Policy Studies

Ph.D. Concentration in Policy Studies

  1. Students take a major concentration of courses entailing a minimum of 18 hours of coursework (6 courses). This program of study is designed by the student in consultation with a major advisor and a faculty advisory committee. At least two courses from each of two or more of the department's various program areas (Leadership, Social and Cultural Studies, Higher Education, Technology) must be included in the major concentration. Such courses should offer an opportunity for students to focus on policy questions.
  2. Also within the major, students are also expected to identify a cognate area of study related to education, typically outside the ELPS department. This can have a disciplinary focus, such as the social sciences or other education-related disciplines; it also can represent interdisciplinary coursework with a particular thematic or topical orientation, inside or outside the School of Education. A minimum of 12 hours of coursework is required for this aspect of the major concentration; a maximum of 15 hours may be used to fulfill cognate requirements for the doctoral major.
  3. Students in the Policy Studies concentration will usually take ELPS 757: Education in American Society (or an equivalent) during the first year in the program. They also will take a seminar in policy research near completion of coursework. These courses will both count as a part of the concentration.
  4. Other aspects of the Ph.D. in Policy Studies conform to School of Education requirements concerning fulfillment of research requirements, college teaching and the School's doctoral core. 12 credit hours of research methods coursework are also normally required, the content of which depend on the student's research needs and interests.
  5. Each Policy Studies student will be assigned a major advisor, and will identify an advisory committee comprised of two additional department faculty members and a faculty member representing the minor area. This committee will approve the proposed course of study and administer the student's comprehensive examination upon completion of coursework, per School of Education and Graduate Studies rules regarding such examinations.
  6. Comprehensive examinations in Policy Studies will entail the following format: Students will be questioned on at least two of the major concentration areas in their programs and in the minor area. The written portion of the comprehensive exam should be completed within one week's time. The oral exam is to be held within a month of successful completion of the written exam.
  7. School of Education and Graduate Studies rules regarding the dissertation proposal, the dissertation committee, preparation of the dissertation, and the dissertation defense are observed in the Policy Studies program. The student's dissertation committee will include the major advisor and at least two other faculty members from the ELPS Department, in addition to a faculty member representing the minor area.

Summary of principal program elements:

Major Concentration Coursework—18 credit hours (6 courses)
Minor Concentration Coursework—12- 15 credit hours (4 to 5 courses)
Research methods Coursework—12 credit hours (4 courses)
College Teaching—2 credit hours
Comprehensive Exam
Dissertation research—19-22 credit hours
Dissertation Defense

Program Plan

Program Plan for Ph.D. in Policy Studies


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Application Deadline
  • Fall semester: July 1
  • Spring semester: November 1
  • Summer semester: March 1
  • View admission information for:
    Policy Studies:
    PhD

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