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