- Curriculum and instruction (may include a specific K-12 content area)
- Teacher preparation
- Global education
- Literacy education
- Educational technology
- Other self-designed
Depending on a student’s educational background, the following prerequisites may be required for the doctoral degree:
- EDU 6975 Interpreting and Applying Educational Research I
- EDU 6976 Interpreting and Applying Educational Research II
- EDU 6655 Human Development and Principles of Learning
- EDU 6524 Approaches to Curriculum Design
- EDU 6526 Survey of Instructional Strategies
- EDU 6613 Standards-Based Assessment
LEADERSHIP COLLOQUIUM AND COMPREHENSIVE EXAMS
After approximately one year of coursework (24 credits), students may register for the leadership colloquium (EDU 7990). This requires the student to write a scholarly paper and present that paper in a formal setting to the educational community. Graduate faculty of the School of Education conduct an evaluation of the scholarship and colloquium. The leadership colloquium must be taken before the student can take the comprehensive exams.
Upon completion of all courses, the student must pass written comprehensive examinations. These examinations will cover the foundations, professional and research components of the core, and the student's area of specialization. Successful completion of the comprehensive examination advances the student to the doctoral candidacy.
The doctoral dissertation is the culminating experience in the Ph.D. in education degree. It is a scholarly inquiry into an area of professional and intellectual interest, and it is a highly individualized experience.
Working with faculty throughout the coursework and with a dissertation advisor, the student develops a research question and proposal. Using the expertise and knowledge developed in the research courses and under the direction of a faculty dissertation advisor and committee, the student conducts the research and produces a quality report of the findings. As a final demonstration of scholarly competence, the student conducts an oral presentation and defense of the research.
While it is expected that the dissertation will follow standard accepted research methodologies and format, the topic of the research may vary depending on the professional goals and area of specialization of the student and the expertise of the faculty.
Because the Doctoral program requires considerable faculty time and resources, a limited number of students will be admitted to the program each year. It is expected that all applicants will have at least a bachelor's degree (135-credit doctorate) or a master's degree (90-credit doctorate) from a regionally accredited college or university. Admission decisions will be based on the following:
- Submission of the doctoral degree application with the application processing fee.
- Official transcripts documenting excellent undergraduate and graduate GPAs.
- Academic degree(s) in education or related field from an accredited university.
- Minimum of three years successful experience as an educator.
- Graduate Record Exam (GRE) score taken within five years of application.
- Four (4) letters of recommendation (two academic and two professional).
- Personal statement – including goals and proposed area of study (no more than 500 words).
- A writing sample demonstrating graduate-level writing skills. The sample could include, but not be limited to, papers from graduate courses, master's thesis, professional blog, policy statement, white paper/report, etc. Please limit submission to seven pages total.
- Personal interview with at least two SPU core doctoral faculty members.
Cohort classes begin each summer. Screening applicants for admission is an ongoing process and students may be admitted to the program throughout the year so they can begin needed prerequisites, foundations and elective courses.
PROGRAM AND ENROLLMENT POLICIES
At the time of admission, a student may transfer up to 15 post-master's degree credits into the Doctoral Program with the approval of the director of doctoral studies. Courses transferred must be graduate level, from a regionally accredited institution and relevant to the student's course of doctoral study.
They must have been taken within the three years prior to admission and must have been part of a planned program leading to a graduate degree or a professional certificate. Courses with grades below a 3.0 ("B"), or those receiving "pass" or "satisfactory" grades cannot transfer into the program.
Finally, transferred classes may be substituted for degree requirements if the student can document in writing that they are comparable to required courses offered through SPU. Modifications to these transfer policies may be made at the discretion of the director of doctoral studies in consultation with the Doctoral Admissions Committee.
Students are expected to complete the required cohort courses (7000-level) in sequence during the first two years of the program. Once students begin their classes, continuous enrollment must be maintained throughout the program. Students who interrupt the residency requirement may be dropped from the program.
GRADE POINT AVERAGE
A 3.2 overall GPA is required for graduation.
All requirements for the doctoral degree must be completed within five years from the quarter the first post-admission course was taken. Students needing more than five years to complete the degree must file a time-extension petition with the director of doctoral studies.
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