Degree Requirements

General Requirements

The PhD degree requires a minimum of 56 hours of course work plus a minimum of 30 hours of dissertation credit. Students with prior course work relevant to the PhD emphasis may be eligible for a reduction in the credit hour requirement. Students may apply coursework from other qualifying institutions toward their degree, typically not to exceed 12 hours.

Required Courses for all PhD Programs

  • EDUC 8210 Perspectives on Classrooms Teaching and Learning (fall)
  • EDUC 8220 Introduction to Educational Research and Social Policy (spring)
  • EDUC 8230 Quantitative Research Methods (fall)
  • EDUC 8240 Quantitative Research Methods II Education (spring)
  • EDUC 8250 Qualitative Research Methods (fall)
  • EDUC 8260 Qualitative Research Methods II (spring)
  • EDUC 8014 Doctoral Seminar in Multicultural Education (Fall of 2nd year)
  • EDUC 6XXX Specialty Seminars

Language/Culture Requirement

All students must complete a two-part language/culture requirement. Part one consists of a seminar in multicultural education (EDUC 8014) taken fall semester of the second year. Part two consists of three distinct options to enhance linguistic/cultural understanding, from which students choose only one option. For additional information please refer to the Graduate Student Handbook.

Comprehensive Examination

A written comprehensive exam must be completed toward the end of the completion coursework. The examination will cover content of all work in the program. Candidates transferring coursework from other institutions for this program will be responsible for the same knowledge as those whose work has been taken entirely at the University of Colorado Boulder. Candidates must be registered for coursework (which includes enrollment in reading or independent study courses) or dissertation hours during the semester in which they take the comprehensive exam.

Transfer of Credit Request Form

Scholarly Product Requirement

All doctoral students in the School are required to complete, at a minimum, one scholarly product, typically before taking comprehensive examinations; other research endeavors prior to the dissertation are desirable. Presentations at professional meetings, technical research reports, and published articles and book reviews are typical ways in which the requirement is satisfied.


All students are required to write and publicly defend a dissertation under the supervision of a faculty committee composed of a chair and four other members.

Course Requirements

Please also consult the Degree Plan.

In addition to the 23 hours in core courses required of all PhD students, the remaining 33 hours of coursework include the following requirements for EECD:

  • 15 hours in Educational and Cultural Diversity
  • 3 hours in Educational Foundations
  • 3 hours in Research Methods
  • 3-6 hours outside the School of Education
    Three to six credit hours must be taken outside of the School of Education. These courses should be selected in consultation with your advisor.
  • 6 hours in Field Experiences
    • Practicum: All candidates must complete a practicum requirement of 50 hours of library support (within the first year of the program) and 50 hours of research and work with program faculty (within the first two years) of their program. (50 hours = 1 semester hour of credit)
    • Internship: All candidates must complete 4 hours of internship (EDUC 8939-3) or document competence in all of the following areas: college teaching, classroom instruction, curriculum development, and research. It is recommended that this be completed in the second year of the program.

Specialization Options

Candidates in this doctoral program may choose to specialize in either “Education and Curriculum for Diverse Populations” or “Educational Studies for Special Needs Populations”. A minimum of 6-9 semester hours of specialization will be required. Courses from other departments may be selected as part of the specialization areas with the consent of your advisor.

Degree Plan

PhD Educational Equity and Cultural Diversity Degree Plan