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Doctorate in Social Studies Education

Program Code: PH6224

The Ph.D. program in Social Studies Education is built on a common foundation of learning theory, the social and cultural contexts of school education, curriculum and instruction theory, the moral and ethical dimensions of leadership, and quantitative and qualitative research methods. It is expected that all students completing a doctoral degree in Social Studies Education will demonstrate knowledge and skills in a common core of competencies plus an area of specialization and successfully complete a dissertation. For each individual scholar, coursework serves as the basis for investigating a significant educational issue that will advance the field of Social Studies Education and prepare him or her for future research. Every student in the Ph.D. program in Social Studies Education has the opportunity to construct a highly individualized program based on his or her career goals. Specializations are available based on the expertise of doctoral faculty. This program can be completed on a full- or part-time basis. For a full-time student, program degree completion in four years is typical, with at least two years in residence at the Athens campus of Ohio University.

Application Process

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Michael Kopish
Program Coordinator
Patton Hall 309R

Frans Doppen
Graduate Doctoral Coordinator
Patton Hall 309EE


Program Overview

Learning Outcomes

  • Demonstrate a strong foundation in the social studies subject matter.
  • Gain an understanding of how PK-16 students learn and engage with social studies.
  • Become familiar with research methodologies appropriate to the study of social studies education.
  • Learn to use equitable and inclusive teaching and assessment practices that are responsive to diverse learners and incorporate appropriate use of technology.
  • Become knowledgeable about the body of literature central to social studies education, professional preparation standards for social studies teachers, and K-12 social studies learning standards.
  • Develop skills in teaching social studies methods courses for K-12 teachers or facilitating professional development for K-12 teachers.
  • Develop an awareness of local and global issues relate to social studies education.
  • Gain experience and knowledge in analyzing, evaluating, synthesizing research theories in social studies education, and applying them and supporting others in applying them in K-16 contexts.
  • Conduct independent research in social studies education that relies on quantitative and/or qualitative research design and methodology suitable for professional publication and presentations.
  • Develop awareness of current trends and issues in education broadly, and social studies education specifically, that leads to advocacy for learners and teachers.
  • Be prepared to accept a university faculty position or other leadership role in the field of Social Studies Education.

Required Courses

Minimum Total Credits: 72 semester credit hours including dissertation

Foundations Core: minimum 5 semester hours

  • EDTE 8900 First-Year Doctoral Seminar (1 credit)
  • A graduate level graduate level course (5000 level or above) focused on critical studies chosen in consultation with doctoral committee

Teaching & Learning Core: minimum 15 semester hours

  • EDTE 7150 Theories of Curriculum Change (3 credits)
  • EDTE 7160 Theories of Instructional Change (3 credits)
  • EDTE 7920 Curriculum and Instruction Practicum (6 credits)
  • EDTE 8000 Advanced Dynamics of Human Learning (3 credits)

Research Core: minimum 18 semester hours

  • EDRE 7200 Educational Statistics (4 credits)
  • EDRE 7330 Research Design in Education (4 credits)
  • EDRE 7500 Introduction to Qualitative Methods in Education (4 credits)
  • EDTE 8040 Writing for Professional Publication in Education (3 credits)
  • One additional graduate-level research course chosen in consultation with student’s doctoral committee

Specialization: minimum 15 semester hours

  • EDTE 5510/L Programs and Practices in Elementary Social Studies – Practicum
  • EDTE 6980/L Teaching Social Studies in Junior and Senior High
  • EDTE 7500 Inquiry and Value Clarification in Social Studies
  • EDTE 8500 Seminar in Social Studies Education: Curriculum
  • EDTE 8510 Seminar in Social Studies Education: Program Analysis


In consultation with the chair of your doctoral committee, a minimum of three graduate courses must be earned in one of the content areas listed below.

  • Anthropology
  • Economics
  • Geography
  • History
  • Political Science
  • Sociology

Dissertation: minimum 10 semester hours

It is expected that all candidates completing a doctoral degree in the Department of Teacher Education will propose, conduct, and prepare a comprehensive written report of an individually designed research study addressing a significant educational issue that will advance the field of social studies education and will prepare the scholar for future research.

Funding Information

Program Faculty

Frans Doppen

Mike Kopish