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Ph.D. in Education: Transforming Education in a Diverse Society

The Ph.D. in Education is designed for students with some professional experience in teaching and learning settings as well as in research.  Our mission is to teach students to wield the tools of research to change disparities in educational experiences and student outcomes.

As part of the evolution of education research, the field of education will require Ph.D. graduates who are prepared to collaborate with policymakers, educators, families, and communities to transform current education policy and practice. Our Ph.D. will provide a fresh approach to training such new researchers. Rather than train traditional faculty members to solely generate knowledge documenting outcomes and processes in education, we will cultivate future faculty and researchers to serve and partner with communities through their research in order to affect educational change in regional, national, and international settings.

With a focus on equity, equality, and justice, our program will train students to engage in research that can address problematic educational settings, practices, and policies. The program will explicitly articulate the links between university faculty, students, education practitioners, community members, policy-makers, and educational stakeholders. In addition to gaining a core foundational knowledge in theory, methods, and research in education, students will have the opportunity to engage in interdisciplinary experiences working across UC San Diego divisions, departments, and research units.

 

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Ph.D. News

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EDS Ph.D. Student Hayley Weddle appointed 2019-2020 Student Regent

Winter Classes Begin

Program Features

The program features include:

  • Competitive Funding
  • A commitment to promoting equity and social justice
  • A focus on designing solutions for pressing problems in education
  • A multi-disciplinary approach to training educational researchers, focusing on close collaboration with educators, policymakers, and the community
  • On-campus, full-time course of study
  • Interdisciplinary approach
  • Focus on collaborative inquiry
  • Intensive research internships working with well-renowned faculty
  • Rigorous training in quantitative and qualitative research methods
  • Training to generate and communicate research that transforms practices in local settings and makes an impact nationally and globally
  • The use of technology as a tool for teaching, scholarship, and supporting change in diverse communities

Admissions Information

Our application deadline is December 2, 2019 for students wishing to start in Fall 2020.  The application will open in early fall. 

A completed Ph.D. application will include the following components:

1) Application Form 

Fill out the application form online.

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2) Statement of Purpose

Your Statement of Purpose should address your:  (1) research interests, (2) relevant professional experiences, (3)  area of expertise within education, (4) experience in diverse communities. 

3) Recommendation Letters

Three letters of recommendation need to be submitted via the online recommendation form available within the application.  You may find it useful to consider in advance whom you will ask to serve as recommenders, so that you may contact these individuals and confirm their willingness. We suggest selecting recommenders who can comment on your ability to be successful in a rigorous Ph.D. program which focuses on transforming education in a diverse society. The letters might include a recommender’s knowledge and assessment of your academic preparation, your professional experiences in educational practice, and your research interests and experiences.

4) Resume

An applicant must submit a professional resume. The Ph.D. in Education is designed for students with some professional experience in teaching and learning settings as well as in research. 

5) Writing Sample

An applicant must submit a publication or a sample of academic writing.

6) Transcripts

For application review purposes (only), scan and upload copies of transcripts for all institutions attended post-high school.  In the online application, you will be prompted to upload a PDF of your scanned documents. Please upload both the front and back sides of the transcript, even if the back side is blank. Uploaded transcripts should be recent and include the following: your name, the institution name, dates of attendance, grades/marks received, credits, and grading legend.  If no transcript is available, please upload a statement explaining the circumstances.

*Do not mail hard copies until provisionally admitted.

Upon provisional admission UC San Diego: Official transcripts from all institutions attended after high school will be required to finalize your admission and must be submitted to the Graduate Admissions office. Official records including transcripts, evaluations, mark sheets, diplomas, certificates, translations, and study abroad work must be delivered in a sealed envelope from the administering institution or service. Documents will not be accepted if opened or sealed by the student. Certified electronic transcripts sent directly to Graduate Admissions from the issuing institution care also accepted.  Electronic transcripts should be sent to gradadmissions@ucsd.edu.

Applicants with academic work in progress who expect to complete a degree program before the intended date of enrollment at UC San Diego, must provide evidence of degree conferral and a final academic transcript as soon as they are available.

By the time enrollment begins, successful applicants must hold a bachelor's degree or the equivalent from an accredited institution in the United States or from a recognized university-level academic institution abroad. Completed coursework for both domestic and international applicants must demonstrate the equivalent of at least a B average in the United States.

7) GRE Scores

The GRE exam (general exam) must be taken prior to the admission deadline. Our program code is R4836. If you have already taken the test and did not have your scores sent to UC San Diego, contact ETS to have your scores sent to us electronically. The test scores are valid for 5 years.

8) Additional Educational Experiences (Required by EDS)

To be considered for admission into the Ph.D. in Education Program, please respond to a minimum of three out of the seven areas included within the application. This part of the application is not optional for EDS.

9) Application Fee 

The application fee is $105 for US citizens or permanent residents; $125 for international applicants. The non-refundable fee is payable by credit card through the online application. You may also pay by check, following the instructions in the online application. If you choose to pay by check, please note that your application will not be processed until your check has been received.

* Former UC San Diego graduate students should contact Amber Rieder to complete the necessary re-admission process. 

Graduate Funding

Criteria for Awarding Support

Upon admissions to the Ph.D. program, all students receive a letter that details the financial support offered by the Department of Education Studies. The letter includes financial support information for the first year and subsequent years of the Ph.D. program. Each admitted student receives a minimum financial support package for the first year that pays all tuition and fees, along with a ten-month stipend.

Continuing financial support varies depending on eligibility and receipt of university fellowships. Once admitted to the Ph.D. program, eligible incoming students are nominated for appropriate recruitment fellowships, which may include but are not limited to San Diego Fellowship, Eugene Cota-Robles Fellowship, SEED Fellowship, Dean’s Fellowship, Tribal Fellowship, etc.

The department recognizes that many UC San Diego fellowships offer multi-year support packages that include departmental support in the form of Graduate Student Researcher (GSR) or Teaching Assistant (TA) positions and/or department stipends. Continuing students receiving such university-wide fellowships will receive departmental support following the guidelines established by each fellowship.

UC San Diego employees who are eligible for the Employee Student Education Benefit will receive a five-year Education Studies funding package that will cover the remaining yearly tuition and fees not covered through the Employee Student Education Benefit. 

Support Commitments

For continuing students not receiving multi-year university fellowships, the Department of Education Studies will make every effort to provide support after the first year in the form of appropriate stipends (as available), Graduate Student Research and Teaching Assistant positions to cover tuition and provide salary to support for living expenses. Financial support in the department is contingent upon fulltime registration (12 units/quarter), satisfactory progress toward degree completion, and campus support time limits.

Time of notification

All graduate students in good standing, whether presently supported or not, will be evaluated annually using department criteria for awarding support to continuing students. Continuing doctoral students will be notified early in the Spring quarter about their financial status for the following academic year. The specific amount/percentage of time and type of award will be provided in writing in the annual Spring Continued Support Letter.

Minimum level of support

The Department of Education Studies provides a minimum financial support package of $20,000 for the first year of study provided through a combination of EDS Stipend, ASE or GSR employment, and/or UCSD fellowships. Beginning in Year 2 and beyond, the department will help all students in good standing identify appropriate 49.9% TA or GSR positions that include salary and tuition benefits. Whenever possible, the Department of Education Studies will provide an additional stipend in years 2 and beyond. 

Faculty

Faculty use a wide array of research methodologies and discipline-based theoretical tools for analyzing and addressing topics. Our faculty have expertise in quantitative methods and qualitative methods of research, with many using mixed methods research approaches. Faculty research projects range from large-scale, multi-site quantitative analyses to in-depth qualitative studies of schools, classrooms, and communities. Faculty also have expertise in historical research, theory development, and design-based approaches to research.

View a list of Ph.D. Faculty and Research Topic Areas

Program of Study


Courses

Degree Benchmarks

Our signature pedagogy is problem immersion -- we ask students to read research and learn theories and methodologies in the service of understanding existing real-world education situations and contexts. 

During the first two years of the program, students will take required courses in foundational areas and in rigorous research methods. Students will also take Research Apprenticeship Courses (RAC) in which students are immersed in faculty research with faculty supporting students’ development as researchers.

At the end of the first year, and with faculty guidance, students will choose their particular area of focus and select elective courses in education and in other departments accordingly. Students will continue their research immersion experiences and take courses as part of an interdisciplinary cognate strand.

Students will present their dissertation proposal at the end of the third year. 

During the fourth and fifth years students will work with their dissertation advisor and other faculty committee members to complete their dissertation research and writing.

Resources