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Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Science Education

The Ph.D. Program in Science Education at Purdue University is designed primarily for students who want to specialize in science teacher education and science education research. The program also serves students aiming to teach science in small liberal arts colleges or seeking supervisory posts in national, state, or local systems.

This program is comprised of coursework and other experiences in four major areas:

  • Science Education Studies
  • Science Content
  • Curriculum and Instruction Foundations Departmental Core
  • Educational Research Design

The program is highly individualized to meet the needs of a diverse graduate student body. The Ph.D. degree student, along with his or her committee, must design a program that fits the student’s background and aspirations. The following outline is meant to be a starting point in this design process.

I. Science Education Studies

A. Requirements

  • EDCI 59100, C & I doctoral seminars I (Fall) and II (Spring).
  • EDCI 51700, Survey of Science Education (3 cr.)
  • EDCI 51800, The Nature of Science in Science Teaching (3 cr.)
  • EDCI 51000, Research Colloquium in Science Education (1 cr., repeated for a minimum of 2 credits)
  • Six (6) Credits selected from the following courses:
    • EDCI 56700, Action Research in Science Education (3 cr.)
    • EDCI 60500, Teaching Science (3 cr.)
    • EDCI 61800, Gender and Culture in Science Education (3 cr.)
    • EDCI 61900, Learning Science, (3 cr.)
    • EDCI 62200, Seminar in Science Education (1-3 cr.)

B. Internship

  • In addition to coursework, it is important for students to engage in a variety of activities that will strengthen their understanding of science education. All students should have appropriate teaching experiences. Other students will desire opportunities in grant writing, inservice education, consulting, research, and the like. Appropriate internship experiences will be arranged by the student in consultation with his or her committee to satisfy these needs.
  • EDCI 69500, Internship in Science Education (repeated for 1-10 cr., for a minimum of 3 cr.)

C. Possible Electives

  • EDCI 50600, Environmental Education
  • EDCI 51600, Seminar in Environmental Edcuation
  • EDCI 56700, Action Research in Science Education
  • EDCI 60500, Teaching Science
  • EDCI 60900, Earth Science Teaching in the Elementary and Secondary School
  • EDCI 61800, Gender and Culture in Science Education
  • EDCI 61900, Learning Science
  • EDCI 62000, Seminar in Mathematics Education
  • CHM 61000, Topics in Chemical Education

II. Science Content

Because students enter the Ph.D. degree program in Science Education at Purdue University with a wide range of science content backgrounds, it is essential that each student, in consultation with his/her committee, design an individualized program that will meet the student’s needs. Students and advisors should design a program that will help the student achieve the equivalent of a Master’s degree in one science discipline (e.g. biology, chemistry, earth science, physics) or involve significant work in an integrated science context.

III. Curriculum and Instruction Foundations

In addition to their area of specialization, all Ph.D. degree students in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction should be able to demonstrate proficiency in three of the following areas of study: Philosophy, History, and Socio-cultural Foundation Research, Assessment and Evaluation Foundation Educational/Developmental Psychology Foundation

IV. Educational Research Design

All Ph.D. degree students in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction must demonstrate research competency by completing the following course requirements* before embarking on their thesis project:

  • Introduction to Research in Education (EDPS 533000)
  • Qualitative Research I (EDCI 61500)
  • Introductory Statistics (STAT 50100 or STAT 51100)
  • Advanced Elective (qualitative methods, e.g., EDCI 61600; or quantitative methods, e.g., STAT 50200 or 51200)
  • Research Seminar (EDPS 63000)

* A list of specific courses and/or proficiency requirements may be obtained from the student’s committee or from the Department of Curriculum and Instruction Graduate Office.