The Department provides programs for both the Ed.D. and the Ph.D. degrees. In general, the Ed.D. degree places emphasis on breadth of professional coursework with a focus on educational practice. All candidates are required to be competent in both quantitative and qualitative research methodology and to have knowledge of the epistemology of science and of psychology sufficient to be an informed scholar-practitioner.
All doctoral candidates must have a written program plan approved by their advisor. The approved plan should then be forwarded to the Office of Doctoral Studies. The student normally then completes doctoral coursework and engages in doctoral research and writing. Refer to the Ph.D. and Ed.D. Requirements Bulletin, prepared by the Office of Doctoral Studies, for a fuller description of requirements.
Students enrolled in the doctoral program may specialize in an area of interest to them pertinent to science education by taking courses in their area of interest. Some potential areas to pursue include elementary school science, secondary school science, urban science education, and technology studies.
The Program offers curricula leading to the degree of Doctor of Education (Ed.D.). This program is intended to prepare students for leadership in science education. Most students entering this program are classroom teachers. This program is designed to prepare professional science educators who are (1) educated both broadly and deeply in science subject matter, (2) competent in methods of scholarly analysis, and (3) have a deep understanding of education and science education. Students should also consult the Requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Education bulletin, available from the Office of Doctoral Studies, for College-wide Ed.D. requirements.
In total, a minimum of 90 course points are required: A minimum of 15 points in breadth of science content courses, 15 points in core science education courses, 12 points in professional education courses, 9 points in research methodology courses, 3-6 points in technology courses, and 6 dissertation study points. This leaves a remaining 27-30 points of optional studies to be determined in consultation with the advisor. These additional points may be used to create a minor in an area of interest.
The student, in consultation with an advisor, plans a program of study consistent with the student’s prior education and oriented toward professional goals. This program plan is approved by the advisor and then submitted to the Office of Doctoral Studies. In planning a program of study, the student would be wise to pay particular attention to the time when the certification exam is taken. Students are required to complete a minimum of 20 points after taking the certification examination for the first time, including points taken during the term in which that examination was taken.
The certification examination is ordinarily taken no later than the term in which the student completes 65-75 percent of coursework. A special certification examination is designed for each candidate. The certification exam generally takes place in the student’s third year of full-time study. Please refer to the Office of Doctoral Studies bulletin and the departmental advisor for details.
The Ed.D. dissertation is a scholarly endeavor contributing new knowledge to the field and should be planned early in the doctoral program when sufficient advanced courses have been completed to permit the candidate to enroll in relevant research techniques courses and pertinent advanced study to enable efficient and high-quality preparation of the thesis. Dissertations in science education can be (1) empirical or theoretical studies in learning, (2) design and formative evaluation of science curricula, or (3) analytical studies in policy theory in science education. The candidate is recommended to seek an advisor within the department who can best guide the design and completion of the type of thesis chosen.