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Graduate 
Education

Interdisciplinary Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Education Program

The Interdisciplinary Doctor of Philosophy in Education 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. Several thematic contexts critical to our state and region will 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.

Note: Since the Ph.D. in Education is designed to prepare students for working in research oriented institutions in higher education, and emphasizes close faculty/student mentorship in research, it is an on site program and cannot be completed online.

To learn more, please explore the links below.


Program Objectives

The primary objective is to prepare students who have both breadth and depth of knowledge in education and who will conduct original research and contribute to the knowledge in the discipline. Doctoral candidates who achieve these objectives will be well prepared to serve as members of the academic communities of peer institutions of higher education. The educational objectives of the proposed program are clearly connected to the mission of West Virginia University. West Virginia University’s mission includes conducting focused research and providing professional service to the state and nation based on that research. The competencies to be achieved by students include the following:

  • 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, human development and family studies, plus the nature of inquiry.
  • Students will demonstrate research competencies sufficient to design, conduct, analyze, and report qualitative, quantitative, and mixed-methods research on topics of relevance to their major area of emphasis.
  • Students will demonstrate teaching competencies sufficient to design, deliver, monitor, and revise instruction at the undergraduate and/or graduate level on content of relevance to their major area of emphasis.
  • 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 major area of emphasis.
  • Students will propose, conduct, analyze, and write a dissertation composed of original research that makes a contribution to the literature in their major area of emphasis.

Admission Information

The deadline for admission in 2017 to the Interdisciplinary Ph.D. Program is December 2, 2016.

Applicants must have all required admission materials to the department by December 2, 2016 to be reviewed. No applications will be reviewed that are not complete or that arrive after December 2, 2016. Prospective students are strongly advised to begin the application process early and submit materials several weeks prior to the deadline.

To begin the admissions process, please visit the WVU Graduate Education website

An admissions committee composed of members from each of the major areas of study will screen the applications and make admissions decisions based on the following standards, in consultation with the faculty in the major areas of emphasis.

  • Applicants must have a 3.0 or better grade point average upon completion of the undergraduate degree, and a 3.5 grade point average upon completion of any graduate degree.
  • Applicants must have:
    • A score of 300 which is equivalent to the old combined score of 1,100 on the verbal and quantitative parts of the Graduate Record Examination.
      or
    • 410-416 on the Miller Analogies Test.
    • International applicants must achieve TOEFL scores of at least 80 (internet version), 213 (computer-based), or 550 (paper-based).
  • Applicants must submit writing samples that will be evaluated by teams of faculty members.
  • Applicants must submit a statement of purpose outlining how the Interdisciplinary Ph.D. can meet their research goals.
  • Three letters of recommendation are required.
  • A face-to-face, phone, or Internet interview may be included in the process at the discretion of the admissions committee.


The College of Education and Human Services Interdisciplinary Ph.D. Program requires a full-time commitment. Each student who is accepted into the program works with faculty on a daily basis, which will help to hone skills and to sharpen the research focus. Furthermore, each student has both the opportunity as well as the requirement to conduct basic research and to translate this into classroom teaching, presentation, and publication. Consequently, it is imperative that each student commit to becoming a full-time doctoral student.


Course Information


Theoretical Foundations Core

All students must complete a course from each of the major areas of study. These courses include a selection of one from the following list for each major area:

  • Educational Leadership and Policy
    • Principles of Educational Leadership (EDLS 603)
    • Higher Education Administration (EDLS 650)
    • Assessment in Higher Education (EDLS 652)
    • Policy Analysis in Higher Education (EDLS 793)
  • Learning, Instructional Design, and Technology
    • Psychological Foundations of Learning (EdP 700)
    • Instructional Design (EdP 640)
    • Principles of Instruction (EdP 740)
  • Curriculum, Literacy, and Cultural Studies
    • Sociology of Education (SCFD 600)
    • Philosophy of Education (SCFD 620)
    • History of American Education (SCFD 640)
    • Curriculum Development (C&I 701)
    • Theories, Models, and Research of Teaching (C&I 707)
    • Curriculum Theory (C&I 709)
  • Human Development and Family Studies
    • Families and Human Development in Educational Contexts (HDFS 793a)
    • Families/Human Development in Rural and Appalachian Contexts (HDFS 793b)
    • Family Issues/Problems (HDFS 793c)
    • Human Development within Families (HDFS 793d)


Research Core

All students must complete the following courses in research methods:

  • Introduction to Research (EdP 612)
  • Statistics 1 (EdP 613)
  • Qualitative Research Methods (SCFD 615)
  • EDP 614 Statistics 2 or SCFD 715 Advanced Qualitative Research
  • Research Methodology Elective

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


Mentored Research/ Teaching Practica

All students must complete a two-semester mentored research practicum that involves guidance from a faculty mentor who represents the student’s major area of study. 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 must complete a two-semester mentored teaching practicum that involves guidance from a faculty mentor who represents the student’s major area of study. This will result in an implemented and evaluated course design.

All students must 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 must show mastery of their major area of study by successful completion of the candidacy examination (preliminary comprehensive) designed by the student’s doctoral committee using guidelines developed by each major-area faculty.

After students pass their comprehensive exams, they must complete a dissertation proposal that will provide an in-depth overview of their research ideas for their dissertation. Upon approval of the dissertation proposal by their doctoral committee and 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.


Structure for Ph.D. in Education


Admissions

Common across all four major areas of emphasis.

Theoretical Foundations Core

Common across all four major areas of emphasis. One course is required from each of the four major areas of emphasis selected from a list of options, plus a seminar on the “Nature of Inquiry.” (15 credit hours)

Research Core

College Research Core (15 credit hours).

Mentored Research/Teaching Practica

Common requirement across all four major areas of emphasis:

  • Six credit hours research
  • Six credit hours teaching
    (12 credit hours total, including periodic seminars)

Major Area of Emphasis

Students will build their program of study from within one of the following major areas of emphasis:

  • Educational Leadership and Policy
    • Six credit hours of required coursework within the area.
    • 24 credit hours of coursework within the area selected by the student and the doctoral committee (students will be able to take coursework in this component in other colleges/units at WVU).
      (30 total credit hours)
  • Learning, Instructional Design and Technology
    • Six credit hours of required coursework within the area
    • 24 credit hours of course work within the area selected by the student and the doctoral committee (students will be able to take coursework in this component in other colleges/units at WVU)
      (30 total credit hours)
  • Curriculum, Literacy and Cultural Studies
    • Six credit hours of required coursework within the area.
    • 24 credit hours of course work within the area selected by the student and the doctoral committee (students will be able to take coursework in this component in other colleges/units at WVU).
      (30 total credit hours)
  • Human Development and Family Studies
    • Six credit hours of required coursework within the area.
    • 24 credit hours of course work within the area selected by the student and the doctoral committee (Students will be able to take coursework in this component in other colleges/units in WVU).
      (30 total credit hours)

Admissions to Candidacy and Dissertation Requirements 

Common across all four major areas of emphasis (at least nine credit hours):

  • All students will complete 72 post-baccalaureate hours plus nine or more dissertation hours.
  • Required research credits total 21 hours, including the College research core (15) plus the mentored research practicum (six).
  • Students will complete (at least) 30 credit hours connected to a major area of emphasis. Of those, six will be prescribed by the program structure. The remaining 24 hours will allow the students to design a program of study that meets their intellectual and professional needs and interests — with guidance from their doctoral advisor and committee.

Example Plans of Study

Following admissions, each student will develop a plan of study in consultation with the student’s advisor and doctoral committee. Each plan of study will include:

  • The theoretical foundations core, consisting of one course chosen from options listed for each of the four major areas of emphasis, plus “The Nature of Inquiry” seminar.
  • The research core, consisting of five courses (Introduction to Research, Statistical Methods 1, Qualitative Methods, Statistical Methods 2 or Advanced Qualitative and one elective research methods course).
  • Mentored Research (six credits) and Mentored Teaching (six credits).
  • Six credits of required coursework, plus 24 credits of selected coursework in the major area of emphasis.
  • Candidacy examinations developed by the student’s advisor and committee members under guidelines approved by the faculty members most involved in the major area of study.
  • A dissertation prospectus, dissertation research and defended dissertation, all approved by the student’s advisor and committee.

These plans are only hypothetical examples and a student’s individual course of study might vary from the examples as determined by the student and doctoral committee.

Educational Leadership and Policy Studies

Theoretical Foundations Core
EDLS 650 Higher Education Administration
EDP 700 Psychological Foundations of Learning
SCFD 600 Sociology of Education
HDFS 793a Families and Human Development in Educational Contexts
SCFD 781, 782, 783 Seminar: Nature of Inquiry

Research Core
EdP 612 Introduction to Educational Research
EdP 613 Statistics I
EdP 614 Statistics II
SCFD 615 Qualitative Research
Elective in Survey Research

Mentored Teaching Practicum
12 credit hours (6 hours in each area) in Teaching and Research Activities

Major Area of Emphasis
Two required courses (six hours) in:
EDLS 693X History of American Higher Education
EDLS 693A Contemporary Issues in Higher Education

Eight additional courses (24 hours) from the following:
SCFD 640 History of American Education
EDLS 651 College Student Development
EDLS 654 College Student Affairs
EdP 703 Adult Learner
C&I 707 Theories, Models, and Research of Teaching
EDLS 752 Governance in Higher Education
EDLS 755 Higher Education law
EDLS 693M Diversity in Higher Education


Learning, Instructional Design and Technology

Theoretical Foundations Core
EDLS 603 Principles of Educational Leadership
EDP 700 Psychological Foundations of Learning
SCFD 620 Philosophy of Education
HDFS 793a Families and Human Development in Educational Contexts
SCFD 781, 782, 783 Seminar: Nature of Inquiry

Research Core
EdP 612 Introduction to Educational Research
EdP 613 Statistics I
SCFD 615 Introduction to Qualitative Methods
EdP 713 Single Case Research Design
SCFD 715 Advanced Qualitative Methods

Mentored Teaching Practicum
12 credit hours (6 hours in each area) in Teaching and Research Activities

Major Area of Study
Two Required Courses (six hours) in:
EdP 640 Instructional Design
EdP 740 Principles of Instruction

Eight additional courses (24 hours) from the following:
IDT 600 Theories and Models
IDT 740 Design Studio
EdP 702 Human Development and Learning
EdP 730 Cognition in Social Contexts
EdP 703 Adult Learner
Psy 732 Behavior Theory and Philosophy
Psy 745 Seminar in Life Span Developmental Psychology
C&I 707 Theories, Models, and Research of Teaching

Curriculum, Literacy and Cultural Studies

Theoretical Foundations Core
EDLS 603 Principles of Educational Leadership
EDP 700 Psychological Foundations of Learning
SCFD 600 Sociology of Education
HDFS 793a Families and Human Development in Educational Contexts
SCFD 781, 782, 783 Seminar: Nature of Inquiry

Research Core
EdP 612 Introduction to Educational Research
EdP 613 Statistics I
EdP 614 Statistics II
SCFD 615 Qualitative Research
SCFD 715 Advanced Qualitative Methods

Mentored Teaching Practicum
12 credit hours in teaching and research activities

Major Area of Study
Two required courses (six hours) in:
SCFD 620 Philosophy of Education
C&I 701 Curriculum Development

Eight additional courses (24 hours) from the following:
SCFD 640 History of American Education
C&I 707 Curriculum Theories and Models
C&I 708 Contemporary Determinants in Curriculum
C&I 689 Education that is Multicultural
EDP 617 Program Evaluation
SCFD 700 John Dewey Seminar
EDP 640 Instructional Design
HDFS 793b Families/Human Development in Rural and Appalachian Contexts

Human Development and Family Studies

Theoretical Foundations Core
EDLS 603 Principles of Educational Leadership
EdP 700 Psychological Foundations of Learning
SCFD 600 Sociology of Education
HDFS 793a Families & Human Development in Educational Contexts
SCFD 781, 782, 783, Seminar: Nature of Inquiry

Research Core
EdP 612 Introduction to Educational Research
EdP 613 Statistical Methods I
EdP 614 Statistical Methods II
SCFD 615 Qualitative Research Methods
SCFD 715 Advanced Qualitative Research

Mentored Teaching Practicum
12 credit hours in Teaching and Research Activities

Major Area of Study
Two required courses (six hours) in:
HDFS 793b Families/Human Development in Rural & Appalachian Contexts
HDFS 793d Human Development within Families

Eight additional courses (24 hours) from the following:
CDFS 645 Socioemotional Development of the Child/Adolescent
CDFS 648 Theories of Child/Adolescent Development
CDFS 649 Socialization Processes and Social Contexts
EdP 617 Program Evaluation
EdP 702 Human Development and Learning
EdP 711 Multivariate Methods I
CPSY 734 Multicultural Psychology
CPSY 738 Life Span Psychology


Program approved by West Virginia University Board of Governors on February 15, 2008.

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