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.

PhD Science Education Research Specialization

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The Science Education Research specialization prepares students to conduct research about the learning and teaching of science within different scientific disciplines. Such research involves a deep understanding of the discipline-specific content knowledge as well as the discipline-specific methodologies through which this knowledge is developed.

The PhD specialization in Science Education Research supports the in depth study of students interested in research in science education. Such a comprehensive and systematic concentration designed around doctoral level courses supports the science education program's ability to offer more robust and rigorous courses of study at the doctoral level. The major thrust of the science education research specialization is to prepare students for 21st century classrooms, to be collaborative, to produce and enhance critical thinking skills, and to embrace and foster creativity.

Course Work

General Culture (3 credits)

Research Methods (15 credits)

In addition to the doctoral program core requirements shown above, students must complete the following curriculum to earn the concentration:

Concentration Required Courses (18 credits)

  • *Cognition/Psychology Elective (3 credits)

*Students must complete 12 credits of graduate level science courses coursework. Students must also select a specialization to complete the program. The chair and committee must agree on both the 12 credits of graduate level science and the specialization courses.

Specialization (18 credits)

    Science Teacher Education Specialization

    The Science Teacher Education specialization of the science education research concentration provides the knowledge and skills to craft effective research on science education in K-12 settings and teacher preparation programs. Graduates of this pillar are prepared to assume positions at research focused universities and/or government agencies.

    • Specialization coursework selected with advisor approval (12 credits)
    • Cognition/Psychology coursework selected with advisor approval (6 credits)

    Non-Formal Science Education Specialization

    Non-Formal Science Education Specialization of the science education research concentration provides the knowledge and skills to craft effective research on science education in non-formal settings such as museums, science centers, zoos and aquariums. Graduates of this pillar are prepared to assume positions at research focused at the aforementioned non-formal settings.

    • Specialization coursework selected with advisor approval (12 credits)
    • Cognition/Psychology course selected with advisor approval (3 credits)
    • Advanced science teaching methods course selected with advisor approval (3 credits)

    University Science Education Specialization

    The University Science Education Specialization of science education research concentration provides the knowledge and skills to craft effective research on science education in science content departments at the university level. Graduates of this pillar are prepared to assume positions at research focused universities and/or government agencies where a thrust on pedagogical research in the science at the undergraduate and graduate levels.

    • Specialization coursework selected with advisor approval (12 credits)
    • Cognition/Psychology course selected with advisor approval (3 credits)
    • Advanced science teaching methods course selected with advisor approval (3 credits)

Dissertation (12 credits)

Portfolio

Students complete an educational portfolio as part of the requirement of the PhD in Education and Human Development program. The portfolio is an organized, selective collection of documents designed to facilitate a student's academic and professional development and to provide a basis for evaluation degree progress. The portfolio represents the scope and depth of a student's goals, plans, and accomplishments in coursework, independent study, research, internships, and other advanced learning activities. The portfolio thus provides both a vehicle for self-reflection and a comprehensive record of a doctoral student's experiences and ongoing progress toward academic and professional goals.

Contact the PhD in Education and Human Development Program for additional information.

Total: 75 credits