2023 - 2024 Graduate Catalog 
    
    Jul 17, 2024  
2023 - 2024 Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Doctor of Philosophy in Education Sciences (Ph.D.)


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The Ph.D. in Education Sciences is an advanced graduate program in the Spadoni College of Education & Social Sciences. This program will support students in developing knowledge, and dispositions in one of three specialization areas (Educational Leadership, Higher Education Administration, Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment). In addition, Ph.D. in Education Sciences candidates will become well versed in the foundations of quantitative, qualitative, and mixed methods research. The curricula will also involve the selection of cognate and elective courses, and completion of dissertation hours. Identified courses in both the specialization and cognate areas may be co-taught to interrelate key conceptual understandings.

Program Objectives

  • Develop an advanced degree curricula that interrelates knowledge and skills from selected areas of specialization, complementary cognate courses, and proficiency in the areas of quantitative, qualitative, and mixed methods educational research.
  • Establish a seamless P-20 educational system that promotes continuous improvement, career satisfaction, and helps retain and recruit highly effective educators.
  • Facilitate interdisciplinary understandings through a co-teaching model that produces cross-disciplinary context-based solutions to contemporary educational issues.
  • Provide opportunities for doctoral candidates to participate in regional collaborative networks that involve school districts, universities, and community leaders in building partnerships to affect innovative change aimed at improving educational outcomes.
  • Institute advanced degree field-based experiences that allow for systematic translation of theory to practice in specific areas of specialization, cognate emphasis, and the research core curriculum.
  • Demonstrate curricular understandings and proficiency of research skills through a comprehensive exam, professional presentations, scholarly writing, and the successful completion of a dissertation.

Student Learning Outcomes

  • Students develop critical thinking skills that allow them to see the integrative connections between disciplinary fields in their area of specialization.
  • Students develop a regional perspective of a need for improvement and become a change-agent within the region by analyzing and providing a resolution or awareness of the concern.
  • Students develop an understanding and skills to perform mixed method research that provides data-driven analysis and results to make substantive changes within the regional community.
  • Students develop an awareness of diversity (i.e., people, cultures, ideas, and etc,) which may have an impact on P-20, and appreciate the importance of engaging in lifelong interdisciplinary learning to become informed and responsible change agents within their community.
  • Students learn to develop linkages between their interdisciplinary intellectual inquiries and their own ethical positions in terms of contemporary challenges facing students, schools, communities, and societies.

Admission Requirements

All applicants to the Ph.D. in Education Sciences must meet the Coastal Carolina University Office of Graduate Studies admission requirements. In addition specialization areas will have an admissions committee who will review applications and make recommendations based on the following criteria:

  1. Completion of a Coastal Carolina University application form.
  2. An earned Master’s Degree in education or related field.
  3. A minimum overall cumulative grade point average of 3.0 (on a 4.0 scale) documented by official transcripts for all collegiate coursework.
  4. Copies of official scores on Graduate Record Examination (GRE) or Miller Analogies Test (MAT) and Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) if applicable.  A score of 300 with no less than 160 on the verbal and 140 on the quantitative Graduate Record Examination, or 400 on the Miller Analogies Test. Scores must be no more than five years old.  If an applicant’s Master’s Degree with overall GPA is 3.5 or higher, request of copies of official scores on the Graduate Record Examination or the Miller Analogies Test is waived.
  5. Applicants who are non-native speakers of English speakers must demonstrate proficiency in English and provide official results from tests taken within the last three years or one of the following acceptable means of documenting English language proficiency consistent with success in graduate programs. Note that higher scores may be required of some graduate programs so applicants are urged to consult their desired program to identify whether a higher score is required:
    1. A minimum score of 550 on the paper-based (PBT) or 79 on the internet (iBT) Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL)
    2. A minimum score of 6.5 on the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) exam
    3. Certificate of Completion of level 112 of English for Academic Purposes (EAP) from an ELS Language Center
    4. Pearson Test of English (PTE) Academic with a score of 59
    5. Cambridge Certificate of Advanced English (CAE) with a minimum level of C1;
    6. Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE) with a minimum level of C1;
    7. Michigan English Language Assessment Battery (MELAB) with a score of 77
    8. Test of English for International Communication (TOEIC) with a score of 745
    9. Bachelor’s degree earned from a regionally accredited U.S. institution of higher education within the last three years.
  6. Applicants will submit a written statement explaining how the Ph.D. in Education Sciences will be instrumental in achieving specific career and research goals.
  7. Submit three professional reference letters that specifically address the candidate’s ability to successfully meet the demands of high level graduate coursework. One letter must be from their current immediate supervisor.
  8. Applicants may be asked to submit an additional writing sample.
  9. An updated resume is required. 
  10. Applicants entering the program with graduate credits beyond the master’s degree level may submit a request to their assigned adviser within their first semester of the program for their post-master’s degree coursework to be reviewed for possible applicability toward the program’s coursework requirements. Coursework that is approved for program coursework requirements must have been completed within 7 years of the applicant’s request.

Degree Requirements

The Ph.D. in Education Sciences requires the successful completion of an approved program of study with a minimum of 63 graduate credit hours. The approved program includes coursework from one of the three specialization areas (Educational Leadership, Higher Education Administration, or Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment), as well as coursework in a core area, research foundations, a selected cognate, and dissertation hours. The degree requires students to successfully pass a comprehensive examination to become doctoral candidates. Candidates must form a doctoral committee and develop a dissertation where they demonstrate and apply the knowledge and skills they have learned in the program. A candidate must successfully defend their dissertation to their doctoral committee to graduate from the program. Candidates must complete all requirements, including the dissertation, within 7 years of their first semester of coursework.

Required Credit Hours (63 Graduate Credit Hours)


Specialization Areas (12 credit hours)


Choose one of the Specialization Areas

Cognates (9 credit hours)


Dissertation (12 credit hours)


Total Graduate Credits Required: 63


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