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College of Education

Foundations of Education, Ph.D.

What will I study?  

The College of Education’s doctoral program in Educational Foundations and Inquiry advances local and global multidisciplinary perspectives on schools and educational endeavors. You will gain a comprehensive understanding of qualitative inquiry ranging from theory to methods.

In this dynamic course of study, you will have the opportunity to explore both socio-cultural and historical issues in education, as well as qualitative inquiry. You will examine politics in education, including issues of diversity and equity and comparative/international education. You will also study the anthropology, history, and sociology of education. 


What kinds of work will I be able to do?  

Our graduates are competitive for academic and research positions both inside and outside academia. Recent graduates have brought their expertise in Foundations and Inquiry to a variety of positions ranging from higher education to governmental organizations to high schools. The program will prepare you for research positions in policy institutes, nongovernmental and community organizations, departments of education, and within school districts. 


What kinds of research will I be able to do? 

You will have opportunities to engage in a range of different qualitative and mixed method research efforts and to apply a broad range of theoretical and conceptual frameworks. The program is designed to give you the opportunity to take full advantage of our faculty's qualitative expertise to advance your skill base. You will also be able to gain foundational expertise in statistics and mixed methods. 


Will I be able to specialize? 

A long-established hallmark of the Educational Foundations and Inquiry program is its interdisciplinary, flexible course of study designed to meet each student’s needs and interests. While all Educational Foundations And Qualitative Inquiry doctoral students share a set of common required courses, you will also choose a path of specialization either in Foundations or Qualitative Inquiry. Within either track, your advisor will work closely with you to develop an individually tailored program of study to maximize your learning opportunities across the program, the College of Education, and the University.


Typical Course Work

Foundations and Inquiry Related Courses (30 hours)
Through 30 hours of core course work in both the Foundations of Education and research methods, you will develop deep knowledge of the cultural, historical, and sociological
 Foundations in the US and the world. Ultimately, you will develop a broad range of methodological tools to engage in rigorous qualitative and mixed-methods research.  

Area of Specialization (9 hours)
You will complete three courses within the College of Education to form a coherent area of specialization. Potential areas include Diversity, Equity, and Education, Higher Education and Policy Analysis, and Social Contexts of Education.

Related Electives Outside the College of Education (9 hours)
To provide the opportunity to build interdisciplinary expertise,
 you will take three courses from outside the College of Education. These courses will form a unified area of study outside your area of specialization. 

Dissertation Hours (at least 12 hours)
The Educational Foundations and Inquiry Ph.D. degree culminates with a doctoral dissertation.  Working with your dissertation chair and committee, you will conduct independent research on a topic that will make a significant contribution to the fields of the Foundations of Education and Qualitative Inquiry

Challenge the conventional. Create the exceptional. No Limits.