Engineering and Science Education


Degrees Offered


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 (ESE) in the College of Engineering and Science 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 the Board of Science Education website for more discussion of this topic.)

The objectives of the ESE 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.


More information can be found in this graduate handbook.


Degrees Awarded

Last year

Past 2 years


Tuition Estimator*

Engineering and Science Education Hours:

Hours selected: Change hours using the above slider.
(part-time<9 unless online) 

Fees: (learn more)



(per semester)

*This estimator is provided to help you determine the minimum tuition and fees for admitted students. Additional fees may apply. For more information please review the tuition and fee schedule.


For tuition information, please refer to the “Other Graduate Student Tuition and Fees” section of the Tuition and Fee Schedules page.


Program of Study

Students in the ESE 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 12 hours of coursework in their discipline. All students will take 12-14 hours of coursework in discipline-based education research courses.


Application Information

All students admitted into the program must have at least a Bachelor of Science degree in a science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) discipline from a college or university that is acceptable to Clemson University, with preference being given to those who have completed graduate studies (masters level or higher) in a STEM discipline. Those who enter the program with a STEM Bachelor of Science degree must take 12 credit hours at the graduate level in a single STEM discipline (i.e., mechanical engineering, physics, chemistry, etc.). Thus, the program is designed for students who are content specialists in a STEM discipline who seek to pursue discipline-based education research. Students will be admitted into the PhD program in Engineering & Science Education in the fall, spring, and summer semesters.  

Required Documents


Current ESE faculty members have active research projects in the broad areas of chemistry, physics, mathematics and engineering education including, for example, assessment and improvement of problem solving, relationships between motivation and learning, student-centered learning environments, equity and gender issues in STEM disciplines, identity development, modeling of large-scale data, the graduate school experience, and students’ academic and career development and success. It is expected that each ESE doctoral student will choose a research project in conjunction with their faculty advisor in one of these or a similar area. Assistantships are stipends paid to graduate students to conduct research (research assistantship, or RA) or teach (teaching assistantship, or TA).  RA and TA positions are subject to availability of funds, and may be offered to selected full-time students upon acceptance into the Clemson University Graduate School.


Program Contact(s)

Program Coordinator(s)