Doctoral Degree

A list of requirements for the Educational Theory and Policy doctoral program in the College of Education at Penn State

Application deadline: January 1

Students in the Educational Theory and Policy doctoral program are expected to acquire competencies in their areas of specialization together with research and scholarly skills for investigation of significant problems of education and society.

Specific degree requirements are:

  • A minimum grade-point average of 3.00 for work done at Penn State is required for graduation.
  • A minimum of 57 graduate credits is required.

Major components of the doctoral program include:

  • Core courses
  • Candidacy examination
  • One-year residency requirement
  • English proficiency
  • Oral comprehensive examination
  • Thesis proposal
  • Final oral defense
Students with a minimum grade-point average of 3.00 will be considered for admission to the Ph.D. program. Exceptions to the minimum grade-point average may be made for students with special backgrounds, abilities, and interests.

Financial Aid

For financial aid information, see the section on Student Aid in the Graduate Degree Programs Bulletin. Financial aid is available through fellowships and scholarships, and more commonly, through research or teaching assistantships, which offer a stipend and waiver of tuition fees.

A limited number of assistantships are available for doctoral students through the Department of Education Policy Studies. Please indicate on the online admission application to the Graduate School that you wish to apply for a graduate assistantship for the ensuing academic year. You must complete the online admission application to the Graduate School (including payment of nonrefundable application fee) by January 1 to be considered for a graduate assistantship.

NOTE: There is no consideration for assistantship funding with spring admission. Interested candidates will have to apply for assistantship funding for the next fall with the incoming class.

Additional information for students interested in obtaining a Doctor of Philosophy degree can be found in the following links: