Graduate School of Education - George Mason University
Graduate School of Education - George Mason University

Our Graduate School of Education is the alma mater for one third of teachers and administrators in Northern Virginia’s world-class school systems. Each year, more than 3,000 graduate students enroll in our innovative academic programs, which include advanced study for teachers and school leaders, instructional design and technology, and a renowned PhD in Education program that is among the largest in the country.

School of Recreation, Health, and Tourism - George Mason University

The School of Recreation, Health, and Tourism (SRHT) offers exciting, career-ready majors in dynamic fields such as athletic training, tourism and events management, health and physical education, kinesiology, sport management, and recreation management. SRHT features renowned faculty, cutting-edge research, six laboratories and centers, and a diverse student body of more than 1,000 undergraduate and graduate students each year. Each major requires one or more internship or clinical experiences, ensuring that students graduate not just with a transcript but with a resume that demonstrates their professional aptitude and skills.

Frequently Asked Questions

PhD students are those with a high degree of personal motivation that stems from their natural curiosity and love of intellectual pursuits.

The PhD in Education is a terminal doctoral degree that has a research focus in the field of Education. It prepares the holder for academic, research, administrative, clinical or professional positions in educational, civil, private organizations or public institutions. Please contact us if you have any questions that are not addressed below.

Could you send me some information on the program? More Less

Please see our PhD in Education website.

We strongly encourage prospective students to attend our information sessions, which are usually offered every other month. The Director will address the admissions process and discuss the program in detail. After the presentation, there will be an opportunity to ask individual questions.

What are the admission requirements? More Less
  • 3 years of work experience in an educational setting may be required
  • Official transcripts from graduate and undergraduate institutions
  • 3 letters of recommendation
  • Graduate Record Exam (GRE) scores that are no more than 5 years old
  • Goal statement of 750-1000 words indicating why you wish to pursue the PhD in Education degree, how it will enhance your professional goals, your competencies, and any research interests you may have
  • Complete application, application fee, and current resume
What are the admission deadlines? More Less
  • January 15th for Fall admission
  • October 1st for Spring admission
  • All required materials must be in the admissions office by the admission deadline to ensure proper processing. If you are missing parts of the required application materials, your application is incomplete and will not be considered.
May I make an appointment to meet with someone to discuss the program? More Less

Yes! However, we encourage you to attend our information sessions which are offered every other month. The Director conducts these especially for individuals who are interested in the program and she is very thorough. You may ask individual questions after the presentation.

How do I get to George Mason University? More Less

For maps of the George Mason campuses and for directions click on http://www.gmu.edu/resources/welcome/Directions-to-GMU.html

For additional information or comments, please contact Joan Stahle at 703.993.2011 or jstahle@gmu.edu.

Can I take Ph.D. in Education classes before being admitted to the program? More Less

Core Ph.D. courses (EDUC 800, EDRS 810, 811, 812 and advanced research courses EDRS 82x or EDRS 83x) are reserved for admitted Ph.D. students. Non-degree students may be able to take a specialization class with permission of the Instructor. Instructions for taking a non-degree class are:

  1. Complete a non-degree application: http://admissions.gmu.edu/. Wait for a confirmation of your acceptance.
  2. View course offerings at https://patriotweb.gmu.edu/pls/prod/bwckschd.p_disp_dyn_sched. You'll find information on specializations at http://gse.gmu.edu/programs/phd/program-specialization/.
  3. Once you see a class you are interested in, please write to the instructor for permission to take the class. If they give permission, forward their email to Joan Stahle at jstahle@gmu.edu who will help you with the rest of the process.
  4. After 4-5 days, check your transcript in PatriotWeb to make sure the class appears. You don't have to register yourself - the registrar does that for you. If the class does not show up on your transcript, please contact the registrar's office at 703-993-2441.
Is there a minimum GRE score requirement for admission? More Less

The Ph.D. in Education admissions committee conducts a holistic review of all components of each candidate's application. The GRE means for those admitted in 2014-15 are 152 (quantitative), 155 (verbal) and 4.1 (analytical writing). The admissions committee will also consider additional compelling evidence (e.g., goal statement, publications, etc.,), that supports the candidate’s qualifications.

How many credits are required for the Ph.D. in Education program? More Less

The doctoral program of study in the Ph.D. in Education consists of 66 graduate credits beyond a master's degree. In specific cases, more or fewer credits may be required, depending on student's career goals, prior coursework, and assessed strengths and deficiencies.

Can I transfer graduate credits to the Ph.D. program? More Less

Doctoral students may transfer up to 12 hours of graduate credit to their program of study, if (a) the coursework was undertaken no more than six years prior to admittance into the Ph.D. program, (b) the coursework was not applied to any previous degree, and (c) the coursework is deemed applicable to the student's doctoral program by the student's committee.

Once the student has enrolled in the Ph.D. in Education Program, prior written permission of the Ph.D. in Education Program Director is required to take courses at another institution. In some limited cases, with approval of the Ph.D. in Education Committee, more than 12 credits may be transferred. The Graduate Transfer of Credit form can be found at http://registrar.gmu.edu/forms/GTC.pdf

Can I apply credits from my Master’s Degree to the Ph.D. program? More Less

Students who have earned a master's degree in a discipline other than the major area of program specialization may request using the master's degree in lieu of nine hours of the CEHD secondary emphasis area requirement. The reduction of credit form can be found at http://registrar.gmu.edu/wp-content/uploads/ROC.pdf.

Credits used in reduction of credits

  • Are not subject to time limits
  • Must have been applied to a previously earned post-bacclaureate degree
  • Must have received a minimum grade of B
I work full time. When are the classes offered? Can I attend part time? More Less

Around 80% of our students are employed full time. Almost all Ph.D. in Education classes are offered in the evenings at 4:30 or 7:20 from Monday through Thursday.

Do you offer online classes? More Less

We do not offer online classes. All of our classes are scheduled at the Fairfax campus.

I plan to be a full time student. What are my funding options? More Less
  • Presidential Scholar Award - One award is given to a new student in the fall semester with the highest GPA and GRE scores. The student is selected; there is no application. The awardee receives a stipend plus tuition benefits for 9 credit hours each semester (excluding summers). There is a 20 hour per week assignment. This award is renewable for up to a total of three years and includes university paid health insurance.

  • Dean's Scholarship - Each year, three to five highly qualified new doctoral students are identified for receiving a Dean's Scholarship. This scholarship is intended for students who will be enrolled full-time as a student in the Ph.D. in Education program. To be considered, you must have a minimum score of 1200 on the “old” GRE (verbal and quantitative) or 310 on the new GRE, and cannot have full-time employment elsewhere. In exchange, the recipients will receive eighteen credits of remitted tuition for the academic year, access to the University's health care plan, and a stipend of $22,000. Each recipient will also work as a Graduate Research Assistant (GRAs) for 20 hours a week during the academic year.

  • Holmes Scholar Graduate Fellowship supports unrepresented diverse students. Includes: 3-years of tuition remission for full-time course taking (up to 9 credits per semester, Spring and Fall), health insurance, a stipend for a 20-hour graduate research assistantship ($22,000/year), and funding up to $1200/year for travel to the AACTE conference.

  • Graduate Research Assistantships (GRA) - there are approximately 15-20 available GRA positions every year. Assistantships includes stipend and tuition waiver. There are part time (10 hours/week) and full time (20 hours/week) appointments. Online application deadline is June 15 for the following academic year. http://cehd.gmu.edu/resources/student/ga_application

  • Graduate Research Scholar (GRS) – 10 and 20 hour positions available. Provides a tuition waiver but no stipend. Online application deadline is June 15 for the following academic year. http://cehd.gmu.edu/resources/student/ga_application.

  • Fellowship Award - Eligibility requirements:
    • Students taking 9 credit hours
    • Students with 20 hour graduate assistantships who are taking 6 credits
    • Students taking EDUC 998 and 999 as long as they are taking the # of credits required by the program and have no coursework left to take.

    Application must be submitted by June 15 for the following academic year. http://cehd.gmu.edu/assets/docs/forms/PhD%20Program/fellowship_application.pdf


  • Dissertation Research Fellowship - Designed to help pay for expenses associated with gathering data and completing the dissertation. Students must have an approved proposal.
How long does it take to complete the doctoral program? More Less

The average length of time is four to six years. Full time students can usually complete the program in four years. The average time for part time students is closer to six years.

I am a Ph.D. student and plan to attend a conference. Are there funds available to help me with the costs of my trip? More Less

Students can apply for funds through Graduate Student Travel Funds: http://gstf.gmu.edu/. Funding must be requested prior to attending a conference.