Education

Degree Offered

  • Doctor of Philosophy with a major in Education

Nature of the Program

The Doctor of Philosophy degree program provides a rigorous course of study along with mentored research and teaching experiences to enable students to achieve core educational objectives as scholars in four specialization areas: Educational Leadership and Policy; Learning, Instructional Design and Technology; Curriculum, Literacy and Cultural Studies; Human Development and Family Studies.  Several thematic contexts, critical to our state and region, provide the platform for the study of education and achieving the competencies in each specialization area.  These unique themes include: the rural nature of our state context, the poverty many children and families live in throughout the region, and the cultural context of Appalachia, all as they impact education.  The research interests of faculty members participating in the program address aspects of these themes. Research and scholarly experiences prepare graduates who plan to pursue a research agenda in higher education or in educational research/policy centers. 
 
The primary objective is to prepare students who have both breadth and depth of knowledge in education and who will (a) conduct original research and (b) contribute to the production and development of knowledge in the discipline.  Candidates who achieve these objectives will be well prepared to serve as members of academic communities at peer institutions of higher education, and researchers and leaders in educational research and policy centers. The educational objectives of the program are clearly connected to the mission of West Virginia University; specifically, conducting focused research and providing professional service to the state and nation based on that research.
 
  1. Students will become conversant with the Theoretical Foundations of Education in the areas of Educational Leadership, Policy, Learning, Instructional Design, Technology, Curriculum, Literacy, Cultural Studies and Human Development and Family Studies, plus the Nature of Inquiry.
  2. Students will demonstrate research competencies sufficient to design, conduct, analyze, and report qualitative, quantitative, and mixed-methods research on topics of relevance to their area of emphasis.
  3. Students will demonstrate teaching competencies sufficient to design, deliver, monitor, and revise instruction at the undergraduate and/or graduate level on content relevant to their area of emphasis.
  4. Students will demonstrate intellectual competencies sufficient to deliver instruction, conduct research, and provide service at the level of a university faculty member in specializations of relevance to their area of emphasis.
  5. Students will propose, conduct, analyze, and write a dissertation composed of original research that makes a contribution to the literature in their area of emphasis.

Admission Requirements

Applicants for the Interdisciplinary Ph.D. in Education must: 

  • Submit WVU Graduate application for admission, found at http://graduate.wvu.edu/future-students/application-process. Applications must be dated, completed and received in the department by 12-2-2016.   (Be sure to upload all required information, see below)
  • Have earned at least a 3.0 undergraduate GPA  and at least a 3.5 graduate GPA.
  • Submit scores for the  Graduate Record Examination (GRE),  320 new score (before 2011) or 1,100 (combined score of verbal and quantitative sections)  or Miller Analogies test (MAT) of at least 410-416.
  • International applicants must provide TOEFL scores of at least 80 (internet version), 213 (computer-based), or 550 (paper-based)  79-80 iBT or IELTS 6.5.

            Note:Test scores may be no older than five years.   

Required Supplemental Materials to be uploaded to the WVU application:

Applicants are required to upload the following information to their on-line graduate application. Incomplete applications will not be reviewed.

  • Scholarly writing samples that demonstrate the student's academic writing skills.
  • Three letters of recommendation that clearly attest to the students ability to be a successful doctoral student.  (Addressed to Interdisciplinary Ph.D. in Education Review Committee).
  • A Statement of Purpose, discussing research goals and how they can be met through the Interdisciplinary Ph.D. program. We expect students to indicate scholarly connections with CEHS faculty and how specific faculty might help them achieve their research goals. Applicants must identify the Area of Emphasis for their PhD program. The connection between the applicants interests and the area of emphasis should be clearly related to the statement of purpose.  
  1. HO88 – Educational Leadership & Policy Studies
  2. HO89 – Learning, Instructional Design & Technology
  3. HO90 – Curriculum, Literacy & Culture Studies
  4. HO95 – Human Development & Family Studies
  • A face-to-face, phone, or Internet-based video interview may be required as part of the application process before students are formally admitted.

Doctor of Philosophy

Major Requirements

Theoretical Foundations Core12
SCFD 781Nature of Inquiry 11
SCFD 782Nature of Inquiry 21
SCFD 783Nature of Inquiry 31
Select one of the following Educational Leadership and Policy Area of Emphasis courses:
Principles of Educational Leadership
Higher Education Administration
Assessment in Higher Education
Select one of the following Learning, Instructional Design and Technology Area of Emphasis courses:
Psychological Foundations of Learning
Instructional Design
Principles of Instruction
Select one of the following Curriculum, Literacy, and Cultural Studies Area of Emphasis courses:
Sociology of Education
Philosophy of Education
History of American Education
Curriculum Development
Theories, Models and Research of Teaching
Curriculum Theories
Select one of the following Human Development and Family Studies Area of Emphasis courses:
HDFS 793
Families and Human Development in Educational Contexts
HDFS 793
Family Issues/Problems
HDFS 793
Human Development within Families
HDFS 793
Families/Human Development in Rural and Appalachian Contexts
Research Core15
Introduction to Research
Statistical Methods 1
Qualitative Research Methods
Statistical Methods 2
Survey Research Elective *
Mentored Research/Teaching Practica12
Research (6 credit hours)
Teaching (6 credit hours)
Area of Emphasis coursework30
Total Hours72

*

Elective should be related to research methodology employed for dissertation. This may require that the specific course not be specified on program of study, but rather identified during prospectus development.

Admission to Candidacy and Dissertation Requirements

Program Features

The Doctor of Philosophy degree program provides a rigorous course of study along with mentored research and teaching experiences to enable students to achieve core educational objectives as scholars in four specialization areas, as described below.  Several thematic contexts, critical to our state and region, provide the platform for the study of education and achieving the competencies in each area.  These unique themes include: the rural nature of our state context, the poverty many children and families live in throughout the region, and the cultural context of Appalachia, all as they impact education.  The research interests of faculty members participating in the program address aspects of these themes.

Mentored Research/Teaching Practica.  All students will complete a two-semester mentored research practicum [6 hours] that involves guidance from a faculty mentor who represents the student’s area of emphasis.  This will result in a research document submitted for presentation and/or publication.  This mentored research practicum is separate from and prior to the dissertation research project.

All students will complete a two-semester mentored teaching practicum [6 hours] that involves guidance from a faculty mentor who represents the student’s area of emphasis.  This will result in an implemented and evaluated course design.

All students will attend periodic seminars designed to support their efforts and allow for discussion of those efforts with other doctoral students and faculty members mentoring those efforts throughout the Mentored Research and Mentored Teaching practica.

Candidacy and Dissertation Requirements.  All students will be asked to show mastery of their area of interest by successful completion of the Candidacy Examination (preliminary comprehensive) designed by the student’s doctoral committee using guidelines developed by each area of emphasis faculty. 

After students pass their comprehensive exams, they will complete a dissertation proposal/prospectus that will provide an in-depth overview of their research ideas for their dissertation.  Upon approval of the dissertation proposal by (a) their doctoral committee and (b) the institutional review board, students will conduct their dissertation research.  The faculty will assess the dissertation and its oral defense and will recommend approval based upon the quality of work. You have five years to complete your dissertation upon being admitted as a doctoral candidate.

Educational Leadership and Policy Area of Emphasis

Area of Emphasis courses6
Additional courses selected by the student and the doctoral committee24
Total Hours30

Learning, Instructional Design and Technology Area of Emphasis

Area of Emphasis courses6
Additional courses selected by the student and the doctoral committee24
Total Hours30

Curriculum, Literacy and Cultural Studies Area of Emphasis

Area of Emphasis courses6
Additional courses selected by the student and the doctoral committee24
Total Hours30

Human Development and Family Studies Area of Emphasis

Area of Emphasis courses6
Additional courses selected by the student and the doctoral committee24
Total Hours30

Major Learning Goals

Education

The learning goals for the Doctor of Philosophy program in Education are to prepare students who:

  • Have commitment and skills to engage in life-long learning;
  • Are effective communicators;
  • Recognize that teaching is a professional, moral, and ethical enterprise with well-developed ethical frameworks which facilitate effective teaching;
  • Will serve as a facilitator of learning for all students;
  • Possess in-depth knowledge of both pedagogy and content, and the relationships between them;
  • Are reflective practitioners;
  • Are aware of, and have respect for, human diversity;
  • Value and integrate knowledge from a wide variety of fields, are creative and open to new ideas, and are able to act constructively in a world characterized by technological, cultural, and societal diversity and change.