Doctor of Philosophy in Education (Ph.D.)


The doctoral program in the Annette Caldwell Simmons School of Education and Human Development is a research-intensive program that leads to a Ph.D. in Education. Graduates of the program will be prepared to make significant contributions to research, policy, and practice in their fields of interest. Graduates of our program are prepared for academic and research careers, and our program offers the following:

  • Apprenticeships with top scholars across fields of study in education and human development
  • Career mentoring in the professional work of publishing, teaching, presenting, and grant-writing
  • Courses of study emphasizing strong training in research methodology, with options to tailor courses and experiences to align with individual research interests
  • Opportunities for professional enhancement and experiences collaborating across disciplines and on community-, school-, and agency-based projects (Center on Research in Education, Center on Communities and Education, Research in Mathematics Education, Bush Institute, and Institute for Evidence-Based Education)
*Applications received by the February 15th deadline will receive priority, although we will consider exceptional applicants until all fellowships are filled.



Doctoral students must complete a minimum of 54 credit hours during a three-year full-time program prior to the dissertation year. The program is a model in which students complete a core set of courses as a cohort and a unique set of electives and research experiences. The core curriculum includes the following courses:

  • Quantitative Statistics for Educational Research (with lab)
  • Intermediate Quantitative Statistics in Education (with lab)
  • Assessment Methods I
  • Quantitative Research Methods I
  • Quantitative Research Methods II
  • Introduction to Qualitative Research in Education
  • Synthesis and Integration
  • Foundations of Educational Research
  • Seminar in Educational Research
  • Program Evaluation
  • Advanced Methods (as determined by the student and advisor)

Students must enroll in a minimum of 9 credit hours of coursework per term and be full-time residents in the Dallas area for the first three academic years of the program. In addition to coursework, students apprentice for 20 hours each week on research projects during the academic calendar year, for which they typically receive fellowship stipends, benefits, and waived tuition. Degree requirements include the following milestones:

  • 60 hours of coursework (up to 6 credit hours can be transferred)
  • Qualifying exams
  • Major area paper
  • Conference presentation
  • Manuscript submission
  • Dissertation with an oral defense
  • Teaching competency

Applications submitted by February 15 receive priority review; applications received after February15 will be reviewed on a rolling basis until admissions decisions are complete. The Ph.D. program is designed to augment an existing Master’s degree or equivalent preparation. Applications can be submitted online at https://www.applyweb.com/apply/smued/ or mailed to Simmons Ph.D. Application, PO Box 750114, Dallas, TX 75275-0114. Applications should include the following:

  1. Official undergraduate and graduate transcripts
  2. GRE graduate school entry exam scores taken within the last five years, with the institution code 7464 (and TOEFL English language proficiency test scores if the student’s native language is not English)
  3. Statement of professional purpose
  4. Academic writing sample
  5. Three letters of recommendation

Doctor of Philosophy in Education
PO Box 750114
Dallas, TX 75275-0114
214-768-1715
jordanj@smu.edu
www.smu.edu/EducationPhD