The primary purpose of the Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) degree is to prepare students for careers as researchers, either in the professoriate or in the policy arena.  As a result, the Ph.D. degree supports an extensive list of research course requirements, an on-campus residency requirement, dialogic interactions with peers, collaborative work with faculty, and participation expectations at research conferences.

See the Admission Criteria section of this catalog for more information.

Admission Requirements

Doctoral students are admitted annually. Each applicant should submit a complete application for admission before the deadline of April 1 for fall admission. (Applications past the deadline will be considered if space allows or due to exceptional circumstances).

Potential applicants should be aware that admission to the UA doctoral programs is a competitive process and that submitting an application does not guarantee admission. Minimum entrance requirements include

  • Master’s Degree – An earned master’s degree from an accredited institution
  • Minimum GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale
  • The GRE General Test is required for entrance into the PhD program. Test scores at or above the 50th percentile on the Verbal and Quantitative Reasoning subscales of the GRE are needed. Scores must be less than 5 years old from the applicant’s admission deadline.

Application materials also include official transcripts, three letters of recommendation, a departmental application, vita or résumé, writing sample, and statement of purpose.

Admission forms and requirements, specific program parameters, departmental policies, and contact information for each doctoral degree are available on the departmental website.

Degree Requirements

A minimum of 75 semester credit hours beyond the Master’s degree is required for completion of the PhD program. These hours are distributed as follows:

  • Students must successfully complete the 15-hour AEL Core plus 9 additional hours of AEL electives.
  • A 12-hour set of Education Foundation courses is also required. Students may take any graduate level BEF or BEP course and/or any non-research methods courses outside of the AEL Program to fulfill this requirement.
  • Students must also complete 15 semester hours of Educational Research (BER) and enroll in a minimum of 24 hours of dissertation AEL 699 Dissertation Research.