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College of Education

Teaching and Learning, Ph.D.

Earn a PhD in Teaching and Learning

The Doctor of Philosophy degree in Teaching and Learning is a research degree designed to prepare the student to become a scholar who can discover, integrate and apply knowledge, as well as communicate and disseminate it. The intent of the program is to prepare the student to make a significant original contribution to knowledge in a specialized field.


  • Overview

    The Teaching and Learning Doctoral Program is designed for individuals who seek to investigate learning and teaching from birth, as well as the dynamics within and surrounding educational school systems. The Ph.D. program is deliberate in providing rich opportunities to work with and learn from expert faculty and other Ph.D. seeking students. This program offers students a range of scholarly focus areas including — Art Education, Early Childhood Education, Elementary Education, English Education, Equity Oriented Education, Mathematics Education, Secondary Education, Science Education, Social Studies Education, Social Foundations, Literacy, Professional Development, Instructional Coaching, and Pre-Service & New Teacher Education. Working alongside faculty, students design a program of study and research uniquely suited to your areas of interest. The Teaching and Learning Ph.D. program prepares critically reflective professionals who are dedicated to access and equity, providing theoretical and practical training for a wide variety of leadership positions in colleges and universities, policy, and school districts.

  • Program Goals and Outcomes

    Teaching and Learning Ph.D. program goals:

    1. Develop expertise in an area of research that impacts teaching and learning.
    2. Understand, describe, and critically evaluate issues of equity and identity in educational research and practice. 
    3. Understand and apply research processes, methods, and theories in education.
    4. Critically analyze and evaluate research in education and identify areas for future research.
    5. Ethically conduct high quality scholarly research that contributes to the fields of teaching and learning. 

    Teaching and Learning Ph.D. program outcomes:

    1. Students will be prepared for a position in teacher education or other educational appointments such as working with the department of education, engaging at the district level, educational consulting, working with non-profit education, educational lobbying, educational policy, or related educational organization or position.
    2. Students will teach a college/university undergraduate class and/or demonstrate competency in instructional methods as they relate to higher education.
    3. Students will conduct state, regional, and/or national presentations as a primary presenter and/or demonstrate competency in scholarly communication within a professional setting.
    4. Students will submit manuscripts for publication (national level preferred) as a primary author and/or demonstrate competency in scholarly writing in an external resource.
    5. Students will complete original scholarly research for their dissertation (either 3-article or 5 chapter).
  • Admission Requirements

    Admission to the Program

    The Teaching and Learning doctoral program admits students for a fall entrance term. Only complete applications are considered for admission. To ensure consideration for an assistantship or University Fellowship, applicants are encouraged to apply by the priority deadline. 

    Application Deadlines 

    • January 15, priority deadline – Applications will be reviewed and considered for assistantships
    • April 15, traditional deadline – Applications will be reviewed, but assistantships may or may not be available

    Application Requirements

    To be considered for the program, applicants must:

    • Have a bachelor’s degree with a minimum GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale
    • Have a master’s degree with a minimum GPA of 3.5 on a 4.0 scale
    • Have a minimum of two years teaching experience or the equivalent
      • Three years of experience is recommended if you want to pursue a higher education position
    • Submit an online Graduate School application which requires:
      • Unofficial transcripts (official transcript(s) will be required if you are accepted into the program)
      • A current resume
      • Two recommendation forms
        • Recommendation forms are emailed directly to recommenders via the online application process
      • A letter of intent
        • The letter should communicate the applicant’s purpose for seeking the doctorate, professional goals, and potential areas for research
        • The letter should be a maximum of two single-spaced pages in length
      • Official TOEFL/IELTS scores for international students
    • Participate in an on-campus or virtual interview (meritorious applications only)
    • If students do not have at least nine hours of graduate credit in their cognate area, then they may be required to take additional courses.
    Additional information concerning supporting materials
  • Program Requirements

    Teaching and Learning Ph.D. (56 credit hour minimum):

    Doctoral Seminars (2 credit hours)
    ED 9030 – Introductory Doctoral Seminar I
    ED 9040 – Introductory Doctoral Seminar II

    Core Courses (12 credit hours)
    ED 9320 – Pedagogy & Practice
    ED 9340 – Research Frameworks & Literature Reviews
    ED 9540 – Curriculum Theory
    ED 9700 – Equity & Identity in Education

    Research Courses (12 credit hours)

    EDF 9270 – Quantitative Research Designs and Statistics for Educational Contexts
    EDF 9271 – Quantitative Research Designs and Statistics for Educational Contexts Lab
    EDF 9790 – Qualitative Research in Education

    Must take at least two of the following advanced research courses: EDF 9080, 9710, 9720, 9730, 9740, 9750, 9770, 9780 or 9810.  

    Self-Designed Cognate (12 credit hour minimum)

    Courses will be selected with the committee to design a program of study to meet the individual needs and goals of the student. * May require students to complete three credit hours of ED 9800 and/or three credit hours of ED 9940 depending on experience and assistantship roles.

    Dissertation Course (18 credit hour minimum)
    ED 9910 – Doctoral Dissertation Research

  • Financial Information

    Tuition and Fees
    Explore information on tuition and fees using the Student Financial Services’ tuition and fee calculator (be sure to choose the correct tab -  ‘graduate’ for in person or ‘online’ for synchronous online). The selected modality, either in person or synchronous online, will determine the fee structure used in the tuition and fee calculator.

    Financial Aid
    For information regarding Financial Aid, please contact the office of Student Financial Aid.

    A limited number of graduate assistantships are available each year through the department, and they tend to be competitive. Assistantships are available to full-time students (enrolled in at least nine credit hours per semester) and typically require a 20-hour per week work commitment.

    Online/HyFlex students are not eligible for departmental assistantships; however, they may still be eligible for grant assistantships when available.

    To be considered for an assistantship, we encourage applicants to submit their applications by the priority deadline.

  • Program Delivery

    Embedded within a R1 public university and designed for working professionals and full-time students alike, the Clemson Ph.D. in Teaching and Learning program is offered through a Hyflex option and can be completed through traditional face-to-face instruction or synchronous online instruction.

    Our in-person option offers courses via our main Clemson campus. Classes may be offered Monday through Thursday evenings, beginning no earlier than 4:30 p.m. EST.

    Our synchronous online option provides students the chance to join our in-person courses virtually. Through the synchronous online option, students have the opportunity to develop relationships with peers and faculty and pursue the degree while maintaining their current employment and living situation.


  • Information Sessions & Calendar

    Review our College of Education Graduate Calendar to view upcoming events and information sessions.

  • Find Out More

    For more information regarding the program or questions associated with applying to the program, please contact Julie Jones at

Department of Teaching and Learning
Department of Teaching and Learning | 105 Gantt Circle