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
Using the educational benefits of collaborative and cooperative learning combined with continued professional association, the program uses a cohort approach for core doctoral classes. Once you are admitted to the program, you 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, you select 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
LEADERSHIP COLLOQUIUM AND COMPREHENSIVE EXAMS
After approximately one year of coursework (24 credits), you may register for the leadership colloquium (EDU 7990). This requires you 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 you can take the comprehensive exams.
Upon completion of all courses, you must pass written comprehensive examinations. These examinations will cover the foundations, professional and research components of the core, and your area of specialization. Successful completion of the comprehensive examination advances you 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, you develop 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, you conduct the research and produce a quality report of the findings. As a final demonstration of scholarly competence, you will conduct 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 your professional goals and area of specialization 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.
To apply, submit the following items to The Graduate Center to be considered for admissions:
Cohort classes begin each summer. Screening applicants for admission is an ongoing process and you may be admitted to the program throughout the year so you can begin needed prerequisites, foundations, and elective courses.
PROGRAM AND ENROLLMENT POLICIES
At the time of admission, you 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 your course of doctoral study.
The courses 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 you 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.
You are expected to complete the required cohort courses (7000-level) in sequence during the first two years of the program. Once you begin your classes, continuous enrollment must be maintained throughout the program. Students who interrupt the residency requirement may be dropped from the program.
GRADE POINT AVERAGE
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.
APPLICATION AND ADMISSIONS QUESTIONS
Seattle Pacific University