Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)

The doctoral program in Educational Studies is committed to preparing a new generation of researchers, educators and leaders by engaging them in critical inquiry of educational issues and needs germane to large cities of the 21st century. 


Important dates

  • Application Deadlines: January 15: Application due for consideration in the fall cohort


  • Curriculum and Critical Social Inquiry
  • Reading, Literacy and Literature
  • Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics

Plans of Works

Curriculum and Critical Social Inquiry

This program of study asks us to wrestle with the questions who, what, how, and why in relation to educational theories, practices, and praxis. We engage in critical social inquiry in a variety of educational fields such as critical cultural studies, critical studies of race, critical disability studies, bilingual, English as a Second Language (ESL), and world language education, teacher education, language ideologies, critical curriculum studies, and policy sociology. We work to uncover, interrogate, and transform inequities and oppressive systems embedded in teaching and learning politics, processes, and practices. We utilize critical analytical approaches such as discourse analysis, intersectionality, critical theories of race, critical care, postcolonial theory, decolonizing and settler colonial frameworks, citizenship and belonging, social movements, community mobilization, in local, national, international, transnational, and diasporic contexts. We engage in this promising but difficult work for future researchers to recognize, understand, and sustain diverse ontological perspectives and ways of knowing and to connect and honor these ways through praxis and practice.

Plan of Work for Curriculum and Critical Social Inquiry

Reading, Literacy and Literature

This program prepares graduates to research and teach in literacy and literature, including pk-12 literacy, teaching and learning, children's and adolescent literature, English education, and curriculum design and evaluation. The program emphasizes urban inquiry, faculty collaboration, and the exploration of literacy and literature to advocate for social change.

Plan of Work for Reading, Literacy and Literature

Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics

This program prepares graduates for careers as researchers, school leaders, policymakers, and STEM education entrepreneurs. Students in the STEM concentration investigate teaching, learning, and assessment; policy and practice; the design, development, and enactment of STEM curricula; equity and social justice. Students receive rigorous training in research methods, including participation in faculty-led research projects. The program emphasizes issues of diversity, inclusivity, culture, and identity in the context of STEM education and research.

Plan of Work for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics

Admission requirements

  • Undergraduate GPA - 3.0; Graduate GPA - 3.3
  • Formal letter of application
  • Academic writing sample (note: instructions on the application)
  • Autobiographical statement (cover sheet and narrative; note: instructions on the application)
  • Letters of recommendation: two academic and one professional (note: Submitted through application process)
  • Application fee (note: fee is waived for WSU graduates)
  • At time of application, students select an area of concentration

Admission decisions are made once per year for the doctoral program. All application materials must be completed and submitted by the application deadline (above) for fall admission in the following academic year.

Course and curriculum requirements

Coursework requirements Credit hours minimum
Major field (concentration) 16
Doctoral seminars 8
Research techniques 15
Electives (Need to reach at least 90 credit hours for full program) Varies
Minor field/cognate (optional) (12)
Dissertation course credits (Required by Graduate School) 30
Total 90

The Educational Studies Handbook provides students with a chronological set of requirements and procedures from the start of their program to their application for graduation with a completed degree.



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The College of Education educator preparation programs are accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP).  


Min Yu, Ph.D.
Associate professor and program coordinator

Teacher Education Division
Phone: 313-577-0902

Career insights

This tool provides a broad overview of how major selection can lead to careers and is provided without any implied promise of employment. Some careers will require further education, skills, or competencies. Actual salaries may vary significantly between similar employers and could change by graduation, as could employment opportunities and job titles.