Education, Ph.D. - Social Science Education

Graduate Studies

Department: College Wide Programs

The Social Science Education doctoral program is designed to prepare social science educators for successful careers in research and teaching. The program assists students in providing options to careers in preparing social science teachers, teaching postsecondary social science (history, political science, economics, etc.), and conducting research activities in social science education. Doctoral students in the track engage in research activities with an interdisciplinary faculty, experience internships, and interact with various social science educators and social science experts. Throughout this program, students are mentored by experienced and successful university social science education faculty. Based on the students' previous graduate course work, students may be required to complete additional graduate social science education (SSE) courses and/or graduate content courses beyond the minimum requirements.

Total Hours Required for PhD - 69 Credit Hours Minimum beyond the Master's Degree.

Core Courses - 24 Credit Hours

  • IDS 7501 Issues and Research in Education (3 credit hours)
  • IDS 7500 Seminar in Educational Research (variable credit and repeatable, 6 credit hours)
  • EDF 7475 Qualitative Research in Education (3 credit hours)
  • EDF 7403 Quantitative Foundations of Educational Research (3 credit hours)
  • EDF 7463 Analysis of Survey, Record and Other Qualitative Data (3 credit hours)
  • IDS 7502 Case Studies in Research Design (3 credit hours)
  • IDS 7938 Research Cluster Seminar (3 credit hours) or approved research methods elective

Specialization Courses - 18 Credit Hours Minimum

  • SSE 7740 History of Social Studies Education Seminar (3 credit hours)
  • SSE 7796 Research in Social Science Education Seminar (3 credit hours)
  • SSE 7797 Content and Program Analysis in Social Science Education (3 credit hours)
  • SSE 6387 Teaching with Film in the Social Studies (3 credit hours)
  • SSE 6388 Digital History in the K-12 Classroom (3 credit hours)
  • Cognate Courses in the social sciences (3 credit hours, course must be approved by adviser)

Internship - 3 Credit Hours Minimum

  • SSE 7947 Internship in Social Science Education (3 credit hours)

Dissertation - 24 Credit Hours Minimum

Doctoral students must present a prospectus for the dissertation to the doctoral adviser, prepare a proposal and present it to the dissertation committee, and defend the final research submission with the dissertation committee.


To enter candidacy for the PhD, students must have an overall 3.0 GPA on all graduate work included in the planned program and pass all required examinations.

Candidacy Examinations

  • Examinations must be completed prior to admission to candidacy.
  • Examinations will be scheduled by the student and major adviser. The associate dean for graduate studies and research must be notified of the date and location of the exam 30 days in advance.
  • All PhD candidates will be required to complete two examinations. Students must be enrolled in the university during the semester an examination is taken.
    • Research in the Specialization8-hour written examination.
    • Specialization3-hour oral examination.

Please note there may be variations in length of exam time and content based upon the respective requirements of each track.