STEM Education

Doctoral Program

STEM Education Programs

The Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in STEM Education examines how people learn STEM subjects and how teachers, schools, and communities can inspire learners of all ages in the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math.

  • The program is designed for students who are preparing for research careers.
  • 63 hours of coursework (including dissertation) are required for the degree, 12 of which are graduate coursework in a discipline area (science, mathematics, engineering).
  • The discipline content hours may be waived for students who have a master’s degree in a content area (e.g., mathematics, not mathematics education).
  • The typical timeframe for completing the degree is 4-6 years.
  • The Ph.D. degree requires active engagement with faculty and a research group on campus, and therefore it is not usually recommended for students who are working full time or not in residence at UT Austin.
  • All admitted applicants to the PhD program are considered for research fellowships; no additional materials are required to be considered.
  • Due to the limited number of fellowships, most first-year PhD students work as Teaching Assistants (TAs) in the College of Natural Science (in their area of undergraduate specialty such as math), or in the College of Education (primarily for those with K-12 teaching experience).
  • Graduate Research Assistant (GRA) positions are typically reserved for PhD students in later years of their program.

Students in the Ph.D. STEM program will learn about and participate in cutting-edge research that explores ways in which to make STEM education more effective, inclusive, and transformative. The overall focus of the program is to ensure that all learners have an equitable opportunity to learn. Our faculty are involved in research across a range of topics, including how people learn core ideas and practices in STEM, how the nature of learning environments affects STEM student access, opportunity, and identity, the preparation and professional development of STEM teachers, and the role of STEM learning in informal spaces.

Please note: Required STEM Ed Core and Advanced Topics courses must be taken for a letter grade. Other coursework (including content courses, research methods, and supporting coursework) may be taken as credit/no credit with instructor permission. However, no more than 20% of a student’s program of work (no more than 9 credit hours for Ph.D. students; no more than 6 credit hours for master’s students) can be taken as credit/no credit.


Prerequisites for Admission

Application Guidelines

Course Requirements

Research Methodology Requirements

At a Glance

Program Starts: Fall

Deadline to Apply:
December 31

Credit Hours Required: 63

Schedule: Flexible

Program Location: On Campus

GRE Required? No

Photo of Catherine Riegle-Crumb

Program Area Coordinator, Advisor
Catherine Riegle-Crumb

How to Apply

Find out information about the admission process and application requirements.

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