The Chapman University Donna Ford Attallah College of Educational Studies Ph.D. in Education program is research intensive and intended primarily for individuals seeking a career in higher education or in other research-oriented environments. The program focuses on the formulation of new ways to think about issues and find and resolve problems in the fields of education and leadership studies in multiple settings where learning and leading are important. Four emphasis areas are available: cultural and curricular studies, disability studies, school psychology, and leadership studies. In rare circumstances an Ed.S. degree is available to students with the approval for this degree by the Ph.D. in Education faculty and program director.
In keeping with the Attallah College of Educational Studies commitment to developing global citizenship, students are encouraged to consider participating in at least one international learning experience during the course of their program.
Admission to the program and prerequisites
To be considered for admission, applicants must submit the following:
- Online graduate application to the Chapman University Ph.D. in Education program.
- Supplemental application to the Chapman University Ph.D. in Education program (through the online application).
- Official undergraduate and graduate transcripts showing evidence of a master’s degree from an accredited institution of higher education.
- Official Graduate Record Examination results in the verbal, quantitative and analytical writing sections.
- Two letters of recommendation (e.g., graduate-level professors who can describe the academic potential of the applicant, someone who can speak to the applicant’s professionalism such as a current employer). Letters from relatives will not be considered.
- A personal essay (minimum of 2250 words) that will be used to assess the applicant’s writing skills, career commitment, leadership potential, research interests and professional goals (uploaded through the online application). This essay should indicate the professors with whom the applicant wishes to study and the ways in which the applicant’s research interests align with faculty expertise. The essay should be substantive enough for the faculty to determine the depth of the applicant’s thinking and commitment to a rigorous program.
- A current resume showing relevant education and work experience (uploaded through the online application).
After initial screening of the application materials, selected prospective students will be invited for an in-person interview with faculty.
To be considered for admission to the school psychology emphasis, applicants are required to have an Educational Specialist (Ed.S.) degree or its equivalent and be credentialed to practice as a school psychologist. Applicants may apply for regular admission to the Educational Specialist degree in School Psychology and simultaneous conditional acceptance to the Ph.D. in Education with an emphasis in school psychology. If interested in this option, applicants must indicate their choice on the supplemental application for the Ed.S. in School Psychology program. Applicants must complete the regular admission process for the Ed.S. program and have their files reviewed by the director of the Ph.D. in Education program. If approved by the school psychology faculty and the director of the Ph.D. in Education program, applicants will receive full admission to the Ed.S. program and conditional acceptance to the Ph.D. in Education. To receive conditional acceptance to the Ph.D. program, applicants must achieve regular admission to the Ed.S. program. Applicants will be assigned an Ed.S. and doctoral advisor.
Continuous enrollment requirement
Continuous enrollment is required throughout the Ph.D. program. Students who have not yet advanced to candidacy and are not enrolled in any other courses must register for EDUC 797 for a minimum of one credit each term to fulfill the continuous enrollment requirement. Students who have advanced to candidacy must be enrolled for at least one credit of EDUC 799 each term until the dissertation is successfully defended. See Continuous Enrollment for additional information. The maximum time allowed for completion of the Ph.D. is seven years.
Demonstration of mastery
The academic progress requirements for students include a minimum GPA of 3.250 and successful completion of department and program requirements, including successful completion of qualifying exams, advancement to candidacy, a dissertation proposal and the dissertation. A dissertation sets forth a proposition in which the student advances and maintains an argument. Students will conduct research in their emphasis under the direction of a dissertation advisor and committee (see the Academic Policies and Procedures section for guidelines). Candidates in the school psychology emphasis must also pass the ETS Praxis examination in school psychology with a minimum score of 147.
Requirements for the Ph.D. in Education degree
The course of study for the Ph.D. in Education with an emphasis in cultural and curricular studies, disability studies, or leadership studies is 57 credits. The course of study for students in the school psychology emphasis is 48 credits. The course of study for all emphases includes the classes in four areas of study: foundations and philosophy, inquiry, dissertation, and an emphasis (see below). Students who complete all coursework except for the dissertation core and do not wish to complete the dissertation may earn an Educational Specialist Degree in Education.
Students pursuing the Ph.D. in Education are held to the University’s Academic Policies and Procedures . In addition these specific degree standards apply:
- Minimum grade “B” or above required in all coursework.
- Maintain minimum cumulative GPA of 3.250 in the degree.
- Successful completion of department and program requirements.
- Successful completion of qualifying exams.
- Advancement to candidacy.
- Successful completion of a dissertation proposal and the dissertation.
Additional requirements for the school psychology emphasis:
- Students are expected to work with faculty members on a significant research and/or writing project during their first and second years in the program. Students should meet with their advisor early on to discuss opportunities to get involved with collaborative research, scholarly presentations or writing.
- Students are also required to choose a professional practice emphasis. This might include developing expertise in working with a particular population (e.g., children with autism, bilingual/bicultural youth.) or developing skills in a domain of practice (e.g., providing school based mental health services, approaches to response to intervention.). Students will purposefully choose activities that focus on the development of expertise in this area. This can include, but is not limited to, academic papers and projects, in-service opportunities, field-based practice experiences, etc. Students will document these experiences in a professional portfolio prepared at the end of their doctoral program.
- Candidates in the school psychology emphasis must also pass the ETS Praxis examination in school psychology with a minimum score of 147.
The following emphases and courses make up the Ph.D. in Education curriculum: