Skip to main content
Home / Academics / Programs

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.

This is a primarily full-time, 60-credit, in-person program (part-time study options available).

Your Degree Plan


Aerial view of Martin and Woodburn Halls

The program serves as a source of preparation for students toward careers as higher education faculty, educational researchers, policy analysts, and those who conduct work in a range of educational agencies and organizations.

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.
  • Program electives that align with students’ interests and deepen their focus in core areas of educational research and practice.
  • Mentored research and teaching experiences that promote students’ pedagogical and empirical skills.

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?

  • We offer several graduate assistantships to competitive applicants to support their doctoral work. Assurance of funding is provided to selected applicants for the first two years of study, with opportunities for continuation of funding.
  • The EDTP program utilizes a professional mentorship model, wherein faculty work closely with doctoral students to support their progress through key milestones, including dissemination of pedagogical and empirical work and completion of the dissertation.
  • The plan of study includes apprenticed research and teaching experiences that provide students with a breadth of perspectives and practices as they develop their pedagogical and empirical skills.

Learn by Doing

Learning happens outside the classroom. Get involved.

Students have opportunities to develop applied, authentic experiences teaching in college settings and conducting meaningful research. Through practicum and other structured learning experiences, students examine the theoretical, philosophical, historical, and critical foundations of educational research and practice.

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

The Educational Theory and Practice program will equip you with the analytical, empirical, and pedagogical skills to address practical and theoretical problems in teaching and learning, teacher education and development, and societal, cultural, and critical studies in education.

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: $99,940

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.

Has a Bright Outlook , May require a Graduate Degree

Median Salary: $66,930

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

Explore Career

Career pathways

Our graduates have obtained positions in a range of areas, including at colleges and universities, educational agencies, and research centers. Jobs obtained by recent graduates include teaching-based faculty positions, service-oriented faculty positions, and positions as research associates, postdoctoral scholars, and educational consultants.

Sample employers/job titles of graduates

  • Carlow University, Assistant Professor, Department of Education and Liberal Studies
  • UNC Charlotte, Associate Director, Undergraduate Research
  • West Virginia University, Teaching Assistant Professor, School of Math and Data Science

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 related to education
    • A minimum undergraduate GPA of 2.80
    • A completed graduate application
    • A curriculum vitae (CV)
    • A personal statement describing your specific goals for and interests in the program. The statement should clearly articulate the connections between our program and your interests as well as the expertise of program faculty.
    • An academic writing sample showcasing your academic interests and ability to engage in research.
    • Three (3) letters of recommendation addressing your potential as a doctoral student in education.

    Additional Application Considerations

    • Only completed applications can be reviewed. An application is considered complete when all associated materials, including letters of recommendation, are submitted and received by the program. Please ensure you’ve allotted enough time to have your application materials received before the deadline.
    • Following the application deadline, program faculty will evaluate each application based on the quality of the materials submitted, the quality of the applicant’s academic record, and the connections between students’ expressed interests and those of the faculty.
    • International applicants should also submit required materials as described in Graduate Admissions' information for international students.
    • Complete admissions information for the Educational Theory and Practice program can be found in the WVU Catalog.

    Application Deadline

    • The priority deadline for admission is December 15. Applicants interested in funding through graduate assistantships and related opportunities should ensure all application materials are received by this deadline.
    • The final deadline for admission is March 1.

    Program Contact

    If you have questions about the Educational Theory and Practice PhD program, please contact Dr. Jake Follmer, Assistant Professor and Program Coordinator, 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: March 1
    • Fall (Priority): December 15

Ready to take the next step?

Learn how to join the WVU family.

Request Info

Want to know more about Educational Theory and Practice at WVU? Fill out our request form to receive more information.

Request Info


​​Experiencing campus is the best way to see if WVU is the right fit. Choose from in-person and virtual options.

Visit WVU


Your first step to becoming a Mountaineer is applying for admission using our convenient online application.

Apply Now