Jul 21, 2024  
2013-2014 CU Denver Catalog 
2013-2014 CU Denver Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Educational Studies and Research PhD

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►  Graduate School Rules  apply to this program

Office:  Lawrence Street Center, 701
Telephone:  303-315-6300
Fax:  303-315-6311
E-mail:  education@ucdenver.edu
Website:  www.ucdenver.edu/education/doctorate

The PhD in educational studies and research links an intensive research-based course of study with a content area in order to prepare candidates to assume positions in institutions of higher education or research-based organizations. Successful applicants will be paired with a faculty mentor with whom the student will engage in research and developing content expertise over time. The preparation model will require students to be available for about 20 hours per week in research and to enroll in 2-3 courses per semester.

Students complete a plan of study that includes at least 45 semester hours of course work (including all required core courses) and 30 semester hours of dissertation and labs. PhD students are expected to be full-time, typically working (research assistantships, teaching assignments, internships, grants, etc.) at the university while completing their course work. This allows for induction to the university research and teaching culture.

Overview of Course Work:

Foundations: Equity and Diversity, Learning, Epistemology, and Teaching in Higher Education - 4 Courses; 12 Semester Hours

Research Methods – 6 Courses; 18 Semester Hours

Concentration Area – 5 Courses; 15 Semester Hours**

Dissertation: 30 semester hours total (6-9 research lab credits and 21-24 dissertation credits)

**Doctoral students will complete a series of courses/experiences in a specified concentration area. Content domains that align to prospective positions in institutions of higher education will be the basis for concentration areas. We define a concentration area as a line of courses that leads to increasing subject matter expertise. Concentration areas are designed to help students focus on a defined discipline or content area in preparation for professional roles as researchers and faculty members. Following, we list the current areas of concentration in which students can be admitted. These areas may change over time as they are tied to faculty research and externally funded grant projects; prospective students will find updated information regarding current availability on the School of Education & Human Development website.

  • Math Education. Students and faculty in this concentration area focus on teacher learning and professional development experiences. Specifically, projects investigate the ways that particular interventions used in professional development for mathematics teachers impacts their content knowledge and pedagogical practices in their classrooms. Work in this area is framed by a situative perspective of learning and incorporates mixed methods to answer questions around the ways particular interventions support teacher and student learning. Video data is prominent in both the design of professional development interventions as well as a major data source for analyses. Analytic methods vary based on the research question and grain size. 
  • Science Education. The goal of this area is to prepare students to explore, understand, and think critically about the nature of science and science education from a largely research-oriented perspective. Students may elect to focus on environmental science education as an area of specialization within this concentration area through electives and discipline- specific research agendas.
  • Urban Ecologies. This concentration area brings together several faculty members in interdisciplinary study of education in urban ecologies. Participating faculty members are aligned with the interdisciplinary concentration area as a whole, rather than specific threads or foci. The philosophical assumptions underlying work in this concentration area are: 1) Cultural groups are not monolithic, 2) Urban life and learning, including Pre-K-20 education, complex phenomena that benefit from the multiple lenses offered by multi-disciplinarity, and 3) Trans-nationalism characterizes the cultural experiences and political/economic realities of many communities in cities and contributes to the hybrid identities of residents. These assumptions contribute to a conceptual frame for investigating diversity within the city that is not focused on specific groups and is concerned with the influence of globalization on communities in general within the city. Experiences of and issues confronting different cultural and ethno-linguistic groups will be the key content of this concentration area.
  • Assessment and Measurement. The goal of this concentration area is to introduce students to the theory, methods, practices and problems in the development and technical evaluation of assessments in education at both large-scale and classroom assessment levels, considering issues of diverse learners, including English Language Learners and students with special educational needs. The arena of assessment is playing in increasingly important part in P-20 education. This ranges from issues of accountability, student achievement, growth- models, common/benchmark assessments to classroom assessment. In addition to the need for researchers in this area, there are needs for individuals with advanced skills in developing and evaluating the technical quality of instruments in education for different purposes, from developing and implementing surveys to collecting information about teachers to implementing and analyzing achievement assessments to make decisions about the efficacy of educational programs. These individuals need to know how to analyze the information gathered from these instruments and make appropriate decisions based on the information collected. They need to understand the limitations of assessment instruments based on the evaluation on their technical quality.
  • Administrative Leadership and Policy. This concentration serves as key area for those concerned about leadership in schools and a key focus for research by scholars in higher education. A crucial assumption the underlies this concentration area is that school leadership makes the difference in how schools succeed in improving learning outcomes for all students, but we are only beginning to scratch the surface in understanding why leadership is successful when it is, what the interactions are between effective leadership and effective teaching, and their collective impact on learning outcomes at all levels in schools.


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