PhD in Education - Philadelphia Educational Leadership Program
Drexel University School of Education
Drexel University’s PhD in Education and Educational Leadership program is designed for those who aspire to be leaders in the field of education as researchers, scholars and instructors in higher education and in educational, community or corporate settings.
The PhD in Education program is grounded in cross-cultural educational leadership, policy, and theory-driven research and demands extensive preparation in quantitative and qualitative research methods. Delivered on-campus in Philadelphia, the Education PhD degree program is situated in the framework of collaborative, transformational learning and knowledge generation.
Education PhD Research Program
The PhD program curriculum involves both formal coursework and professional research and development activities in the education field. Students work closely with faculty members and collaboratively engage to focus on solving significant educational problems, often receiving course credit for independent studies in problem-based research activities. The result is a broad knowledge base and specialized content knowledge that includes multiple perspectives on educational leadership and policy.
What Can You Do with a PhD in Education?
The PhD in Education is a rigorous program designed to prepare students for careers as educational researchers, scholars and teachers. The program involves intensive coursework in education and educational research.
Career paths for graduates include:
- Tenure-track Professor at a College or University
- Education Secretary in a Government administration or Department of Education
- Education Researcher for a government agency or non-profit organization
- Director of Education at a non-profit organization
Graduates of the PhD program will be able to demonstrate mastery of subject material, including prior, current, and emerging research and theories in the student’s area of specialization as well as significant issues and topics in the field of education, broadly-construed.
PhD in Education Program Options
The PhD in Education is available as a full-time or part-time program. At Drexel, we aim to provide maximum flexibility to allow students to achieve their educational goals at a pace that fits their busy lives.
Full-Time PhD in Education
Students accepted into the full-time PhD in Education program receive generous benefits that include tuition remission, a monetary stipend and health insurance benefits. Drexel accepts about 6-8 students per year into the full-time program. Full-time students apply for research or teaching assistantship positions within the School of Education.
Part-Time PhD in Education
The part-time PhD in Education program is designed for working adults who wish to earn their PhD without giving up their current job. Students take two courses each term and complete their degree in four years. Students take online electives during the summer term and complete a fellowship program. On-campus courses are held in the evenings after the traditional work hours and students have access to the same facilities and resources as full-time students including the Hagerty Library and support from School of Education faculty and advisors. Students in the part-time program are not eligible for the same tuition, stipend, and health benefits available to full-time students. If you are interested in the part-time program but unsure if you can afford it, we encourage you to explore financial aid, grants, scholarship options available to students on the Drexel Central website.
PHD IN EDUCATION CONCENTRATIONS
This highly competitive full-time program is small by design, admitting approximately 6-8 students per cohort. Students have the opportunity to apply for research or teaching assistantships that provide a generous stipend, tuition remission, and a health insurance subsidy.
Currently, two areas of concentration are available for PhD in Education students:
Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Education
Today’s education experts recognize the importance of providing a quality STEM education to every K–12 student. The STEM education concentration for PhD students prepares candidates for research, scholarship and leadership in this vital field.
Individuals are prepared to evaluate programs, identify problem areas, and implement changes to improve outcomes in many different educational environments.
In addition to the core PhD courses, doctoral students take three STEM courses that provide a common theoretical foundation in education, psychology and the learning sciences. The remainder of the STEM concentration consists of courses and independent studies in the specific concentration area selected in consultation with the student’s supervising professor and advisor.
Education Leadership and Policy
Administrators and policymakers provide critical leadership in shaping educational programs. These rewarding careers require extensive knowledge and complex thinking. The educational leadership concentration prepares students to explore and address the critical issues and challenges faced by today’s educational leaders.
In addition to the core PhD courses, students take three common courses that provide a common theoretical foundation in leadership and organizations. The remainder of the educational leadership concentration consists of courses and independent study in a specific concentration area selected in consultation with the student’s supervising professor and advisor. The concentrations include:
- Global and International Education
- Creativity and Innovation
- Higher Education
- Educational Policy
- Human Resource Development
- Educational Administration
- Special Education
Our highest priority is to provide an atmosphere of scholarship and engagement for our PhD students. Research preparation is a foundation of the PhD degree program and presentation of papers, publications, and participation in conferences are the priorities.
As a result, students are encouraged to secure funding so that these activities may become the focus of their involvement while at Drexel. Teaching assistantships and fellowships, which include tuition remission and/or stipends (full and partial), may be available in the School of Education.
PhD in Education Program Curriculum
The PhD program coursework combines formal coursework and informal experiences. The program is designed to immerse the student in educational content, inquiry and methodology, encouraging the ability to ask critical questions and design procedures to conduct research.
The program requires the successful completion of 74 credits, distributed among the following areas:
- Breadth and depth in education and educational research (12 credits)
- Research core (20 credits)
- Content concentration (27 credits)
- Mentored research experiences (6 credits)
- Dissertation research (9 credits minimum)
Research preparation is the foundation of the PhD program. Students begin research activities during the first year of the program and continue to develop their skills by conducting various research projects with School of Education faculty. Activities in this vein include presenting research findings at conferences, writing research papers and dissertation work.
For course descriptions, please see the Drexel University Course Catalog.
Graduates of the PhD program will:
- Demonstrate mastery of subject material, including prior, current, and emerging research and theories in the student’s area of specialization as well as significant issues and topics in the field of education, broadly-construed. This mastery includes:
- Interpreting relevant literature and relate to critical questions in education, both local and global
- Synthesizing existing research and constructing literature-based arguments
- Identifying, describing, and justifying relevant “gaps” in the literature
- Demonstrate the ability to conduct scholarly inquiry in a responsible and ethical manner
- Produce and defend original research that contributes to the body of knowledge in the student’s area of specialization
- Disseminate this research, either through peer-reviewed conferences or publications
- Become an academic leader in the student’s area of specialization through the development of new ideas, theories and best practices grounded in global and local contexts
How to Apply to the PhD in Education Program
Those interested in applying for the PhD in Education program can get started by filling out the application the graduate admissions application.
For more information about the PhD in Education program and funding options, please contact:
Jemina Williams, Program Manager