Degree Requirements

The PhD in Educational Foundations, Policy and Practice requires 56 semester hours of course work and a minimum of 30 semester hours of dissertation credit. Ordinarily the course of study for this degree varies considerably among students depending on the area of specialization and background. However, all students in this program should consider the following guidelines when planning their doctoral work.

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

Cultural/Language Requirement

The culture/language requirement consists of two components: the Seminar in Multicultural Education (EDUC 8014) and a language component. The Seminar in Multicultural Education is scheduled every fall semester, is a doctoral level course, and should be taken in the third semester of the student’s course sequence (second year-first semester). Introductory language courses (see item #1 below) are recorded on the Degree Plan form as having satisfied the language requirement but may not be listed as doctoral course work.

To fulfill the language component one of three options is possible:

  1. Satisfactory completion of two semesters’ worth of college level conversational language courses taken at an accredited institution within the three years preceding admission with a grade of C- or better. The conversational language requirement also can be met by:
    • Conversational courses offered through Continuing Education. If the courses are taken for no credit, the instructor must provide written documentation of second semester oral proficiency. Students should inform instructors before the start of the courses that such certification is sought.
    • Introductory Boulder campus courses such as SPAN 1010, ITAL 1010, FREN 1010, GRMN 1010, etc. These traditional courses meet the conversational requirement because instruction is conducted in the language and substantial language labs are part of the course expectations. Courses taken at another institution must be equivalent to the above courses to count towards this requirement.
    • Satisfactory performance on an oral proficiency examination indicating sufficient mastery to complete a second semester college course. (Given a specific request, arrangements can be made for such exams to be available through language department faculty or from Continuing Education instructors on a case-by-case basis.)
  2. The BUENO Puebla experience or a similar experience (alternative experience to be approved by an EECD faculty member).
  3. Course on "Language Issues in Educational Research."

Educational Foundations Courses (18 hours)

Research Methods (9 hours)

Beyond the Core, EFPP doctoral students are required to take 9 hours of advanced research methods courses; these courses may be in advanced qualitative methods and may be taken in the School of Education or in other departments of the University. Students concentrating in History of Education or Philosophy of Education may choose to fulfill this requirement with courses in historiography or philosophical inquiry, respectively.

Concentration Requirement

By fulfilling these requirements in conjunction with elective courses and other scholarly activities, EFPP doctoral students are expected to develop a three‑part program of study consisting of a substantive focus, research proficiency, and practice in research and scholarship.

  1. Substantive focus
    A substantive focus is to be developed from a selection of doctoral-level (ordinarily 5000 or above) courses in educational foundations, e.g., Culture and Ethnography, Curriculum Theories, Education Policy, History of Education, Philosophy of Education, Sociology of Education, or doctoral seminars taught by faculty within the Educational Foundations, Policy and Practice program. In addition, to develop a substantive focus, students usually concentrate in one of three ways:
    • Disciplinary Concentration: Taking discipline-oriented courses in related fields outside the School of Education, e.g., courses (usually 4000 level or above) offered by the Departments of Anthropology, History, Philosophy, or Sociology. In choosing this concentration, students are advised to take significant coursework in the relevant outside department. Students may wish to pursue a concurrent Master’s degree in their concentration discipline. Note that this option requires careful coordination across departments.
    • Policy Concentration: Taking policy-oriented courses in Education or other departments, e.g., the education policy sequence, consisting of Education Policy Theory and Education Policy Issues; Educational Evaluation; or Law and Education. In choosing this concentration, students are advised to take significant coursework in Research, Evaluation, and Methodology (REM) within the School of Education.
    • Educational Foundations and Teacher Education Concentration: Taking courses in Education that focus on curriculum and teaching practice as well as relevant social foundations courses, e.g., Bilingual Education, Curriculum Theories, Literacy, Radical Educational Theories, Research on Teacher Education, Science, or Special Education.
  2. Research Proficiency
    Research proficiency is to be developed by adding appropriate advanced course work, leading to research expertise in quantitative, qualitative, philosophical, or historical modes of inquiry. (See section on Research Methods above.)
  3. Practice in Research and Scholarship
    Practice in research and scholarship is to be developed through active participation in research and scholarship with Educational Foundations, Policy and Practice program faculty. Doctoral students should be immersed in ongoing research with the faculty as early in their program as possible. All doctoral students are required to complete a minimum of one publishable scholarly project prior to taking comprehensive examinations; other research endeavors prior to the dissertation are desirable.

Comprehensive Examination

A written comprehensive exam, followed by an oral defense, must be completed toward the end of the student’s coursework. The examination will cover information from all required coursework in the student’s degree program. Candidates transferring coursework from other institutions to this program will be responsible for the same knowledge as those whose work has been taken entirely at the University of Colorado Boulder. Students must be registered for coursework (which includes enrollment in reading or independent study courses) or dissertation hours during the semester(s) in which they take the comprehensive exam. Please refer to the EFPP PhD Comprehensive Examination Guidelines for more details on this requirement.

Transfer of Credit Request Form

Degree Plan

PhD Educational Foundations, Policy and Practice Degree Plan