Jul 20, 2024  
2021-2022 Graduate Catalog 
2021-2022 Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Education, Ph.D.

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The Simmons School’s research-intensive Ph.D. in education prepares graduates to work in academic areas; to perform research; and to make significant contributions to research, policy and practice in their fields of interest. The program offers the following:

  • Apprenticeships with top scholars across fields of study in education and human development.
  • Career mentoring in professional publishing, teaching, presenting and grant writing.
  • Courses of study emphasizing strong training in research methodology, with options to tailor courses and experiences to align with individual research interests.
  • Opportunities for professional enhancement and experiences collaborating across disciplines and on community-, school- and agency-based projects (Center on Research Evaluation, Budd Center: Involving Communities in Education, Research in Mathematics Education, Bush Institute and Institute for Evidence-Based Education).

Contact Information

Doctor of Philosophy in Education
PO Box 750455
Dallas TX 75725-0455


Applications submitted by December 1 receive priority review; applications received after December 1 are reviewed on a rolling basis until admission decisions are made. The Ph.D. program is designed to augment an existing master’s degree or equivalent preparation. Applications must be submitted via “gradadmission.smu.edu/apply” and should include the following:

  1. Official undergraduate and graduate transcripts.
  2. GRE graduate school entry exam scores taken within the last five years, with institution code 7464 (and TOEFL English language proficiency test scores if the student’s native language is not English).
  3. A statement of professional purpose.
  4. An academic writing sample.
  5. Three letters of recommendation.
  6. CV or resume.

Degree Requirements

Students must enroll in a minimum of nine credit hours of coursework per term and be full-time residents in the Dallas area for the first three academic years of the program. In addition to completing coursework, students apprentice on research projects for 20 hours each week during the academic calendar year, for which they typically receive fellowship pay, benefits and waived tuition. Degree requirements include the following milestones:

  • A total of 60 credit hours of coursework (up to six credit hours can be transferred).
  • Qualifying exams (literature synthesis and research design).
  • Major area paper.
  • Conference presentation.
  • Manuscript submission.
  • Teaching competency.
  • Dissertation with an oral defense.

At the discretion of the adviser and doctoral committee, the Education Specialist degree is offered as an alternative to the Ph.D. to students who are unable to complete the doctorate. In order to qualify for the Ed.S., a student must: (a) complete 60 term hours, (b) write an acceptable thesis or major area paper, and (c) submit an acceptable professional portfolio.

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