Ph.D. Program: Theory, Organization, and Policy Concentration

    Program Overview

    ATTENTION NEW APPLICANTS: The GRE is NO LONGER REQUIRED for applications to the Ph.D. in Education program.

    Over the past three decades, political leaders have increasingly recognized the critical importance of education to economic, political, social, and cultural improvement. Their decisions have implications for the well-being of families, communities, and the United States’ place in the world. Yet decision makers often pursue educational goals without a clear understanding of their own philosophical assumptions, the needs for change, the possible results of change, or the social forces that affect actions that legislatures and governments take. The concentration in Theory, Organization, and Policy within the Ph.D. Program at the GSE prepares scholars who can help find answers to these questions and, in the process, inform policymakers, educators, and the public about the progress and challenges of education.

    Ph.D. students will work closely with a faculty advisor throughout the course of the program who will act as a mentor, and who are likely to be actively conducting their own research in areas such as organizational leadership and policy, international and comparative education, or the social science and humanities disciplines of education. While enrolled in the program, students will only specialize in one area of study but will be exposed to others, and learn to develop stronger educational analyses and research designs. Graduates of the program will exit prepared for research in higher education, policy organizations, governmental, and nongovernmental organizations concerned with education. 

     For more information about this program:

    Program Details

    Application Deadline

    Dec 1

    Entry Term(s)

    Fall

    Program Level

    Doctoral

    Program Type

    Degree

    Format

    On-Campus

    Credits

    72

  • What You’ll Learn

    Students enrolled in the Ph.D. in Education Program can expect to exit with the ability to think critically about a wide range of the central theories on learning, conduct high-quality original research, communicate and share research effectively, and teach at the university level. Through completion of courses required for the concentration, students will develop a deep understanding and expertise in their chosen specialization. Each course in the Ph.D. Program and Theory, Organization, and Policy concentration should result in some type of deliverable, such as a research paper or literature review. The exact nature of the research that the student will engage with is to be decided with the advisor or other faculty member serving as the course instructor. Completion of the program will require the student to complete a dissertation, including a proposal that describes research questions and the methods used to study them. Then the student carries out the investigation to explore those questions and later presents their findings.

    For more information about the courses in this program, please visit the course catalog and online schedule of classes.

  • Program Requirements
    • 72 Graduate Course Credits
      •       6 Credits – Proseminars
      •     12 Credits – Methodology Requirement Courses
      •       6 Credits – Cognate Courses
      •       6 Credits – Pre-Thesis Research (Independent Study Courses)
      •     18 Credits – Concentration Courses
      •     24 Credits – Dissertation Research
    • Qualifying Exam
      • After completing 24 credits of coursework, including 12 toward completion of the Ph.D. in Education requirements, students may take the qualifying exam. This open-book essay exam will assess the student’s knowledge of the subject area, capacity to conduct research, and competence in a specific area of research. The qualifying exam must be passed before the student completes their fourth year in the program.
    • Dissertation 
      • Each candidate for the doctorate pursues, under faculty direction, an original investigation of a problem or problems in a field of concentration and presents the results of the investigation in a dissertation. This doctoral work is completed in 24 credits of coursework. Students are expected to complete a proposal that describes research questions and the methods used to study them. Then the student carries out the investigation to explore those questions.

    The Ph.D. in Education requires students to complete 48 credits of graduate level coursework and 24 credits of dissertation research. Students will take pre-thesis courses designed to enhance their ability to conduct scholarly research, and can expect to receive support from their faculty advisor and other Ph.D. in Education faculty as appropriate. Prior to enrollment in the pre-thesis courses, students may be required to submit a Pre-thesis Research Form in the program’s learning management tool, Sakai. As part of the Theory, Organization, and Policy concentration, students must also earn six of the 18 required concentration course credits through completion of classes outside the faculty advisor’s specialty. 

  • Careers and Outcomes

    Graduates of the Ph.D. in Education Program are expected to influence educational practice in the United States and abroad through original research efforts, thereby contributing to the advancement of knowledge in education, discovering exemplary educational practices, and contributing to local and national educational policy. GSE graduates most commonly go on to conduct research in higher education, policy organizations, governmental, and nongovernmental organizations concerned with education. 

  • Admissions Requirements
    • Personal Statement
    • 3 Letters of Recommendation
    • Official Undergraduate Transcripts
    • Official Graduate Transcripts
    • Official GRE Scores*
    • Curriculum Vitae/Resume (optional)
    • Sample of Academic Writing (optional)

    For more information on this program’s admissions requirements, visit the Office of the Graduate and Professional Admissions website.

    *Any test scores submitted must be less than 5 years old as of the application deadline

  • How to Apply
    1. Collect the materials required for admission
    2. Submit your application online at http://gradstudy.rutgers.edu/
    3. Submit supporting materials online or by mail to the Graduate Admissions Office:

    Office of Graduate and Professional Admissions
    Rutgers. The State University of New Jersey
    56 Bevier Rd, ASB Annex I
    Piscataway, NJ 08854, U.S.A.

    Download the complete guide on how to apply for the Ph.D. Program with Concentration in Theory, Organization, and Policy at the Rutgers University Graduate School of Education.

  • Tuition & Financial Assistance

    Tuition

    For tuition and fees information please visit the tuition landing page.

    Financial Aid:

    While students are encouraged to apply for federal student aid using the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), there are a number of other merit- and need-based support options, including loans and college work-study programs within and external to Rutgers. For more information, please visit the Office of Financial Aid website.

    Scholarships, Fellowships & Assistantships:

    Generous GSE alumni, friends, and community members have established and continue to donate to more than one dozen fellowships and scholarships to help deserving students reach their goals. These awards are granted on the basis of academic achievement and or financial need. While these awards are competitive, interested students are encouraged to apply for consideration and submit the required materials. Students must also submit a FAFSA application to be eligible.  

    To review all current awards and learn more about the donors that established them, please click here.

Rutgers is an equal access/equal opportunity institution. Individuals with disabilities are encouraged to direct suggestions, comments, or complaints concerning any accessibility issues with Rutgers websites to accessibility@rutgers.edu or complete the Report Accessibility Barrier / Provide Feedback form.
Scroll to Top