Educational Leadership and Policy Studies

Ph.D. in History, Philosophy, and Policy in Education-Specialization in History of Education

The History of Education program introduces students to the study of past practices, policies, and developments in education, defined broadly. It prepares graduates primarily for academic life, but the perspectives and skills developed through coursework and dissertation writing are relevant to employment in a range of other informal and formal settings, such as museums or educational non-profits, as well as government agencies, school districts, and policy centers.

This 90-credit hour Ph.D. program enables students to acquire grounding in the history of experiences at the elementary, secondary, and higher educational levels and to explore educational movements, reform efforts, and intellectual debates. Emphasis is placed on the social, political, and cultural contexts in which education occurs, as well as the salience of race, class, and gender in shaping education. Students work closely with a faculty advisor to develop a cohesive program of study tailored to their interests and career goals. There is ample opportunity to undertake independent study and conduct original research, and to pursue complementary coursework in other units of the university—including, for example, African American and African Diaspora Studies, American Indian Studies, American Studies, East Asian Studies, Folklore, Latino Studies, Philanthropy Studies, and Women’s History and Gender Studies. In addition to their studies in the history of education and chosen minor, doctoral students preparing for academic careers are encouraged to take full advantage of resources in the university related to the scholarship of teaching and the creative uses of instructional technology.

Prospective students are strongly encouraged to contact program faculty to discuss their interests before applying.

Degree Requirements (90 cr.)

Major Requirements (36 cr.)

Required major courses include:

  • H504 History of American Education (3 cr.)
  • H530 Historical Inquiry in Education (3 cr.)
  • H601 Historical Inquiry in Education (3 cr.)
  • H637 Topical Seminar in History of Education (3 cr.)

At least six (6) credit hours must be in inquiry linkage courses, including an early inquiry experience. Your advisory committee must review and approve at least one of your papers produced in the Inquiry Seminar to assist in the faculty's assessment of your progress in the research program. The major program allows for tutorial or independent study, which enables you to deepen your knowledge in areas of special interest or explore a complementary topic.

The remaining credits in the major are chosen in consultation with the student’s advisor.

Inquiry Requirements (9 cr.)

The inquiry core includes a survey course in research methodologies and beginning courses in statistics, measurement, program evaluation, or in ethnographic, qualitative, quantitative, and historical research methods. This requirement is designed to ensure that you acquire the general skills of historical inquiry and the specific skills necessary for inquiry in the history of education. At least three courses must be selected outside the major and approved by your advisory committee. A list of approved inquiry courses may be found at:

Minor Requirements (12 cr.)

The minor must have integrity in its own right and must complement the major. The minor field must demonstrate wholeness within itself and contribute to the student's overall doctoral program. Minors are normally formulated within a single program area. However, an interdisciplinary or individualized minor is also possible. Interdisciplinary or individualized minors require a written description of the minor's underlying theme along with a rationale for each course's contribution to that theme through the Minor Justification form. This form should be submitted and approved by the Graduate Studies Office prior to enrolling in the minor courses.  Major area courses may not be used in the minor.

Elective Requirements (6-18 cr.)

A minimum of six (6) credits hours of electives must be taken, although you may exceed that total up to 18 credits with the approval of the advisory committee. You may choose a second minor field, which requires a minimum of 12 hours.  All electives and courses for a second minor must be approved by the advisory committee.

Dissertation Requirements (15 cr.)

  • H795 Dissertation Proposal Preparation (3 cr.)
  • H799 Doctoral Thesis in History of Philosophy of Education (12 cr.)           

Academic Bulletins

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