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 10 hours.

Course Requirements

Please also consult the Degree Plan (link to: REM_PHD.pdf).

  • 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(s) 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.

REM Requirements*

1. Advanced Research Methods (Courses selected according to emphasis [e.g. statistics, assessment, policy studies])

  • Multivariate Analysis
  • Advanced Multivariate Methods
  • Introduction to Measurement and Survey Design
  • Advanced Measurement
  • Seminar in Assessment
  • Participatory Action, Research, and Design Studies
  • Narrative and Case Study Research

2. Additional course work (Courses selected according to emphasis [e.g. statistics, assessment, policy studies])

The course of studies varies considerably among candidates depending on the area of specialization and background. All candidates are expected to acquire a firm grounding in both quantitative and qualitative methods. Extensive interdisciplinary course work on the Boulder campus is expected in areas consistent with the candidate's specialization. For example, a candidate may emphasize qualitative research and take additional work in cultural anthropology, or policy analysis with additional work in political science, or specialize in educational measurement with a minor in psychology or statistics.

In addition to academic course preparation, candidates have opportunities and are expected to be involved in ongoing research projects with program faculty. Candidates are required to complete a publishable paper annually and participate at research conferences. The ratio of candidates to faculty in the program is never greater than 4 to 1 to ensure ample opportunity for informal interaction. Weekly brown-bag seminars are held for faculty and candidate presentations and to hear the work of visiting scholars.

Because much of the candidate's training occurs outside of formal classes, only full-time candidates are admitted to the REM doctoral program. Typically four to five years are required to complete the PhD for candidates entering with a Bachelor's degree.

Degree Plan

PhD Research and Evaluation Methodology Degree Plan