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PhD Program - Overview

The PhD program in Engineering & Science Education is a nationally-unique graduate program in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education research. The Department of Engineering & Science Education (ESED) in the College of Engineering, Computing and Applied Sciences at Clemson University is the only department in the country that includes both engineering education and science education in a College of Science/Engineering. As such, it includes faculty who are experts in several areas of science education and engineering education, and have active research programs in these fields. Students in this program will be exposed to a 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. This discipline-based education research (DBER) combines knowledge of teaching and learning with deep knowledge of discipline-specific science content. It describes the discipline-specific difficulties learners face and the specialized intellectual and instructional resources that can facilitate student understanding. ( See for more discussion of this topic.)

The objectives of the ESED PhD program are to prepare students for academic careers in STEM education, science education policy in higher education or informal education institutions, or a range of other careers that require a deep disciplinary knowledge coupled with understanding of the factors that affect student learning, retention, and inclusion in STEM. Students who enroll in this program will be expected to be content experts in a STEM discipline with at least a Master's degree in their content area of expertise. Graduates from this program will be prepared to become faculty in traditional departments of engineering or science, as well as STEM education departments. They will be prepared to lead curricular and pedagogical reform at the post-secondary level as well as conduct research in the burgeoning fields of STEM education research.