2017-2018 Bulletin 
    Jun 20, 2024  
2017-2018 Bulletin [ARCHIVED BULLETIN]

Education, PhD

Education at CGU provides students with the flexibility to design individual programs that will best support the achievement of personal goals. In consultation with faculty, students tailor programs of study to individual background, interests, and future goals. In addition to combinations with other CGU disciplines, the program offers opportunities for emphasizing study in the following areas.  

  • Teaching, Learning, and Culture 
  • Policy, Evaluation, and Reform
  • Higher Education/Student Affairs 
  • Special Education  (not accepting applications in 2017-2018)
  • Urban Leadership  (cohort program in the first year)

*Please see below for more detailed information about these areas of study.

Degree Requirements 

Coursework.  A minimum of 72 semester units of coursework is required.

Required Courses.  Students in the doctoral program are required to enroll in the following two courses.

  • EDUC 580A - Proseminar for Doctoral Study, must be completed during the student’s first year in the program (offered Fall semester only)
  • EDUC 580B - Capstone for Doctoral Research, must be taken after completion of 62 units and is required prior to taking the oral qualifying examination (offered Fall and Spring semesters)

Transfer Credit.  The University’s policy on transfer credit  applies.  The Education program permits the transfer of up to 20 semester units from prior graduate work completed outside of CGU, with advisor approval. 

Program Outline.  During the student’s first three semesters or by completion of 20 units of coursework, the student must develop a program outline.  In consultation with the student’s advisor or the chair of the student’s program committee, the outline should include all of the following elements.

  • Coursework to be taken at CGU
  • Specification of two research tools
  • Topic for first qualifying examination with at least one proposed faculty supervisor

Upon receipt of advisor approval, the outline is filed with the program office.  Changes to the program outline must be made in consultation with the advisor or program committee chair.

Research Tools.  Two research tools are required to ensure proficiency in the research methodologies most likely to be used in the student’s dissertation.  Tools must be completed with a grade of B+ or better.  Accomplishment of each milestone is recorded on the student’s transcript.

Written Qualifying Examinations.  The purpose of this requirement is to demonstrate the student’s proficiency in the area selected and documented in the student’s program outline.  Evidence may be submitted in a variety of ways, including examinations, published articles, research studies, copies of public lectures planned in cooperation with the program committee, and the like.

  • The first written examination may be undertaken upon completion of 46 units and with faculty supervisor approval of the proposed qualifying exam.
  • The second qualifying examination is a mock dissertation proposal.  Successful completion of the first qualifying examination and of EDUC 580B is required.

Qualifying examinations and related evaluation evidence approved by the faculty must be filed in the program office.

Oral Qualifying Examination.  The oral qualifying examination is administered by the student’s program committee provided the following requirements are met.

  • Written qualifying examinations have been passed
  • All required coursework has been completed
  • Two research tools have been completed

Dissertation Process.  University policies and procedures regarding dissertations, detailed in the Doctoral Degree Regulations  section of the Bulletin, apply.  The program’s Student Handbook includes additional guidelines to ensure adequate reviews of the dissertation draft and provisions for constructive feedback during the process.  Missing the program’s submission deadlines may delay the scheduling of the student’s dissertation defense and eligibility for conferral of the degree in a particular semester.  Refer to the registrar’s website for a Degree Completion Checklist and guidelines for Completion of Degree for Doctoral Students.

University Policies.  University policies detailed in the Academic Policies  section of the Bulletin apply.


Doctoral students in Education are provided with a number of advising resources to facilitate progress toward the degree.

Faculty Advisor.  Upon admission, students are assigned a faculty advisor based upon interests expressed in the individual’s application for admission. Advisors assist students in selecting courses and planning a program of study. As student interests change and develop during coursework, a different faculty member may be identified as the advisor.  In such an event, the program office should be notified with a Change of Advisor form.

Advisors supervise one qualifying exam, serve as chair of the student’s program committee, and may serve as chair of the student’s dissertation committee.

Program Committee.  Program committees consist of the supervisors of the student’s first and second qualifying exams, as well as a third faculty member of the student’s choosing who agrees to serve on the dissertation committee.  The chair must be a member of the Education faculty and is typically the student’s advisor.  One member of the committee may be drawn from the wider CGU graduate faculty, including professors from other CGU fields and core faculty from the other Claremont Colleges.

Dissertation Committee.  Policies and procedures are detailed in the Doctoral Degree Regulations  section of the Bulletin.

Institutional Review Board. The University’s Institutional Review Board (IRB) works closely with students and dissertation committee chairs throughout the development of the dissertation proposal.  The responsibility of the IRB is to ensure that correct procedures for review of research methodology are followed. The IRB seeks to protect the rights and welfare of individuals recruited for, or participating in, research conducted by faculty or students under the auspices of CGU. Regardless of funding support, all research with human subjects must be reviewed by the IRB for the protection of human subjects in compliance with federal guidelines. Further details can be found in the CGU handbook www.cgu.edu/handbook

Master’s Degree Along the Way to the PhD

CGU offers students the option of earning a Master’s degree along the way to the doctoral degree.  Education students qualify by meeting all of the following criteria.

  • Must be enrolled in the doctoral program with the intention of completing 72 units of coursework at CGU
  • Completion of 32 units of study
  • Passing one approved qualifying exam in lieu of the thesis or critique
  • Following all degree completion requirements for the Master’s degree

Joint Doctoral Program

CGU offers students the opportunity to earn the doctorate in Education through a joint program with San Diego State University (SDSU).  For information, refer to the program section for the joint doctoral program with SDSU .


Emphasis in Teaching, Learning, and Culture

There is an urgent need for highly educated professionals to understand research and best practices in order to assist schools and practicing educators in increasing overall achievement in the U.S. and closing the persistent achievement gap between students from different socioeconomic and ethnic groups. To that end, the faculty who work in the areas of Teaching, Learning and Culture offer classes and research experiences aimed at merging accountability in education with a focus on justice.

Doctoral and Master’s degree candidates who focus on Teaching, Learning and Culture often have professional goals such as the following.

  • To become professors in universities and colleges educating future K-12 teachers and administrators
  • To become researchers and/or policy makers in public and private arenas focused on K-12 schooling
  • To become principals, superintendents, or administrators, such as directors of curriculum or professional development, in public or private schools
  • To develop curricula for public or private organizations such as schools, universities or materials publishers
  • To become university educators in related fields such as nursing, speech therapy, and educational psychology

Emphasis in Higher Education/Student Affairs

CGU’s diverse and experienced student body is comprised mainly of education professionals. Study is based on a multidisciplinary view of theory and research, and a commitment to developing educational environments that are just, relevant, and rigorous. Collectively, the faculty is knowledgeable and grounded in education as well as sociology, cultural studies, philosophy, psychology, law, gender/sexuality studies, politics, religion, literature, and leadership.

The doctoral program is designed for individuals with a commitment to applying a multidisciplinary view of theory and research. As diverse as the programs they design, CGU education students are generally mature professionals who bring a wealth of personal and professional experience to their studies, as well as a commitment to scholarly endeavors.

This degree is highly individualized and designed to meet the career and personal goals of each student. Doctoral and master’s level studies in higher education lend themselves to emphases in the following areas.

  • Community College Leadership
  • Organization and Management
  • Human Development/Adult Development
  • History and Philosophy
  • Public Policy Analysis
  • Student Affairs

Emphasis in Special Education

The doctoral program with an emphasis in Special Education is designed for those seeking to become university faculty or educational leadership professionals committed to improving the academic results of students with disabilities. The curriculum integrates requirements for the Level II Education Specialist Credential, with the remaining coursework selected by the student to support personal academic and research interests.

Requirements of the Education, PhD apply. Additional information is available from the program’s website.

Please note: Applications for this emphasis area are currently not being accepted.

Emphasis in Urban Leadership

The doctoral program with an emphasis in Urban Leadership is designed to meet the needs of urban P-14 educational leaders. Curriculum is planned around the needs of scholar practitioners holding leadership roles in urban schools.

  • First year of study: courses are held on weekends for a cohort of mutually supportive leaders.
  • Second year and beyond: students individualize their academic programs by choosing the courses and research they wish to pursue.

Requirements of the Education, PhD apply.  Additional information is available at the program’s website