Degree Requirements for the Ph.D. in Science Education

A. Course Requirements (5 courses from the following)

CSM 599 Graduate Research in Science Education
CSM 600  History and Philosophy of Science Education
CSM 610  Nature and Practice of Science
CSM 620  Science Teacher Education
CSM 630  Science Education Research Seminar
CSM 640  Directed Study in Science Education
CSM 650  Introduction to Measurement and Assessment in Science Education

B. Statistics and Research Methodology courses (3 courses)

C. Science Content Breadth and Depth Courses (up to 6 courses)

D. Independent Research


CSM 699 Dissertation Research on Campus or CSM 700 Dissertation Research Off Campus
CSM 701 Dissertation Research Off Campus-International

The courses to be taken depend upon the type of master’s degree that the entering student holds. Students holding a master’s degree in a specific scientific discipline will be required to complete graduate courses in other science disciplines. Students holding masters degrees in education will be required to complete graduate coursework in their scientific field. The required breadth and depth courses are determined by transcript review by the Graduate Program Director upon acceptance into the program.

E. Qualifying examination

Students will complete a qualifying examination after their fifth semester and upon the completion of all the science education core courses. The qualifying examination will have three components:

Paper 1 – a common examination question for all students based on a topic from the science education core courses.

Paper 2 - an individualized examination question, written by the student’s advisor, based upon a student’s dissertation research area.

An oral presentation and defense of the two papers

F. Research Proposal

Students are required to prepare and defend a dissertation proposal based on their proposed research. The students will present a formal written dissertation proposal that includes details of the research questions, a complete literature review, the methods chosen to answer the research questions and details of how the collected data will be analyzed. The proposal will be presented and defended in an oral hearing before the dissertation committee. If appropriate, Institutional Review Board (IRB) approval to conduct the research will be secured. On satisfactory completion of the dissertation proposal, a recommendation for advancement towards candidacy will be forwarded to the graduate school.

G. Advancement to Candidacy

When the above requirements have been satisfactorily completed, a recommendation for advancement to candidacy for the Ph.D. will be forwarded to the Graduate School.

H. Dissertation

The dissertation research outlined in the thesis proposal will be supervised by the committee, which will normally include both science education and science faculty.

I. Dissertation Defense

The dissertation defense, which completes the requirement for the PhD consists of a public seminar presentation of the dissertation work followed by an oral examination before the dissertation examining committee.

J. Teaching Experience

A semester of a practicum in teaching will be required in addition to the completion of the Science Teacher Education core course. This may include making seminar presentations, assisting in laboratories and leading discussion sessions. Formal and informal feedback on a candidate’s teaching will be provided by program faculty.

K. Residence Requirement

The University requires at least two consecutive semesters of full-time graduate study.