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Degrees Offered

Available graduate degree programs include:

  • Master of Science in Education (MSEd)
  • Master of Science (MS)
  • Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Master of Science in Education

This degree program is designed for teachers seeking advanced academic qualifications and for those wishing to undertake a degree program at the beginning graduate level. In addition, an M.S. in Education program also may be used by entering graduate students whose ultimate goal is the Ph.D. degree.

The Department of Curriculum and Instruction offers both thesis and nonthesis options for the M.S. in Education degree. Both programs require a minimum of 15 graduate-level credit hours in education at Purdue University. The nonthesis option stipulates a minimum of 30 credit hours of graduate courses, with many programs specifying more than 30 hours. The thesis option normally requires a minimum of 24 credit hours of graduate courses plus six credit hours of graduate thesis work. Students desiring to pursue the Ph.D. degree are strongly encouraged to select a thesis-option master's program.

The program of study that a student will follow for the degree depends upon the field of study selected by the student. Each student should plan his or her program with the help of a temporary adviser, major professor, or chair of the departmental graduate committee before beginning his or her studies. All teachers seeking professional certification should check with their adviser and the Office of Professional Preparation and Licensure. Graduate students also should consult the College of Education Graduate Handbook for additional requirements that may apply.

Master of Science

Students may become candidates for the Master of Science degree if they have sufficient undergraduate work in the natural sciences to meet requirements for the Bachelor of Science degree at Purdue University. All other requirements and procedures are identical to those described above for the Master of Science in Education degree.

 Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)

The Department of Curriculum and Instruction offers programs of graduate study leading to the Ph.D. degree. The doctoral program is research-oriented and requires a dissertation. The number of credit hours of coursework is subject to approval by the student's advisory committee and the Graduate School, but it typically consists of 40-50 credit hours of graduate courses plus at least 10-20 credit hours of dissertation research. The doctoral plan of study must have 90 hours of graduate credits beyond the bachelor's degree. In most cases, up to 30 credit hours of a completed master's degree may be applied toward doctoral credits with the approval of the student's advisory committee and the Graduate School.

The primary area of study will include both foundational and specialized education courses. Each program ordinarily will include 9 to 15 credit hours of graduate work selected from foundational and research competency areas in education. All doctoral programs must include advanced graduate courses in research methodology. In addition to the development of competence in these fields, the student is expected to gain a mastery of an area of specialization. Typical areas of specialization include: career and technical education, curriculum studies, educational technology, English education, family and consumer sciences education, literacy and language education, mathematics education, science education, and social studies education.

Individuals desiring to pursue graduate study toward the Ph.D. degree are encouraged to confer with faculty members in their fields of special interest within the department or with the chair of the departmental graduate committee. Graduate students also should consult the graduate studies handbook for additional requirements that may apply.




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