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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 as ​part ​of ​our ​Philadelphia on-campus, ​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.


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.

Educational ​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.

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
Phone: ​215.895.1965