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Scenes from URI and RIC

Ph.D. in Education

The Curriculum

Overview During Years One to Three in the Program, students take year-long Core Seminars with other members of their Cohort following the same course sequence (admitted before 2009), (admitted 2009 or after).

  • Year One - Educational Inquiry and Foundations (EDP 610-611)

  • Year Two - Human Development, Learning and Teaching (EDP 620-621)

  • Year Three - Organizational Theory, Leadership, and Policy Analysis
    (EDP 630-631)

Ph.D. candidates collaborating

Three research methods courses are required:  EDP 612 (Qualitative Analysis in Educational Research), EDP 613 (Quantitative Analysis in Educational Research with an SPSS Lab) and EDP 623 (Research Design).  These may be supplemented by more advanced work in research methods applicable to a student's Specialization Area and dissertation topic.

Starting in Year Two, students participate in biweekly Field Research Seminars (EDP 641) that combine members from the 2nd-year, and 3rd-year cohorts.  Co-taught by professors from URI and RIC, these seminars provide a forum for students to present their evolving research ideas, questions, and methodologies.  Feedback and discussion help to develop each presenter's research ideas--en route to the Dissertation--while also sharpening the research tools of other members of the seminar.  

Year Two also includes a Spring semester course on Community Service and Service Learning (EDP 622), dealing with the larger networks of human services and support in which public education is embedded.

A defining feature of this Ph.D. Program is the premium placed on research training. Potential applicants should be aware of the central importance of this research training to the Program's mission, as reflected in its guiding tenets.

  • Educational improvement and reform are extremely complex processes. Restructuring will be more successful if guided by thoughtful, rigorous research.  
  • Accordingly, graduates of the Program must be voracious and discriminating consumers of research that has addressed the assumptions, structures, and impact of various educational settings.  
  • Guided by this research, candidates must be prepared to design alternative approaches and programs, then evaluate them in fine-grained ways that will systematically contribute to the evolution of education.

Course Sequence if Admitted Before 2009

Course Sequence if Admitted 2009 of After

Dissertation Information

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  • Spring Colloquium

    Thursday, April 17, 4 - 7 pm

    Gallanti Lounge, 3rd floor library

    University of Rhode Island

    Kingston, RI

  • Jennifer Connolly, doctoral candidate in the joint URI/RIC Ph.D. in Education program, has been selected to present "A Grounded Theory Content Analysis of Seclusion of Students with Disabilities in Schools" as part of the graduate student research session at the 2013 Council for Exceptional Children's national conference in San Antonio, Texas in April.


  • Dr. Elaine Mangiante, Cohort 2008, 2012 winner of the Schmitt Award for best paper from the New England Education Research Organization.

    Paper: Planning for Inquiry Science: Case Studies of Two Effective Urban Elementary Teachers

    Major Professor: Dr. Kathleen Peno


  • Dr. Mary Jo Fletcher LaRocco
    Dissertation published: Chinese International Teaching Assistants and the Essence of Intercultural Competence in University Context. In Greta Gorsuch, (Ed.), 2012, Working Theories for Teaching Assistant Development. Stillwater, OK: New Forms Press.
    Major professor: Dr. Joanne Hammodou Sullivan