Doctoral Degree Guidelines

  • Research Methodology Requirements

    Masters (Both Thesis and non-Thesis option)

    Two courses are required. EDC 380R  Educational Research and Design is recommended as one of the two required courses. Additional recommended courses include STM 380. Other courses can be counted with permission of the Graduate Advisor.

    Doctoral Sequence

    STEP 1 (6 hours)

    • EDC 385R  Introduction to Quantitative Research Design
      Other course choices for this requirement must be approved by the Graduate Advisor
    • AND EDC 386R  Introduction to Qualitative Research; other course choices for this requirement must be approved by the Graduate Advisor.

        STEP 2 (6 Hours)

        Two Advanced Research Courses—either Quantitative, Qualitative or Mixed-Methods. Other courses may meet this requirement with the consent of the Graduate Advisor.

        Advanced Quantitative Research Choices

        • EDC 387R  1-Advanced Quantitative Analysis
        • EDC 387R  2-Statistical Inference
        • EDC 387R  3-Survey Research Methods
        • EDC 387R  4-Mixed Methods Design Based Research
        • EDP 380P  1-Measurement and Evaluation
        • EDP 380P 4-Evaluation Models and Techniques
        • EDP 382K  2-Correlation and Regression Methods
        • EDP 382K  3-Factor Analysis
        • EDP 382K  4-Survey of Multivariate Methods
        • EDP 382K  6-Structural Equation Modeling
        • EDP 384  4-Introduction to Survey Research
        • EDP 384  16-Hierarchical Linear Modeling

        Advanced Qualitative Research Choices

        • EDC 388R  1-Narrative and Oral Tradition
        • EDC 388R  2-Discourse Analysis
        • EDC 388R  3-Ethnographic and Qualitative Research methods
        • EDC 388R  4-Postmodern Analytical Methods
        • EDC 388R  5-Life History
        • EDC 388R  6-Naturalistic Inquiry
        • EDC 388R  7-Feminist Participator Action Research
        • EDC 388R  8-Qualitative Research: Mixed-methods Investigation
        • EDC 388R  9-Case Study
        • EDA 381S  Advanced Qualitative Research
        • EDP 382L  5-Psycholinguistics
      • Second Year Review

        All STEM Education doctoral students undergo a review at the end of their second year to determine whether they are making sufficient progress toward a PhD and to provide them with feedback that will help them in reaching that goal. Students must complete and submit the Second Year Review form to the graduate advisor by the  deadline in the spring semester of their second year in the program. The deadline will be announced by the graduate coordinator each spring semester.

        Download the Second Year Review Form Get Adobe Reader

      • Qualifying Examination

        All doctoral students are required to pass a qualifying examination and an oral defense of this exam prior to formal admission to candidacy for the Ph.D. degree.

        Schedule a date for your exam with your Supervisor and the other two members of your Qualifying Exam Committee. All three must be members of the STEM Education Graduate Studies Committee. The date should be about 2 months ahead. The Graduate Coordinator, (Jeffrey Grimes), needs to be informed of the dates. You will reserve a room for your oral exam through the C&I seminar & conference room request site. Six weeks before your oral exam, your Committee will provide the Graduate Coordinator with the questions to distribute to you. Five weeks before the oral exam, the candidate will receive the questions. The candidate has four weeks to complete the written exam. One week prior to the oral exam, students will provide all committee members with a set of their written responses.

        The qualifying exam committee will select a set of four questions with the goal of permitting the student to demonstrate evidence of their ability to review the literature in an area, to demonstrate a sufficient breadth of knowledge in the field, or to show technical competence in particular methods or techniques. These questions typically consist of two broad questions which assess the students’ general knowledge of science and mathematics education research, and two narrow questions which assess the students’ knowledge in a particular topic of special interest to the student. One of these four questions should address specific science and/or mathematics content, broadly conceived. This requirement includes questions about teaching content, learning content, and undergraduate or graduate-level content. It is up to the committee to choose the appropriate type of content question.

        Responses should be word processed, double-spaced, and follow APA formatting. Generally, responses run 10-15 pages for each question. There are three members on this committee, one of whom acts as Chair. These individuals may be selected by the student but must be members of the STEM Education GSC. The Graduate Adviser must make the final approval.

        The qualifying exam is a take home exam. Students have four weeks to complete the exam and must not consult with anyone about the exam during this time except qualifying exam committee members. Students are not allowed to discuss or share their specific questions or responses with other students, at any time during or after the exam. This rule includes outside assistance with editing and proofreading.

        At the two-hour oral examination, committee members may ask questions on the students' written responses or on any other aspect of mathematics and science education within the students' expected program of work. This may include questions specific to content.

        Following the conclusion of the oral examination, the committee will meet and decide on one of the following options: pass, pass with conditions, fail. There is a form that they sign. Any and all conditions placed on a student must be met prior to advancement to candidacy.

        Note: Students must work with the Graduate Coordinator and Graduate Adviser to submit their program of work to the GSC for approval upon successful completion of course requirements and their qualifying exam. The GSC will meet to address questions in cases where a student’s candidacy is not approved unanimously. Approval must be made by a majority vote, and conditions may be attached.

        View the STEM Doctoral Plan of Study form Get Adobe Reader

      • Advancing to Candidacy

        To Advance to Candidacy, students need to:

        Pass a Qualifying Examination – This exam is taken after a student has satisfied all course requirements. A student may take the qualifying exam before completing all course requirements under special circumstances.

        Form a Dissertation Committee – This committee should consist of five members, including one member of the STEM Education Graduate Faculty who agrees to serve as Supervisor. At least three members must be on the STEM Education Graduate Studies Committee (GSC), and at least one of the five must come from outside the STEM Education GSC.

        Contact the C&I Graduate Coordinator for the Program of Work Template – Complete the Program of Work, plus an approximate title and abstract for the student’s dissertation proposal. Request an unofficial transcript from the Graduate Coordinator, if needed. This program of work, along with a letter from the Graduate Adviser, is emailed to the STEM Education GSC for balloting. The GSC is given seven days to respond, and a majority vote is necessary for advancement. The GSC will call a meeting to discuss the questions if there are questions about the program of work. The student is not present at this meeting.

        Submit an online application for Doctoral Candidacy. The Graduate School's Advancing to Doctoral Candidacy webpage contains important information. The completed online application includes the names of the members of the student’s doctoral committee and a description of the dissertation proposal that is no more than 60 lines. The student's dissertation supervisor, the Graduate Adviser, the Chair of the Graduate Studies Committee, the doctoral degree evaluator, and a dean at the Graduate School all must sign off on the electronic form.

      • Dissertation

        Register for Dissertation Hours

        Students must register for STM X99R the first semester that you register for dissertation hours. The next semester, and all other semesters, students register for STM X99W. The X indicates the number of hours for which a student enrolls. For example, STM 399R equals three hours of the first semester of dissertation, 699R equals six hours, and 999R equals nine hours. Students will register for STM 399W, 699W, or 999W for the second semester of dissertation, and all other semesters thereafter.

        Dissertation Proposal

        All students are required to write a dissertation proposal and to submit it to their committee one week prior to a public discussion. The Graduate Coordinator will post notice of the meeting and email copies to STEM faculty and students. A public discussion will be held to provide feedback and suggestions on the proposal.

        Oral Defense

        All students are required to complete an oral defense of their dissertation to the satisfaction of their committee. Dissertation Committee Members need at least one week to review the dissertation before the oral defense. At least 4 Committee Members must be physically present at the Defense. If more than one member needs to be physically away, a petition can be submitted to request that members be allowed to participate by conference phone. (In this situation, when the Request for Final Oral is submitted by the student, a petition note from the Graduate Advisor should accompany it explaining the situation and asking that the defense be allowed with three people physically present and a fourth participating by conference phone. The petition should state that arrangements have been made or will be made to have the necessary technology in the room.)

        More information can be found in the Graduate Catalog.

        Students should review the Deadlines and Submission Instructions for Graduation that need to be followed during the graduating semester.

        The student's doctoral program is complete upon a successful defense of the dissertation.

      • Ph.D. Checklist