2011-2012 University Catalog 
2011-2012 University Catalog

Education, PhD

Banner Code: E1-PHD-EDUC 

The PhD in Education is a program of advanced professional study to develop leadership in a selected field of professional education. As a program of doctoral study, it emphasizes theory and research as much as it does practice, breadth of study as much as depth, and process as well as knowledge. It seeks to develop both knowledge and the skills useful in educational roles as well as the abilities to analyze and respond to problems in their relationships to various educational concerns. Students must satisfy all requirements for doctoral degree expressed in the Academic Policies  section of this catalog.

Admissions Requirements

Candidates are admitted to study by the College of Education and Human Development (CEHD); admission is highly selective. Applicants must fulfill the following admission requirements:

  • A minimum of three years of successful experience as a practitioner in an educational setting
  • Baccalaureate and master’s (or equivalent) degrees from accredited institutions
  • Demonstrate high intellectual capability
  • Demonstrate leadership potential
  • Three letters of recommendations
  • GRE general test scores including the writing assessment

For more information, call the PhD in Education Office at 703-993-2011. Completed applications must be submitted to the CEHD Graduate Admissions Office by February 1 for summer for fall admission, or by September 1 for spring admission.

Degree Requirements

Education doctoral candidates complete a minimum of 74 credits. PhD students are required to complete three portfolios at different stages in their program. Each student must demonstrate competence in oral and written English, computer literacy mastery of knowledge and skills in the area of professional expertise, and the ability to apply general and specific knowledge and skills to significant educational problems.

Reduction of Credit (9 credits)

Students must have a master’s degree before being admitted to the PhD in education. As such, admitted students will receive a reduction of 9 credits bringing the minimum coursework requirement total (including dissertation proposal and research) to 65 credits.

Core Requirements (32 credits)

All students pursuing the PhD in education take the following core courses, and dissertation:

Dissertation Proposal and Research (12 credits)

Once enrolled in EDUC 998, students must maintain continuous registration for at least 1 credit; once enrolled in EDUC 999, students must follow the university continuous registration policy as specified in the Academic Policies  section of this catalog.

  • EDUC 998 - Doctoral Dissertation Proposal Credits: 1-6 (Must register for 3 credits the first semester enrolled in EDUC 998.  Students preparing their proposal must register for 1 credit each semester thereafter until the proposal has been successfully defended)
  • EDUC 999 - Doctoral Dissertation Research Credits: 1-9 (Must register for 3 or 6 credits the first semester enrolled in EDUC 999. Must register for at least 1 credit thereafter until all work has been completed including the semester in which degree is received)

PhD without Concentration

Students who do not wish to pursue the PhD in education with the concentration in learning technology design research (LTDR) must complete the following requirements: 

Professional Specialization (21 credits)

Students select course work (including three internship credits) based on their area of specialization. Professional specializations include: counseling and development, early childhood education, education leadership, educational psychology, higher education, international education, learning technologies design research, literacy and reading, mathematics or science education leadership, multilingual/multicultural education, research methodology, special education, and teaching and teacher education.

Note:  Students enroll in an internship designed to broaden their professional expertise. This internship must be taken in a setting that differs from the student’s work setting, and includes 100 clock hours of work.

Complimentary Emphasis (12 credits)

Students may develop an emphasis from course work offered within CEHD or course work offered within other Mason units, in consultation with their advisor.

Note:  In some situations, students can receive a reduction of 9 additional credits from their master’s toward fulfillment of the emphasis requirement if their master’s degree area of study is not the same as their doctoral specialization area and it aligns with their program of study. Students make this decision in consultation with their program advisory committee members.

Core and Coursework Total: 65 credits

▲Concentration in Learning Technologies Design Research (LTDR)

The PhD concentration in Learning Technologies Design Research supports the in depth study of design-based research methods to address cross disciplinary design, development, and research in such areas as innovation and creativity in the design of learning technologies, design and assessment of K-12 technology solutions and technology teacher education, technology solutions to support those with disabilities, and emerging technologies and practices. This doctoral concentration engages doctoral students in real world, integrated design and research. Doctoral candidates complete a sequence of core courses as well as choosing from one of three specialization areas: instructional systems design, integration of technology in schools, or assistive technology.

In addition to the doctoral program core requirements shown above, students must complete the following curriculum to earn the concentration:

Concentration Emphasis (12 credits)

Students must complete 12 credits of coursework to satisfy this requirement, including courses stipulated in the three emphases areas below. Additional courses must be chosen in consultation with an advisor.

Note:  In some situations, students can receive a reduction of up to 12 additional credits from their master’s degree toward fulfillment of this requirement if their master’s degree area of study is the same as their concentration emphasis. Students make this decision in consultation with their program advisory committee members.

Core and Coursework Total: 65 credits

Total: 74 credits