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College of Applied Human Sciences: School of Education

Educational Theory and Practice, PhD

The PhD in Educational Theory and Practice meets the interests and professional needs of future scholars in the areas of teaching and learning (across various subjects, in- and out-of-school contexts and ages/grades); teacher education and development (across various subjects and professional levels); and social, cultural and critical studies in education.

Your Degree Plan


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The program serves as a source of preparation for students toward careers as higher education faculty, education researchers, policy analysts and work with other educational organizations (e.g., non-profits).

The program includes the following course components:

  • Core program coursework focused on theoretical, philosophical and sociological foundations of education research and practice.
  • A research core that provides the methodological competencies to produce original research as well as the ability to critically evaluate published scholarship.
  • A specialization area, which may include: teacher education, education policy, multicultural education, critical theories and pedagogies, mathematics education, science education, English education, social studies education and language/literacy studies.
  • Mentored research and teaching practicum.

Upon completion of the PhD in Educational Theory and Practice, graduates will be prepared to:

  • Understand and interpret scholarship on theory, policy and practice in education as the basis for growth over a professional career.
  • Critically evaluate scholarship, policy and practice in order to promote equity, access and social justice in educational settings.
  • Plan for, conduct and report on original research that advances the field of education.
  • Demonstrate skills as educators—including designing, implementing, evaluating and revising educational experiences.

Take advantage of special options related to this major:

  • Honors

    Expand your curiosity — and enhance your curriculum — through the WVU Honors College. Two programs are offered: Honors Foundations for first- and second-year students and Honors EXCEL for third- and fourth-year students.

    Explore Honors

The WVU Difference

What sets this program apart from its competitors?

  • The PhD in Educational Theory and Practice offers a number of Graduate Assistantships in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction/Literacy Studies.
  • In addition to assistantships and fellowships, the PhD in Educational Theory and Practice program has a limited set of graduate tuition waivers available to support the recruitment and retention of eligible students.
  • Students in this program are eligible for funding (up to $800 per year) to attend and present at academic conferences.

Learn by Doing

Learning happens outside the classroom. Get involved.

  • Mentored research
  • Teaching practicum

  • Graduate Assistantship, Department of Curriculum and Instruction/Literacy Studies

Attending college will prepare you for many things. The Educational Theory and Practice major will give you the following skills:

  • Analytical skills
  • Research skills
Outside of the Evansdale Crossing building.

What you learn outside of the classroom is just as important as what you learn during class. We’ll help you follow your curiosity.

Careers and Outcomes

How does this degree prepare students for a career?

Education Administrators, Postsecondary

Plan, direct or coordinate research, instructional, student administration and services and other educational activities at postsecondary institutions, including universities, colleges and junior and community colleges.

May require a Graduate Degree

Median Salary: $96,910

Possible job titles include: Academic Dean, Dean, Provost, Registrar.

Explore Career

Education Teachers, Postsecondary

Teach courses pertaining to education, such as counseling, curriculum, guidance, instruction, teacher education and teaching English as a second language. Includes both teachers primarily engaged in teaching and those who do a combination of teaching and research.

May require a Graduate Degree

Median Salary: $63,910

Possible job titles include: Assistant Professor, Associate Professor, Education Professor, Professor.

Explore Career

What our grads are doing

The program serves as a source of preparation for students toward careers as:

  • higher education faculty
  • education researchers
  • policy analysts
  • work with other educational organizations (e.g., non-profits)

Meet Your Community

The Educational Theory and Practice family will inspire and support you.

Admission Requirements

To be eligible for admission into a graduate program at WVU an applicant must submit official, bachelor's degree transcripts from a regionally accredited institution and hold a GPA of at least 2.75. WVU operates decentralized admissions. Decentralized admissions allows each graduate program to set its own application requirements in addition to the University requirements.

  • Admission Requirements

    • A baccalaureate degree with coursework in appropriate areas
    • A minimum undergraduate GPA of 2.8
    • Complete graduate application
    • Résumé
    • Personal Statement
    • Three (3) Letters of Recommendations

    Additional Application Considerations

    Application Deadline

    • April 1

    Program Contact

    If you have any questions about this graduate program, please contact Matthew Campbell at

  • Application Deadlines

    Each graduate program sets their own terms for admission and application deadlines. Applicants can only apply for admission for the terms displayed below. Any questions regarding the application deadline should be directed to the graduate program representative.

    • Fall: April 1

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