Degree and Certificate Programs

Doctoral Degrees in Education

Doctoral Majors

Doctoral degree programs are offered in the following major areas of specialization:

Counseling Psychology

The Ph.D. program in counseling psychology is accredited by the American Psychological Association. Graduates of this program are prepared to work as psychologists and administrators in mental health centers, in college counseling centers, and in business and industry; as college faculty members; as private practitioners; and in other positions where counseling psychology competencies are needed.

The doctoral program in counseling psychology includes courses in the following areas: (1) psychological measurement, statistics, and research design; (2) biological, cognitive, affective, social, and individual bases of behavior; (3) course work leading to competence in an area of specialization; and (4) intervention strategies and service delivery systems. The application deadline is December 1 for matriculation in the fall semester.

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Curriculum and Instruction

Ph.D. and Ed.D. programs are offered in curriculum and instruction. These programs prepare students for preschool through grade 12 positions, including posts as curriculum directors and supervisors, although most graduates take positions as college faculty members. Students majoring in curriculum and instruction must complete a number of specified courses. However, there is a great deal of flexibility in the program, depending on the student's needs and interests. As with other doctoral degrees, there is a heavy emphasis on research from both quantitative and non-quantitative perspectives. Students in curriculum and instruction must specialize in one of the following areas:

Art Education

Doctoral students in this program do research in areas related to art education, such as discipline-based curriculum theory (new technologies and art education, multicultural and global art education), community-oriented programming, diversity and gender issues, and education of artistically talented students. Research settings include schools, colleges, museums, and community agencies.

Curriculum Studies

Presently, faculty members and doctoral students in curriculum studies generate scholarship in several fields of study. These include curriculum theory and design, early childhood education, elementary education, secondary education, social studies education, curriculum and cultural studies, curriculum and gender studies, multicultural education, teacher education, critical pedagogy, school reform, and evaluation of educational programs.

Mathematics Education

This program focuses primarily on the teaching and learning of mathematics in grades K-12, although some work in the teaching of college-level mathematics is also possible. Research in this program area can range from specific curriculum issues to more general topics such as assessment, teacher development, and uses of technology. Applicants to the program are expected to have pre-college teaching experience.

Science Education

This program can include specialization within an area of science (chemistry, physics, biology, etc.) or general science education. Research in this program ranges from K-12 science education, to teacher development, to theoretical issues.

Special Education

This program is individualized in that students define three areas of expertise that will determine the focus of their course work. These areas may include disability topics, early intervention, teacher education, nonaversive behavior management, transition from school to work, and school reform.

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Educational Leadership

The Ed.D. program in educational leadership prepares students to be administrators and leaders in public and nonpublic schools, special-education service units, state departments of education, national and state professional organizations, and private corporations. Graduates of this program may also be employed as professors and researchers in colleges and universities. Candidates who specifically seek to prepare for university teaching and research positions should consider applying to the Ph.D. in education policy studies with a concentration in educational leadership. (See section on Doctoral Degrees in Education—History, Philosophy, and Policy Studies in Education.)

Educational leadership faculty members have links with state and federal educational agencies and professional associations, as well as with business firms. Because faculty members are active in research, in education policy studies, and in field studies with school districts, they can offer students opportunities to apply theory and knowledge in solving practical problems in their field.

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Higher Education

Ph.D. and Ed.D. programs are offered in higher education. The Ed.D. program emphasizes acquisition of the skills and knowledge that college and university administrators need to perform effectively in various administrative roles (e.g., student affairs, continuing education, and institutional advancement). The Ph.D. program prepares students for careers in the scholarly study of higher education, institutional research, and teaching.

Two years of professional experience in higher education and a master's degree are preferred but not required for admission. An interview with program faculty members is required. Ph.D. students majoring in higher education are encouraged to take a minor outside the School of Education, in such areas as organizational behavior, business administration, public administration, political science, or sociology.

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History, Philosophy, and Policy Studies in Education

This Ph.D. program consists of three distinct majors—history of education, philosophy of education, and education policy studies. In their goal statements, applicants should indicate their interest in one of the three majors. All three majors are designed to prepare students for professional roles in university teaching and research, as well as in development work and consulting with governmental and nongovernmental agencies.

The major in the history of education emphasizes the history of American education, including elementary, secondary, and higher education; it encourages students to complete supplementary work in programs and departments outside the School of Education, such as in American Studies and History.

The major in philosophy of education may focus on ethics, epistemology, aesthetics, social and political philosophy, foundations of inquiry, feminist philosophy, continental philosophy, and historically important educational thinkers; it requires philosophically relevant work in departments outside the School of Education, such as the Departments of Philosophy, Religious Studies, and History and Philosophy of Science. Applicants to this major should submit with their application a writing sample that demonstrates their skill in philosophical argument, preferably a paper prepared for a relevant course.

The major in education policy studies includes a common core of studies in the concepts and issues of policy study and permits students to select a concentration in international/ comparative education, higher education, or educational leadership (U.S. elementary and secondary education); it requires a minor in a relevant field outside the School of Education, such as economics, public and environmental affairs, or sociology.

Through course work and independent research, students are expected to achieve a command of the literature in the major, to assess the soundness of arguments in that literature, to develop clarity of thinking and writing in the field, and to contribute to its scholarship. Students are given support and encouragement to become involved in the major scholarly organizations in their fields. The program may include relevant opportunities for international travel and study and for practicums in state, national, and international agencies.

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Inquiry Methodology Program 

The Ph.D. Inquiry Methodology Program is dedicated to the advancement of social and behavioral research by critically evaluating, improving, and developing methodological theory and methods so that phenomena of interest can be more soundly investigated and better understood. Students can choose to focus on a quantitative, qualititative, or an integrated program of study. The program is designed to be flexible enough to handle a wide variety of student interests (e.g., statistical modeling, measurement, advanced psychometrics, methodological theory, evaluation, ethnography, philosophy of social science, hermeneutic-reconstructive analysis, discourse and narrative analysis, critical ethnography and feminist research), but rigorous so as to ensure that its graduates can meaningfully contribute to the study of social and behavioral research.

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Instructional Systems Technology

The Ph.D. program in instructional systems technology (1ST) permits students to build a solid basis in theory and inquiry skills as well as to strengthen their professional competencies in the field of instructional technology. The program's emphasis on research and scholarship is well suited to a career as a professor or researcher at the college level.>

There is considerable flexibility in the doctoral curriculum, allowing students to take courses in several areas of specialization leading to professional positions in education, business and industry, government, health professions, and other settings. Areas of specialization include administration of learning resources, computer-based instruction, institutional and organizational change, instructional development, and message design and production.

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Language Education

The Ph.D. and Ed.D. programs in language education have the following objectives:

  1. to prepare teachers of literacy, English, English as a second language and English as a foreign language, foreign language, and reading for positions of leadership in the field, particularly in the development of improved instructional procedures and improved curricula in language education;
  2. to prepare program directors, instructional supervisors, and curriculum specialists in language areas;
  3. to prepare college and university literacy personnel to teach, design, and direct programs for the preparation of teachers of language education;
  4. to prepare researchers in language and literacy education; and
  5. to prepare specialists in the development of programs and instructional materials in language and literacy education at all levels.

The focus of the program is on research and theory in language education and the development of curricula in those areas.

Applicants require a strong academic record pursuing a program broadly based in the language arts and children's or adolescent literature and two years of teaching (or alternative experience).

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Learning and Developmental Sciences/Educational Psychology

The Ph.D. program in learning and developmental sciences/educational psychology offers specializations in human development, inquiry methodology, educational psychology and learning science. The goals for all specializations in learning sciences/educational psychology are: 

  1. to prepare scholars who will broaden the knowledge base in the areas of human development, learning, teaching, research methodology, and school adjustment;
  2. to prepare researchers and evaluators in the use of rigorous methods for generating and analyzing both qualitative and quantitative data; and
  3. to prepare inquiry-based practitioners who work toward the solution of both individual and social problems as these affect school performance and life functioning.

Learning Sciences and educational psychology students learn to approach decision making and problem solving from a data-based orientation, to apply critical and reflective analysis to all knowledge production, and to work toward the overall intellectual and affective betterment of humankind. Graduates of this program secure positions as university faculty members, as psychological and educational researchers, and as program evaluators in research and consulting firms, foundations, public schools, industry, state and federal departments of education, and the military.

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School Psychology

Accredited by the American Psychological Association. Students take course work in cognitive, affective, and behavioral assessment; consultation; professional ethics; the role of the school psychologist; special education; counseling; intervention; and psychology. Practica and an internship are also required.

Graduates of the program are eligible for a broad array of positions, including teaching and research as university faculty members; and clinical and administrative practice as school psychologists or directors of school psychology in public school systems, mental health centers, and state departments of public instruction. Some graduates may become eligible for licensure as psychologists in independent practice. The application deadline for this program is December 1. Matriculation is in the fall semester only.

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Urban Education Studies (Ph.D., IUPUI)

The Ph.D. in Urban Education Studies prepares leaders in educational research who are knowledgeable about educational needs in diverse urban contexts and skilled in critical research related to urban education. The Indiana University School of Education at IUPUI is uniquely situated to prepare educational researchers capable of working in complex urban environments where collaboration and partnerships are fundamental. The Urban Education Studies program is designed to foster collaboration among faculty and students from diverse disciplines and backgrounds, thus providing the opportunity to develop relevant and impactful research agendas. Graduates of the Ph.D. program are prepared for leadership positions in research and teaching at major universities and institutes.

The Urban Education Studies Ph.D. focuses on the study of the complex social systems that interact in urban environments to shape the lives and learning of students and educators. The program aims at developing professionals with a keen understanding of the challenges high-poverty schools face in responding to ethnic, racial, linguistic, and cultural diversity, the effects of economic cycles of boom and bust, and the changing goals and policy demands made on P-20 schools. The Urban Education Studies Ph.D. develops activist orientations to collaborative research that support schools and partnerships, creates new knowledge and unique community-based solutions, and accommodates a range of individual interests, including teacher education, traditional curriculum disciplines in urban contexts, critical social theory and cultural studies of education.

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Additional program information can be found at the Office of Graduate Studies.