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Doctor of Philosophy in Educational Theory and Practice

The Ph.D. in Educational Theory and Practice meets the interests and professional needs of future scholars in the areas of teaching and learning (across various subjects, in- and out-of-school contexts, and ages/grades); teacher education and development (across various subjects and professional levels); and social, cultural, and critical studies in education

The program includes the following course components:

  • Core program coursework focused on theoretical, philosophical, and sociological foundations of education research and practice;
  • A research core that provides the methodological competencies to produce original research as well as the ability to critically evaluate published scholarship;
  • A specialization area, which may include: teacher education, education policy, multicultural education, critical theories and pedagogies, mathematics education, science education, English education, social studies education, and language/literacy studies
  • Mentored research and teaching practicum


Upon completion of the Ph.D. in Educational Theory and Practice, graduates will be prepared to:

  • understand and interpret scholarship on theory, policy, and practice in education as the basis for growth over a professional career
  • critically evaluate scholarship, policy, and practice in order to promote equity, access, and social justice in educational settings
  • plan for, conduct, and report on original research that advances the field of education
  • demonstrate skills as educators—including designing, implementing, evaluating, and revising educational experiences

The program serves as a source of preparation for students toward careers as higher education faculty, education researchers, policy analysts, and work with other educational organizations (e.g., non-profits).


Graduate Student Funding Opportunities

Graduate Assistantships

The Ph.D. in Educational Theory and Practice offers a number of Graduate Assistantships in the Department of Curriculum & Instruction/Literacy Studies.

Graduate Assistantships include:

  • salary stipend
  • full tuition waiver
  • student health insurance

Applicants with relevant interests and/or experiences for teaching and research responsibilities my be offered a Graduate Assistantship as part of their acceptance, with opportunities for continuation throughout the program.

Graduate Assistantships (research or teaching) may be available through funded projects from faculty in the Department of Curriculum & Instruction/Literacy Studies, as well as through other departments in the College of Education and Human Services or across WVU.

Applicants interested in Graduate Assistantships should contact the program coordinator to discuss available opportunities.

University Graduate Fellowships and Scholarships

WVU offers several fellowships to stellar incoming Ph.D. students. The WVU Office of Graduate Education and Life (OGEL) manages the nomination process.

These fellowships may provide students with

  • Stipends
  • Tuition waivers
  • And/or research and travel support

Applicants who apply to the Ph.D. in Educational Theory and Practice by the funding priority date may be nominated for a graduate fellowship, pending eligibility.

WVU also offers scholarships to incoming and continuing Ph.D. students and master’s level students.

These scholarships may provide students with:

  • Stipends
  • Tuition waivers
  • And/or research and travel support

Graduate Tuition Waivers

In addition to assistantships and fellowships, the Ph.D. in Educational Theory and Practice also has a limited set of graduate tuition waivers available to support the recruitment and retention of eligible students. Tuition waivers are particularly relevant for students who will maintain other employment at some point during their time in the program.

Graduate Student Travel Award Program

Students enrolled in the Ph.D. in Educational Theory and Practice are eligible for funding support (up to $800 per year) to attend and present at academic conferences. Information on how to apply for travel award funding is available in the student handbook.