Ph.D. in Education

Interdisciplinary Doctor of Philosophy in Education (Ph.D.) Program

The Interdisciplinary Ph.D. Program in Education at Temple University responds to the innovative notions of doctorate preparation in the field of education as identified by the Carnegie Foundation study of the doctorate (Shulman et al., 2006). The program is structured to highlight the interdisciplinary nature of the field of education and to build on the unique characteristics of Temple University as articulated in Temple’s Strategic Compass, especially its status as an urban and diverse institution that emphasizes user-inspired, social justice-oriented, and community-connected scholarship.

Developed through a college-wide collaborative effort that included representatives of all programs at the College of Education, this program offers an integrated and interdisciplinary design providing fundamental knowledge and resources along with the opportunity to specialize with concentrations in Applied Linguistics, Educational Psychology, Literacies & Learners, Math & Science Education, Special Education, or Urban Education.

Special Features of Temple University

Temple University’s location in the center of a large and diverse urban setting, its character as a diverse institution, and its commitment to community-related and user-inspired scholarship constitute tremendous assets to the interdisciplinary Ph.D. Program in Education. Temple University’s location in the midst of a network of educational districts, systems, and institutions that serve highly diverse communities, and that cope with the most complex educational issues, positions it as a highly credible institution within which to pursue theoretical and practice-relevant scholarship in education. The fact that Temple University itself is a diverse and large educational organization complements the opportunities afforded by its location for research and intervention in important educational processes. These features and Temple's committment to recruit diverse students of high academic achievement or promise draws graduate students from around the nation as well as from other countries. Moreover, Temple University promise attracts doctoral students who already have hands-on experience in the Philadelphia region’s educational systems, thus contributing to the quality of the program as well as to Temple’s community involvement.

Program Requirements

Successful completion of the program requires between 48 and 51 semester hours across different concentrations of post-Masters coursework.  The Ph.D. coursework includes a common core of courses for all students, distinct disciplinary courses for students in the different concentrations, and common courses in research methods.

Program Components

Required Course Work

  • College-wide core seminars (6 semester hours)
    • Contemporary Trends in Educational Research (3 semester hours)
    • Epistemology and Method in Educational Research (3 semester hours).
  • College-wide research courses (Minimum 15 semester hours)
  • Disciplinary courses (9-18 semester hours)
  • Research Apprenticeship (6 semester hours)
  • College-wide elective courses (3-12 semester hours)
  • Culminating Courses (6 semester hours overall; minimum 2 semester hours of ED 9999)
    • Qualifying Exam (ED 9994)
    • Proposal Writing (ED 9998)
    • Dissertation Writing (ED 9999)

Required Non-Credit Components

  • Organized activities
  • Research
  • Milestones:
    • Proficiency Evaluation (comprehensive exams)
    • Proposal Oral Defense (includes major area)
    • Dissertation Oral Defense

Admissions Requirements

Applications are reviewed for fall admission only.  The deadline is December 1 for all applications.   Applications submitted after the deadline will be considered if space permits.

  • Application for Graduate School (online) and application fee.  When you apply online, please follow these three steps:
    1. Application Type: Education PhD
    2. "Planned Course of Study" select "Education-PhD,"
    3. "Enter other majors and concentrations" - Select from one of the following: Applied Linguistics, Educational Psychology, Literacies & Learners, Math & Science Education, Special Education, OR Urban Education. 

Application materials should include the following:

  1. Official transcripts of all prior work (minimum undergraduate GPA is 3.0, although applicants may be admitted provisionally if other compelling evidence of academic potential is presented).
  2. Official scores from the Graduate Record Exam (GRE) taken no longer than 5 years prior to application. Candidates are expected to score above the 40%
  3. TOEFL for non-native speakers of English. Minimum TOEFL score needed to be accepted: 550 paper-based, 213 computer-based, or 79 internet-based.
  4. Three (3) letters of recommendation [pdf]:  References should be obtained from individuals familiar with the applicant’s academic and/or professional achievements and who can comment on the applicant’s aptitude for doctoral study.
  5. Statement of Goals: The personal statement should be written in autobiographical style and should explain your reasons for pursuing a doctoral degree in Education. The statement should address the following questions:
  • How have your personal, academic, and professional experiences shaped your research interests, and how might a doctoral program in Education help you explore those interests?
  • What academic/professional goals would the program help you to achieve following graduation?
  • How does the doctoral program at Temple fit your individual interests, needs, and future goals (including the faculty member whose research best matches your own interests)?

    The personal statement is an important factor in the admissions process. Candidates should present a thorough and thoughtful explanation of their reasons for pursuing a doctoral degree and the match between their goals and professional interests and program offerings at Temple.
  • A resume is not required but may be included.

Submitting Your Materials

See the Application Checklist for complete details on how to submit your application materials. Required supplemental materials should be sent attention to:

Office of Enrollment Management 
College of Education, Temple University
150 Ritter Annex (003-00)
1301 Cecil B. Moore Ave.
Philadelphia, PA 19122-6091

Note: submitting materials via mail may delay the processing of your application. Please allow additional processing time before your application will be reviewed. The College of Education at Temple University also receives supporting application materials for graduate admissions electronically via the Interfolio service.

It is the student's responsibility to see that everything is completed by the deadline date.

Deadline for application:

  • For fall admission: December 1

We strongly encourage applicants to apply early and to periodically check TUPortal ( as to the status of their materials.


Shulman, L. S., Golde, C. M., Bueschel, A. C., & Garabedian, K. J. (2006). Reclaiming education’s doctorates: A critique and a proposal. Educational Researcher, 35, 25-32.