Oct 07, 2022  
2021-2022 Graduate Catalog 
    
2021-2022 Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Educational Policy Studies, Ph.D


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Return to: 4140 Department of Educational Policy Studies  

The Ph.D. major in Educational Policy Studies allows students to examine the philosophy and practice of education and to utilize various methods for the study of educational theory and practice to become policy makers and examiners of policy and the effects of policy on education. The broader requirements of the Department of Educational Policy Studies offer students the opportunity to link their programs of study with broader social and educational issues in such areas as race, gender, class, leadership, and policy. This broader context establishes an understanding of the programs of study as essential components rather than separate structures of our social, economic, and political lives.

Concentration Areas: Educational Leadership; Higher Education; Research, Measurement, and Statistics; Social Foundations of Education

Degree Requirements


Core Area (18 Hours)


The Core Area consists of 15 semester hours of research coursework and 3 semester hours of Social Foundation of Education and Psychology of Learning coursework.

Required (12 Hours)

  • A two-course sequence (6 hours) in research methodology (see below for specific tracks/courses)
  • Two courses (6 hours) in advanced research methods as identified by the Doctoral Advisory Committee
Historical/Philosophical Methodology

Social Foundations of Education and Psychology of Learning Core (3 Hours)


In addition to highly specialized research in specific areas, doctoral students in the College of Education and Human Development must possess a deep understanding of comprehensive, theoretical principles and broad ideological conceptualizations.

Through historical, philosophical, sociological, and anthropological inquiry, knowledge of social foundations fosters the types of speculative investigations essential for thorough understandings of those theoretical principles and ideological conceptualizations necessary to uphold the integrity of the Ph.D. degree.

The psychology of learning component is based on the following guiding principles: (1) Educational leaders make judgments that affect learning. (2) Doctoral students should have a substantial understanding of the psychology of learning.

The Social Foundations and Psychology of Learning Core requirements (3) must be completed during the first two years of the students’ program.

Select one (3):

Major Area (6 Hours)


Students must take EPS 9270 during the first year after being admitted and EPS 9260 during the subsequent academic term.

Required (6):

Concentration Areas (18 Hours)


Students select one of the concentration areas as part of his or her doctoral program. 

Educational Leadership


This concentration emphasizes organizational leadership, policy development, supervision, and management. The leadership concentration will be designed to satisfy the career objectives of the students. Graduates may anticipate careers in school administration, governmental education agencies, and the professorate. 

In consultation with your doctoral advisory committee, please choose six courses from one of these three specializations: Leadership and Administration; Leadership and Policy; or Leadership and Urban Education. These specializations are specifically designed for candidates who aspire to positions in academia and other closely related areas. For questions about certification requirements, please contact the coordinator of the educational leadership program.

Other appropriate courses may be substituted into the student’s program of study with the approval of the student’s Doctoral Advisory Committee.

Leadership and Administration Specialization

Students pursuing this specialization can earn Georgia Leadership certification. Students interested in certification should consult with the program coordinator and must meet all Georgia Professional Standards Commission prerequisites to be eligible for certification.

Leadership and Policy Specialization

This specialization is not designed to meet Georgia Leadership certification requirements. It is specifically designed for students who seek to gain a clearer understanding of the issues associated with educational leadership and how those issues are related to the policy arena.

Leadership and Urban Education Specialization

This specialization is not designed to meet Georgia Leadership certification requirements. It is specifically designed for students who seek to better understand educational leadership as it relates to the urban education and the issues associated with educating urban children.

Higher Education


This concentration will prepare students for careers in higher education as academics, researchers, policymakers, and practitioners. Through an interdisciplinary study of theory, research, and content, graduates will be able to understand, analyze, and impact higher education in complex ways. Students who pursue the higher education concentration will explore and challenge a range of perspectives in order to develop in-depth understanding of higher education; including but not limited to its educational and intellectual core, its institutional and organizational structures, its social, cultural, and civic context, as well as its contemporary role as an enterprise.

Research, Measurement, and Statistics


This concentration prepares graduates to investigate research methodologies, to conduct research related to schools, and to conduct and critique research in educational practice, policy, and administration. Students develop knowledge and skills in qualitative and quantitative research and evaluation methods.

Social Foundations of Education


Social foundations is a broadly conceived field of educational study that derives its character from a number of academic disciplines and interdisciplinary studies. At Georgia State University, the disciplines involved in social foundations inquiry are history, philosophy, sociology, anthropology, and political science; the interdisciplinary field is cultural studies. The purpose of social foundations study is to bring the intellectual resources derived from these areas to bear in developing interpretive, normative, and critical perspectives of educational theory, policy, and practices, both inside of and outside of schools.

Cognate Area (12 Hours)


The major and cognate areas should represent a cohesive program of study.

Dissertation (15 Hours)


Required (15):

Total Semester Hours for Degree: Minimum of 69


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