VCU Bulletins

Education, Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)

Clark, Dr. Henry T.
Senior Associate Dean for Academic Affairs
(804) 828-3382

Admission requirements summary

Education, Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
Indicate specialization: curriculum culture and change, educational leadership, educational psychology, research and evaluation, special education and disability leadership, sport leadership or urban services leadership

of entry:

Summer or fall
(sport leader-
ship fall only)

Nov 15 (early consideration)

Feb 1 (final deadline)

Special requirements:
Personal interview and writing sample may be requested.

Personal goals statement and professional vitae/resume required.

The Ph.D. in Education Program is interdisciplinary in curriculum, design and management and serves a variety of special audiences. The program is organized into the following tracks.

Student learning outcomes

  1. Complete an original research study. Dissertation component: Student will design, implement analyze and defend an original research study. Once a student passes the Prospectus Hearing, he or she will collect and analyze the data, and finish writing the last two chapters of their dissertation. Students have a committee of a minimum of four faculty members. Typically, this consists of a chair, a methodologist, a subject-matter expert and an expert outside of the School of Education. Each committee member independently reviews the student’s work. Once the dissertation defense has occurred, the committee discusses its thoughts on the quality of the student work. Once all members agree, the student is granted a Ph.D.; therefore, inter-rater reliability is extremely high.
  2. Apply skills in external setting. Externship component: Students will demonstrate their knowledge and skills in a professional placement in a school, agency or corporate setting. The faculty adviser and the externship site supervisor work together to evaluate the student.
  3. Develop research knowledge and skills. Research component: Students will acquire the prerequisite skills essential to designing, conducting and interpreting qualitative and quantitative design research. Students will demonstrate this knowledge and skill set on a qualifying examination, which is independently evaluated by at least two faculty members. To address inter-rater reliability, if the two faculty members disagree on the student’s level of knowledge, a third faculty member is called in to evaluate the student’s responses on the qualifying examination. This exam is also graded “blindly,” meaning that the evaluator does not know which student he or she is evaluating.
  4. Develop in-depth knowledge in one area of study. Concentration component: Students will demonstrate in-depth knowledge and skills in an area of study that is congruent with student’s current or projected career goals. Content will differ according to chosen track.



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Last update: 6/19/2014

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