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PhD Program - Curriculum

Students in the ESED doctoral program will be exposed to the wide breadth of STEM education research under current investigation as well as be prepared to interface between the development of new theory in STEM education and the implementation of new research findings in practice. Students who enter the degree without a Master's degree in a STEM discipline will take 18 hours of coursework in their discipline. All students will take 14 or more hours of coursework in discipline-based education research courses.

Engineering & Science Education PhD Sample Curriculum:

Students will be required to take a minimum of 11 credits from core ESED courses, which include (but are not limited to) the following:

  • ESED 8000 - Seminar in Engineering and Science Education 1(1,0)
  • ESED 8610 - Teaching/Mentoring Practicum in Engineering and Science Education 1-3(1-3,0); Practicum that includes teaching or mentoring undergraduates in Engineering and Science. May be repeated for a maximum of three credits.
  • ESED 8710 - Engineering and Science Education Research Methods 3(3,0);Introduces methods and tools available for conducting pedagogically sound engineering and science education research. Quantitative, qualitative, and mixed methods are discussed and practiced.
  • ESED 8700 or ED F 9550 - Theoretical Basis of Instruction 3(3,0); Establishes a foundation in theories of learning with a particular focus on their application to the teaching and learning of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics
  • ESED 8200/8210 - Teaching Undergraduate Engineering/Science 3(3,0); Designed for engineering or science graduate students seeking a career in academe. Includes both discussion and practice of effective teaching techniques, assessments, and technologies, as well as an overview of current engineering and science education research.
  • ESED 8250 - Engineering and Science Student Strategies 3(3,0); Provides evidence-based information on effective strategies for teaching, learning and mentoring, focusing on relationships between students' motivation, prior knowledge, problem solving skills, cognition and metacognition in undergraduate engineering and science courses.
  • ESED 8750 - Current Topics in STEM Education Research 3(3,0); Designed for doctoral students who are interested in STEM education research. The two main objectives of this course are: (1) to guide students through current topics in STEM education research fields (including physics education, chemistry education, engineering education, and mathematics education research); (2) to provide students an opportunity to investigate a current STEM education research topic of their own choosing in depth. Research topics will be drawn from across STEM education disciplines and will be representative of the research techniques/methodologies that are in practice in these fields today.
  • ESED 8880 - Preparing for the Professoriate 3(3,0); Designed to mentor students in preparing to obtain a faculty position and achieving tenure in science and engineering disciplines. Students will develop a professional portfolio and prepare for the application/interview process.

As directed and approved by each student's doctoral committee, students will take a minimum of 3 credit hours in supporting areas, which include (but are not limited to) education, psychology, sociology, or statistics.

Additional Requirements:

  • Enrollment in ESED 9900 - Thesis Research and Writing
  • Disciplinary requirement - 18 credit hours at the graduate level in a single STEM discipline (i.e., mechanical engineering, physics, chemistry, etc.), unless a student holds an M.S., M.E., or higher in their STEM discipline.
  • Qualifying and Comprehensive Examinations - In addition to the regular course requirements detailed above, students in the Engineering & Science Education PhD program will be required to pass a Qualifying examination as well as a dissertation proposal defense (which serves as a comprehensive examination) before undertaking their dissertation research. The qualifying examination must be scheduled within 12 months after students have completed their required coursework. Upon successfully passing the qualifying examination, the dissertation proposal defense (comprehensive examination) will follow within another 12 months.

A full description of requirements and policies for the ESED PhD program can be found in the ESED Graduate Student Handbook.