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Our doctorate of philosophy (PhD) in educational studies program addresses changes in the character and delivery of public education, teacher education, and educational research.

Graduates are prepared with the necessary knowledge, skills, and understanding to implement teaching and learning strategies; engage in systematic assessment, evaluation, and research; and develop strategies to address the learning needs of changing populations. They can assist students, teachers, and policy makers in examining critical issues in 21st century education, such as the increasing role of technology in learning, instructional design, curriculum development, assessment, and pedagogy, as well as the influence of societal trends in demographics, economics, and politics on the structure and culture of schools.

The program consists of three major specializations, as well as directed cognates in:

Why a PhD in Educational Studies?

Our graduates gain:

  • a broad knowledge base in the areas of social foundations of education, curriculum, and educational technology
  • analytical tools to make sense of the world around them
  • strong writing to communicate and support an argument
  • the ability to converse with different bodies of knowledge

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National Accreditation

The Teachers College is accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation. Learn more.

Additional Benefits

All of our graduates find positions in their fields. Many of them are currently working as tenure-track faculty, in educational leadership, as school administrators, or as educational researchers.

Whether through course requirements or working as a doctoral assistant, you will become fluent in advanced academic research.

Our Teacher’s College is one of the highest-ranked in the country.

See Our College's Rankings

Blended Delivery

This program is a blended program, which means you’ll take a mix of online, blended, and on-campus courses. Several courses will be on Ball State's main campus in Muncie, Indiana, while others are offered online and in the greater Indianapolis area.

Program Requirements

The program consists of 91 credits offered both online, on campus, and as blended courses. This includes 36 credits of core coursework, 21 credits from a major specialization highlighted below, and 12 credits in each directed cognate, as well as 10 hours of dissertation. The program is typically completed in 4 years, and must be completed within 7 years. Transfer credits from a previous master’s degree may be considered after consultation with the doctoral committee.

Total Credits


Core Courses

You will take all of the following 8 courses:

Educational Studies Core

  • EDCU 601 Principles and Procedure of Curriculum Development (3 credits)
  • EDTE 650 Curriculum Integration of Learning Technology (3 credits)
  • EDFO 631 Philosophy of Education (3 credits)
  • EDST 735 Seminar in Educational Studies (3 credits)

Research Core

  • EDPS 640 Research Methods (3 credits)
  • EDST 650 Intro to Qualitative Research (3 credits)
  • EDST 671 Evaluation of Educational Programs (3 credits)
  • ID 705 Research Colloquium (3 credits)

You will select four of the following elective courses:

  • EDPS 641 Statistical Methods (3 credits)
  • EDPS 642 Intermediate Statistics (3 credits)
  • EDPS 741 Applied Regression Analysis (3 credits)
  • EDST 655 Intro to Mixed Methods Research (3 credits)
  • EDST 660 Ethnographic Research in Education (3 credits)
  • EDST 670 Advanced Theory in Qualitative Research (3 credits)
  • EDST 676 Research on Impacting Student Learning (3 credits)
  • EDST 770 Advanced Evaluation of Educational Programs (3 credits)
  • SOC 681 Survey Research Methods (3 credits)

For a complete list of required courses and their descriptions, see the course catalog.

View Catalog


You will choose one of the following three areas as a 24-credit major area of specialization. You will take 15 credits from the other two specializations as directed cognates.


Required Courses for Curriculum Specialization or Cognate

  • EDCU 725 Curriculum Theory (3 credits)
  • EDCU 798 Seminar in Curriculum Development (3-6 credits)

Elective Courses

Select an additional 6 credits for the cognate or 15 credits for the specialization from the following:

  • EDCU 610 Elementary School Curriculum (3 credits)
  • EDCU 620 Secondary School Curriculum (3 credits)
  • EDCU 630 Junior High-Middle School Curriculum (3 credits)
  • EDCU 640 Alternative School Curriculum (3 credits)
  • EDCU 673 Curriculum Evaluation (3 credits)
  • EDCU 675 Evaluation of Educational Personnel (3 credits)
  • EDCU 680 Staff Development to Strengthen Curriculum (3 credits)
  • EDCU 690 Problems in Curriculum (3 credits)
  • EDCU 700 Seminar in Curriculum Development (3 credits)
  • EDCU 799 Supervised Internship (3 credits)
  • Other approved course (up to 9 credits)

Select 15 credits for the cognate or 21 credits for the specialization from the following:

  • EDTE 585 School Infrastructure (3 credits)
  • EDTE 655 Inquiry and Simulation Models in Educational Computing (3 credits)
  • EDTE 660 Instructional Design (3 credits)
  • EDTE 665 Digital Literacies (3 credits)
  • EDTE 670 Technology Policy and Pedagogy (3 credits)
  • EDTE 675 Distance Education (3 credits)
  • EDTE 680 Advanced Media (3 credits)
  • EDTE 685 Educational Informatics and Technology Leadership (3 credits)
  • EDTE 690 Practicum (3 credits)
  • EDTE 699 Independent Study (3 credits)
  • EDTE 770 Educational Technology Evaluations (3 credits)
  • EDTE 790 Educational Technology Internship (3 credits)
  • Other approved course (up to 9 credits)

Select 15 credits for the cognate or 21 credits for the specialization from the following:

  • EDFO 610 Women, Gender & Education (3 credits)
  • EDFO 620 Society, History, Philosophical Foundations of Education (3 credits)
  • EDFO 621 Education and Ethics (3 credits)
  • EDFO 632 Seminar in the Philosophy of Education (3 credits)
  • EDFO 641 History of American Education (3 credits)
  • EDFO 642 Seminar in the History of Education (3 credits)
  • EDFO 651 Educational Sociology (3 credits)
  • EDFO 652 Seminar in Educational Sociology (3 credits)
  • EDFO 660 Comparative Education (3 credits)
  • EDFO 699 Independent Study (3 credits)
  • EDFO 700 Critical Educational Policy Studies and Analysis (3 credits)
  • EDMU 660 Multicultural and Multiethnic Education in American Schools (3 credits)
  • EDMU 670 Social and Cultural Minorities in American Education (3 credits)
  • Other approved course (up to 9 credits)

Certificate Programs

The PhD program also blends seamlessly with many graduate certificates, which can add additional areas of focus and competence. Many of our students also pursue certificates in:

Paying for Your Education

Ready to Apply?

Review our admission requirements, dates and deadlines, and instructions. Then complete our online application.

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More Information

Do you want to learn more about our program or have questions about the application process or financial aid? We’re here to help! You may either request more information by completing our simple online form, or you may contact program director Dr. Gilbert Park directly by phone or email.

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