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  The Graduate School of Education 2007-2009 Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) Programs Ph.D. Program in Education  

Ph.D. Program in Education

Degree Program Offered: Doctor of Philosophy

Director: Dr. Clark Chinn (732-932-7496, ext. 8319, email:

The Ph.D. in education prepares individuals to assume faculty and research positions in academia, government, and the private sector. Students must choose to pursue one of the following areas of focus: educational policy, educational psychology, language and literacy education, and mathematics education.

The educational policy focusprepares scholars to assume faculty and research positions in academic and governmental settings, as well as within private organizations. Students conduct research on educational policies in specific areas, the processes by which those policies are formulated and implemented, and the intended and unintended outcomes of educational policies.

The educational psychology focusprepares students to conduct research to advance psychological theory through empirical inquiry and to apply the results for the improvement of educational practice. Scientific research is used both to advance theory, such as explaining how people learn, teach, and differ from one another, and to improve practice, such as determining how to improve learning. Students are prepared to conduct research concerned with the discovery and validation of psychological processes and principles that have the potential to optimize human development and learning. A strong background in research methodology is critical to theory building and testing, and to the application of new knowledge to practice.

The language and literacy education focusprepares scholars to discover, create, and interpret knowledge relating to the development of students' literacy competencies. Students investigate the range of literacies in a global, multicultural society; the curricular choices and instructional strategies that foster learning from a variety of texts and authoritative uses of language in a wide variety of settings; and the history and politics of langauge and literacy education, with attention to the effects of culture, social class, and status on the ways that language is used, valued, and understood. While the Ph.D. program prepares individuals to assume faculty and research positions in academia, government, and the private sector, the Ed.D. in literacy education prepares individuals to become school leaders.

The mathematics education focusprepares individuals to conduct basic research on understanding students' thinking, grounded in mathematics, at all age levels. Students conduct fundamental research in the psychology of learning mathematics and problem solving. A strong background in the study of mathematics (or statistics or computer science) is required for admission. Both the Ph.D. and Ed.D. programs are designed to prepare students to contribute new knowledge to the field. Unlike the Ed.D., the Ph.D. requires a master's degree in mathematics.

Only students who have demonstrated the potential for outstanding research are selected for the program. Criteria for admission include a baccalaureate degree in a relevant area; an undergraduate cumulative grade-point average of at least 3.0; a cumulative graduate grade-point average of at least 3.5 (if applicable); strong performance on the Graduate Record Examination; a personal statement reflecting prior experience or an interest in independent scholarship; three letters of recommendation from former professors or employers; and, for international applicants, a TOEFL score indicative of proficiency. Additional criteria may be set by each focus track.

Students must complete at least 48 credits of course work, to be distributed as follows: 6 credits in prethesis research in the education concentration (educational psychology, literacy, mathematics, policy); 6 credits in the education core (educational theory, practice, and research); at least 12 credits in research methods, including coursesin both quantitative and qualitative methodologies; at least 18 credits in the education concentration; and at least 6 credits in the appropriate cognate disciplines. An additional 24 credits of dissertation research are required. Students must maintain a cumulative GPA of at least 3.25 in their doctoral course work. Students may petition the faculty of the Ph.D. in education to transfer up to 24 graduate credits from course work taken elsewhere toward these requirements.

Each Ph.D. student is assigned a research adviser. Students must complete at least two research projects prior to admission to dissertation candidacy, and must pass a qualifying examination written and evaluated by a faculty committee in the area of concentration. Students are admitted to dissertation candidacy by the faculty after they have completed successfully the above requirements. In addition, students must provide evidence of successful teaching experience, which is documented by a portfolio for evaluation by the faculty.

For additional information, contact RU-info at 732/932-info (4636) or
Comments and corrections to: Campus Information Services.

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