On Campus Ph.D.

If you are interested in being a part of our Fall 2021 cohort, the deadline to apply is December 15, 2020 (to be competitive for fellowships) and March 15, 2021 (for all other applicants).


Students in the Teachers, Schools, and Society program area begin with three foundational courses that encompass our collective identity as scholars and practitioners. These courses center on the history of education; critical pedagogy; and perspectives in curriculum, teaching, and teacher education. In addition, all students in the School of Teaching and Learning take a course focusing on introduction to research in curriculum and instruction, scholars in the field, and expectations of the professoriate.

Building on these foundational courses, students choose one specialization area of focus: Social Foundations. Critical Studies in Race, Ethnicity, and Culture; or Teacher Education Scholarship and Practice.

  • Students concentrating in Social Foundations of Education develop expertise in historical, philosophical, and comparative perspectives on the interrelationships between schools and society.
  • Students specializing in Critical Studies in Race, Ethnicity, and Culture develop an interdisciplinary perspective towards the critical examination of social forces that create and perpetuate structural inequities relative to educational systems in local and global contexts.
  • The Teacher Education Scholarship and Practice specialization focuses on research and practice related to the initial preparation and ongoing professional development of teachers for a democratic society.

Students take at least three courses in the chosen specialization throughout their program. Finally, students are required to take 12 credit hours of research courses, chosen in consultation with their advisor. Additionally, students have opportunities to take electives, additional courses in their chosen specialization, courses in other specializations, and additional research courses.

Upon completion of coursework, students complete qualitative exams that include a dissertation proposal before moving into the dissertation experience.


Partial funding for up to 4 years of doctoral study is available for qualified students through assistantships that include tuition waivers, a stipend, and health insurance benefits. The most competitive applicants will be considered for full funding through fellowships in the department. TSS faculty oversee assistantships and fellowships to ensure that all students engage in research, teaching, and service during their programs. Assistantship opportunities include teaching undergraduate classes within our teacher education and other related programs, assisting on research grants, supervising teacher candidates during clinical field experiences, and other administrative projects.


Activities Ph.D. students become involved in:

  • State and national conference presentations with doctoral students and faculty
  • Research projects and publications, helping students become competitive for the job market
  • Small, discussion-based seminars in which theory and practice are closely examined
  • Collaboration with other doctoral students within the School of Teaching and Learning as well as doctoral students in the TSS specialization area