The PhD program is geared towards developing a scholarly knowledge base in education, becoming skillful at engaging in educational research, and preparing for research and scholarship in higher education contexts: most commonly faculties of education and educational research institutes. The doctoral program is flexible, encouraging the pursuit of both personal and professional interests and creative scholarship. It is designed to develop significant depth and expertise in the candidate’s particular area of study.
The PhD program focuses on the following components:
- Curriculum and teaching: required courses in curriculum foundations and curriculum inquiry.
- Research: courses are available that offer general research perspectives, as well as more in-depth study of approaches such as narrative inquiry, action research, hermeneutics and phenomenology, arts-based research, participatory research, ethnography, gender theory, empirical inquiry, deconstructionism, and critical inquiry.
- Subject matter or specialty focus: math, English, social studies, second languages, music, art, drama, science education, career and technology, physical education, educational technology, adult professional practice, curriculum studies, pedagogy.
- Dissertation interest scholarship: students are encouraged to select course work specific to their research focus and interest.
The following detailed information is of relevance to prospective PhD students. The majority of these regulations are in addition to those of the Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research. Applicants should familiarize themselves with the pertinent regulations from the Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research, found in the current University of Alberta Calendar.
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- Each PhD is an individual program, structured to meet the needs of the student. A PhD student can expect to complete approximately two years of coursework. The doctoral dissertation is a major component of the program.
- Residency: A minimum of two academic years of full-time registration is mandatory. For purposes of residency, an academic year is defined as the eight-month period from September to April. A minimum of nine credits per semester constitutes full-time registration. The two-year residency requirement for PhD students is in place so that students can become part of the community of scholars to which the Department supports and belongs.
- Program Duration: The maximum time allowed to complete the requirements for the PhD is six years. Students must register as full-time students throughout their program. All program requirements, other than the thesis, must be completed within three years of the commencement of a student's program (see University Calendar).
- Programs normally include advanced studies in one or more of the following areas: Aboriginal Curriculum Perspectives, Art and Media Education, Arts-Based Research and Participatory Research, Career and Technology Studies (CTS), Curriculum Studies, Drama Education and Applied Theatre, English Language Arts Education, Intercivilizational Dialogue, Mathematics Education, Music Education, Physical Education, Religious and Moral Education, Science Education (Biology, General, and Physical), Second Language Education, Social Studies Education, Teacher Education, and Technology in Education.
- Students should complete a minimum of 21 credits from coursework during their residency period/s. Required courses as part of the program include EDSE 610: Advanced Research Seminar I and EDSE 620: Advanced Research Seminar II. Students who have not completed EDSE 503: Curriculum Foundations and EDSE 504: Curriculum Inquiry prior to admittance, i.e., those who are new to the department, are expected to also take EDSE 503 and EDSE 504 for a total of 27 minimum credits from coursework. Note: The Department will consider prior courses in curriculum theory that might be equivalent to EDSE 503 and EDSE 504 when determining a student’s coursework requirements. Decisions about equivalencies to be made in consultation with the program supervisor.
- Other Courses: Additional courses are selected by the student in consultation with the program supervisor. The number of Individual Study (EDSE 602) courses is limited to 3 credits per semester and 6 credits per program.
- Students have an opportunity to include in their programs courses offered by other Departments and Faculties that are related to their field.
Ethics Requirement: Completion of ethics training hours. Department Ethics component (equivalent to 8 hours) through successful completion of EDSE 610 and EDSE 620 plus FGSR Ethics component (equivalent to 5 hours) through successful completion of the online Graduate Ethics Training (GET) Course.
- Research Ethics Review: All students conducting research with human subjects must submit and have a Research Ethics Review approved prior to commencing research via the HERO (Human Ethics Research Online) system: https://remo.ualberta.ca.
Upon admission, all PhD students are assigned a supervisor by the Department in their area of study.
- Doctoral candidacy examination: Students must prepare and orally defend a written candidacy paper outlining the proposed study and reviewing the relevant research and theory. This examination will assess the student's knowledge of the discipline and subject matter relevant to the dissertation and their ability to pursue and complete original research at an advanced level.
- Final Doctoral Examination: Doctoral students must complete a thesis. The thesis must be successfully defended. See the Faculty of Graduate Studies & Research’s website for information on required components and formatting of the thesis.
- Applicants to the program who wish to be considered for teaching and research assistantships are strongly advised to apply by the November 1 deadline.
- The Department of Secondary Education is unable to guarantee financial assistantships to all students; however, we are able to offer a substantial number of graduate teaching or research assistantships on a competitive basis in exchange for research assistance for faculty members, teaching assistance in the Department's undergraduate program.
- International applicants are strongly advised to secure funding for their program from external sources prior to applying to this program. Any funding we may be able to provide will be insufficient to cover all expenses of life and school for the duration of the program; therefore, you must have other funds available to you.
- Decisions about assistantships are based on the needs of the Department in relation to teaching and research, our current resources, and your background experiences.
- Students are expected to apply for external awards for which they qualify.
Graduate Program Fees
For tuition and sample fee assessments, please see the Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research - Tuition & Cost of Living Estimates.