The PhD in Education program is designed for individuals with a commitment to applying a multidisciplinary view of theory and research. While School of Educational Studies (SES) students are as diverse as the programs they design, they are, in general, mature professionals who bring a wealth of personal and professional experience to their studies, as well as a commitment to scholarly endeavors.
SES's diverse and experienced student body is comprised mainly of education professionals. Study is based on a multidisciplinary view of theory and research, and a commitment to developing educational environments that are just, relevant, and rigorous. Collectively the faculty is knowledgeable and grounded in education as well as sociology, cultural studies, anthropology, philosophy, psychology, law, sociolinguistics, gender/sexuality studies, politics, religion, and literature.
The SES faculty assist students in meeting their goals by:
- Assisting students in designing their own PhD in Education program
- Encouraging students to work with faculty to develop programs tailored to their particular backgrounds, interests, and future goals
- Facilitating the combination of education courses with disciplines outside education
PhD in Education Emphases
Students in the PhD in Education program may choose from the following emphases in their program of study:
Program Structure and Degree Requirements
Students in SES's PhD in Education program are given considerable latitude in designing their own programs of study. The following are the basic components of the PhD in Education program:
- 72 semester units (minimum) of course work, including the Pro-Seminar course, two research tool courses, and one transdisciplinary course (24 semester units may be transferred from prior graduate work)
- Three written qualifying examinations
- A qualifying oral examination
- A written dissertation
- A final oral defense of the dissertation
Key Program Components
Click on any of the following Key Program Components to understand more about key components of the PhD program. For more detailed information, click here to access the PhD Handbook.
When students are admitted to the PhD in Education program, they are assigned a faculty advisor based on interests expressed in their application. The advisor assists the student in selecting seminars and in planning a program of study. As student interests change and develop during course work, the student may identify a different faculty member as the advisor with whom they wish to work. Upon the willingness of the new faculty member to serve as the advisor, an advisor change may be made. The faculty advisor who guides the student in developing a program of study serves as chair of the Supervisory Committee and may also serve as the dissertation chair, although a different faculty member may be selected by the student, based on the agreement of the faculty member.
After completion of approximately 12 to 16 units of course work (3-4 courses), students develop a program plan in consultation with their advisor. The program outline includes a list of course work taken, course work proposed to be taken, four qualifying examination areas including the selected examining faculty, transfer of credit from prior graduate study, and selected research tools. The program outline is submitted to the program Supervisory Committee for signature and filing in the SES office. Students may change elements in their doctoral program with the consent of their advisor. Faculty members of the committee may be changed with the approval of the dean.
Two research tools are required. Their purpose is to assure proficiency in research methodologies most likely to be used in the dissertation project. The tools may be completed through courses in quantitative, qualitative, mixed methods, assessment, and case studies.
Written Qualifying Exams
Three written qualifying examinations with three different faculty members are required. Faculty members and alumni agree that it is important to work toward completing these written exams as you proceed through course work, rather than delaying until after coursework is completed, as there is a tendency to disengage when students are no longer coming to CGU regularly. Qualifying topics may be influenced by course content or challenges and opportunities in some aspect of your work. Taking courses with different core faculty members early in your program allows you to be acquainted with, and learn the research interests of, professors with whom you may arrange qualifying exams.
Oral Qualifying Exams
The student meets to discuss the three written qualifying examination with the examining faculty after:
- Satisfaction of all residency requirements
- All written qualifying examinations have been passed
- 68-72 units of completed coursework
- Completion of two research tools
- All program forms are on file with the SES Office
The oral qualifying examination is typically about 1.5 hours in length. It begins with a 15-20 minute presentation by you that summarizes all four quals, followed by a question period during which the committee members will engage you in an academic discussion around your expertise developed through coursework, qual exams, and your own work. This exchange is conducted in a collegial manner.
The Committee supervises the dissertation and is frequently identical to the Program Supervisory Committee. The same principles apply to the composition and selection of the Program Supervisory Committee and the Dissertation Committee, with the exception of the outside examiner. Outside examiners are not utilized at the qualifying examination. The Dissertation Committee consists of the Dissertation Chair and at least two other faculty members. All members must belong to the graduate faculty at CGU. The fourth and final member of the committee may be a faculty member from another institution, or a qualified practitioner in the field of the dissertation.
Institutional Review Board
Students work closely with the Dissertation Committee Chair during dissertation proposal development to ensure that they follow correct procedures for review of research methodology by the CGU Institutional Review Board. In the interests of protecting the rights and welfare of individuals recruited for, or participating in, research conducted by faculty or students under the auspices of CGU, the University maintains the IRB. CGU policy requires that research with human subjects, regardless of funding support, be reviewed by the IRB for the protection of human subjects in compliance with Federal guidelines.
Dissertation and Final Oral Defense
When the members of the Dissertation Committee have approved the dissertation for oral defense, a 775-word abstract is prepared; the final oral defense is then scheduled. Upon successful completion of the final oral examination and Dissertation Committee approval of the final draft, the dissertation and one copy is submitted to the Registrar.