Jun 05, 2023  
2022-2023 Graduate Catalog [Current Academic Year] 
2022-2023 Graduate Catalog [Current Academic Year] This is not the most recent catalog version; be sure you are viewing the appropriate catalog year.

Educational Studies [Ph.D.]

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The Doctor of Philosophy in Educational Studies will prepare educators from various community organizations (P-12 schools, higher education, and other community contexts) to engage in effective research and practice about teaching and learning. The program consists of two primary strands, one that concentrates on developing educators for P-12 learners and a second that prepares educators for post-secondary learners. The program is theoretically rigorous, grounded in best practices, and directly linked to the University’s strategic initiatives. A key underlying emphasis is poverty, and its specific impact on urban and suburban, and rural communities.

Program Website

Program Admission

Admit Terms and Deadlines

Students will start the program in the Fall.

The priority application deadline for each cohort is the first Friday of the preceding February. There are no winter or summer admissions for this program.

Minimum Graduate School Requirements

For full admission, applicants must have 1) Earned a four-year baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited U.S. institution or an equivalent degree from a non-U.S. institution, 2) a minimum cumulative undergraduate grade point average of 2.7 on a 4.0 scale, or 3.0 in the last half of the undergraduate program. Conditional admission may be available to applicants who do not meet minimum admission requirements.

Program Requirements

Applicants must also meet the following program requirements:

  • Completing a master’s or specialist’s degree from an accredited university with at least a 3.3 GPA.
  • A resume reflecting professional experience, community engagement, scholarly activity, and other evidence supports this application.
  • A personal statement (maximum of 350 words) explaining how the focus of the doctoral program in Educational Studies would support the applicant’s professional goals.
  • A critical/analytic essay (current APA style, up to 750 words, excluding references) that meets the following content guidelines and format (see rubric). This is a formal writing assessment that the committee uses to assess your writing skills.
    • Identify and unpack a substantive issue in urban education. Choose an issue that interests you – one that may be part of your own personal research agenda as a doctoral student.
    • Critically appraise the issue, demonstrating your ability to explore multiple perspectives using research literature and/or theoretical literature.
    • Include a discussion section demonstrating your understanding of how the issue relates to urban education, advocacy, and leadership.
  • Three professional letters of reference from people who have supervised you in a professional role or who have evaluated your academic work (i.e., professors). Letters from peers or colleagues are inappropriate.

Interview Phase Select applicants will meet with the doctoral admissions committee for a screening interview.


Your application will be submitted using GradCAS, a Centralized Application Service (CAS) hosted by Liaison. After reviewing the admission requirements, please review the application instructions  and select the appropriate application.

Domestic Applicants Within the application, applicants will follow the instructions to submit official transcripts from the institution(s) that granted their bachelor’s and graduate degrees.

If the bachelor’s degree-granting transcript does NOT list 30 or more credit hours with an overall GPA of 3.0 or over OR list 60 or more credit hours with an overall GPA between 2.7 and 2.99, the applicant is required to submit transcripts from all previously attended institutions. The University may ask applicants to submit additional transcripts after applying.

International Applicants Before applying, applicants must review the international application/process deadlines at emich.edu/international as they may differ from general program requirements.

For additional information regarding the application process, please see Graduate Admissions or International Admissions.

Department Information

Teacher Education 313 Porter, 734.487.3260

Wendy Burke, PhD, Department Head

Advisor Information

Chris Robbins, PhD, 313 Porter, 734.487.3260

Degree Requirements: 60 hours

Education Core: 9 hours

Nine credit hours of study focused on research in teaching and learning, social, and philosophical foundations of education, and cultural, political, and economic impacts of education on global communities. These courses are team taught in a seminar format.

Urban Education Coursework: 24 hours

Critical Graduation Information

Each graduate student is responsible for fulfilling the requirements or their equivalents of the Eastern Michigan University catalog in force at the time of their initial registration or a subsequent catalog, including the one in effect at the time of their graduation.

Students have seven (7) years to complete the requirements for the doctoral degree from the date of first enrollment in the doctoral program at EMU. 

In the event a student does not complete the degree requirements within seven years of the date of their original registration, the student may be required to have their credits re-evaluated by the academic department(s) of their degree in keeping with catalog requirements in force during the year of their graduation.

The following are minimum requirements for all doctoral degrees awarded by Eastern Michigan University. Some programs require more than the minimum in one or more areas below.

  • Minimum Credit Hour Requirements
    • A Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) degree must require a minimum of 90 credit hours post bachelor’s degree.
    • A Ph.D. degree in a program that requires a master’s degree for admission must require a minimum of 60 credit hours post-master’s.
    • A Ph.D. degree in a program that allows a specialist’s degree for admission must require a minimum of 36 credit hours post-specialist’s.
    • Doctoral degrees in clinical or practitioner programs must require a minimum of 84 hours if admitting students post-bachelor’s degree. If admitting students post-master’s degree, a minimum of 41 new hours are required.
  • Doctoral programs must require a minimum of 15 total credit hours of research and research support coursework.
  • No more than six credits of independent study courses, and no more than 12 credit hours of special topics and independent study courses combined, may be applied to a graduate degree.  
  • Residency Requirement - See Academic Policies and Processes—Graduate School for residency requirements. 
  • Students must maintain a 3.0 cumulative GPA in all graduate-level courses taken at EMU and in their program of study to remain in good academic standing and be eligible for graduation. Students do not need to be registered for classes during the semester of graduation.
  • The Graduate School does not permit the use of undergraduate courses (499 and below) to meet degree requirements on graduate programs of study.
  • Some doctoral programs require a dissertation. See the Graduate School website for Thesis and Dissertation Manuals, all forms, and information about research and human subject approval. Every completed thesis or dissertation must be submitted to Digital Commons. Any form of graduate student work submitted to Digital Commons must first be approved by a faculty advisor and the Graduate School.

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