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Science Education (Ph.D.)

Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction

Campus: Virginia Tech Blacksburg Campus, Instructions: Residential/On Campus

Program Overview

The Virginia Tech Science Education Program is designed to prepare science educators for teaching science through inquiry processes where students apply their knowledge in real-world contexts. Doctoral program (Ph.D.) in Curriculum and Instruction are offered specializing in the preparations of science teachers educators. Students are expected to complete Research (e.g., quantitative and qualitative research methods), Dissertation, Foundations (e.g., cognitive processes and educational practice), Concentration (e.g., models of teaching), and another 8 hours minimum of Cognate (e.g., cultural studies of science).

 

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Why choose this program?

The Virginia Tech Science Education Program is designed to prepare science educators for teaching science through inquiry processes where students apply their knowledge in real world contexts. Teachers also learn how to facilitate the development of learning environments that motivate and inspire students from diverse backgrounds and experiences. Our science education program is dedicated to preparing scientifically and technologically literate students who can make positive contributions in the world.

What You'll Study

The curriculum for Ph.D. in Science education consists of four components. Students are expected to complete 15 hours in Research (e.g., quantitative and qualitative research methods), 30 Dissertation hours, 9 hours in Foundations (e.g., cognitive processes and educational practice), 12 hours minimum in Concentration (e.g., models of teaching), and another 8 hours minimum of Cognate (e.g., cultural studies of science).

The following is a sample Plan of Study:

  • Foundations of Educational Research and Evaluation
  • Education and Anthropology
  • Ethnographic Methods in Education
  • Qualitative Methods I
  • Quantitative Methods I
  • Research and Dissertation
  • Cognitive Processes and Educational Practice
  • Analysis of Educational Concepts
  • Constructivism in Education
  • Principles of Instructional Design
  • Models of Teaching
  • Curriculum Theory and Organization
  • Gender and Education
  • Advanced Topics in Teacher Education Curriculum
  • Adolescent Development
  • Academic Writing for Qualitative Educational Research
  • STEM Education Trends and Issues
  • Field Studies and Internships
  • Main Themes of History of Science and Technology
  • Cultural Studies of Science, Technology and Medicine
  • Issues in Bioethics

Students enrolled in the doctoral program must pass four exams as part of the degree requirements: Scheduling Exams, Qualifying Exam, Preliminary Exam, Prospectus Exam, Final Examination

The School of Education provides students with a plethora of research opportunities, including experimental and observational research, field research, and secondary data analysis. Graduate students are also encouraged to lead research projects and publish in scholarly journals. The school provides support for professional development to participate in conferences through travel grants. Additional professional development and research support resources are provided by the Graduate School at Virginia Tech. 

This degree program is offered at the Blacksburg campus. The Blacksburg campus offers students the full services of the university, including an extensive library, technology support, and the Graduate Life Center. 

  • Master's degree
  • Grade point average of 3. 0 or above in graduate work
  • GRE Scores
  • Three professional letters of recommendation, e.g. professors or relevant educational employers.
  • Interview, including the following: - discussion of essay - questions regarding application folio - other schools applicant is applying to - VT faculty with whom they have consulted about admissions - whether or not the candidate has previously applied to VT etc.
  • Relevant teaching experience: Three or more years of K - 12 teaching or other significant teaching experience
  • An essay outlining and describing the experiences you bring to the doctoral program and your career goals
  • A writing sample exemplifying scholarly work [a master's thesis or a sample of professional writing such as a published article or sample of an exemplary academic paper from previous graduate work.

Visit this page for more information on how to apply, including requirements, deadlines, and what you'll need in detail.

A question on the application for graduate admission asks whether you want to be considered for a teaching assistantship. Check yes. Please note that Indicating that you wish to be considered for an assistantship does not mean that you will be offered one, only that you wish to be considered for one, if available.

Learn more about other available funding opportunities

Domestic Application
Spring: November 15
*Fall:  April 15
International Application
Spring: September 1
*Fall: April 1

*Deadline for early decision admission with Graduate Assistantships consideration for Fall: February 1

George Glasson
Program Leader
Public Safety Building, Suite 201 (0313)
330 Sterrett Drive
Blacksburg, VA 24061
(540) 231-8346
glassong@vt.edu

Questions?

George Glasson
Program Leader
Public Safety Building, Suite 201 (0313)
330 Sterrett Drive
Blacksburg, VA 24061
(540) 231-8346
glassong@vt.edu

Nancy Nolen
Program Admission Support
402 Wallace Hall (0565)
540-231-5348
nanolen@vt.edu

Faculty Experts in Science Education