Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Career & Technical Education

Graduate Programs

The graduate program in Career and Technical Education prepares leaders who are concerned with education and training that enables youth and adults to pursue their careers.

The program serves professionals from the Career and Technical Education curriculum disciplines, guidance and counseling, special education, academic content areas, adult education, training and development, as well as human resource development and management in the public and private sectors.

This residential program has rolling admission. Applications must be fully complete and submitted (including all required materials) and all application fees paid prior to the deadline in order for applications to be considered and reviewed. For a list of all required materials for this program application, please see the “Admissions” tab below.

July 1 is the deadline for Fall applications.

November 15 is the deadline for Spring applications.

March 15 is the deadline for Summer applications.


This program does not lead to licensure in the state of Indiana or elsewhere. Contact the College of Education Office of Teacher Education and Licensure (OTEL) at before continuing with program application if you have questions regarding licensure or contact your state Department of Education about how this program may translate to licensure in your state of residence.


View Admissions Information

Application Instructions for the residential Career and Technical Education PhD program from the Office of Graduate Studies:

In addition to a submitted application (and any applicable application fees paid), the following materials are required for admission consideration, and all completed materials must be submitted by the application deadline in order for an application to be considered complete and forwarded on to faculty and the Purdue Graduate School for review.

Here are the materials required for this application

We encourage prospective students submit an application early, even if not all required materials are uploaded. Applications are not forwarded on for faculty review until all required materials are uploaded.

When submitting your application for this program, please select the following options:

  • Campus and Program Tab:
    • Select a Campus: Purdue West Lafayette (PWL)
    • Select your proposed graduate major: Curriculum and Instruction
  • First Choice Program Details Tab:
    • Please select an Area of Interest: Career and Technical Education
    • Please select a Degree Objective: Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
    • Primary Course Delivery: Residential

Program Requirements

View Requirements


EDCI 54100: Contemporary Issues in Career and Technical Education
EDCI 55000: Career Education
EDCI 64500: Organization and Administration of Career and Technical Education

Curriculum and Instruction

EDCI 54300: Instruction in Career and Technical Education
EDCI 54400: Career and Technical Education for Special Needs Learners
EDCI 55200: Generalizable Skills Instruction in Career and Technical Education
EDCI 64800: Curriculum in Career and Technical Education
EDCI 65300: Seminar in Career and Technical Education
EDCI 69500: Internship in (Career Education, Career Pathways, Generalizable Skills Instruction, Special Needs, Field Experience in Business and Industry, Shadowing and Mentoring)

Administration and Policy

EDCI 54500: Planning in Career and Technical Education
EDCI 55300: Leadership Development in Career and Technical Education
EDCI 64400: Legal Issues in Career and Technical Education
EDCI 64600: Supervision in Career and Technical Education
EDCI 69500: Internship in Career and Technical Education Administration

Disciplined Inquiry

EDCI 59000: Individual Research Problems
EDCI 64700: Research in Career and Technical Education
EDCI 64900: Assessment in Career and Technical Education
EDCI 65000: Program Evaluation in Career and Technical Education
EDCI 65300: Research Seminar
EDCI 69800: Thesis Research
EDCI 69900: Dissertation Research

Additional courses applicable to CTE Licenses:

EDCI 24200: Principles and Philosophy in Vocational and Technical Education
EDCI 24400: Leadership for (CTE) Youth Organizations
EDCI 35700: Occupational Internship
EDCI 35800: Organization and Coordination of Vocational and Technical Education
EDCI 45000: Techniques of Cooperative Vocational Education

Supplemental Program Information

View Supplemental Program Information

Graduate Competencies

Graduate students in the Career and Technical Education program will satisfy the six (6) graduate competency areas and components within each area. The competencies can be satisfied by successfully completing one or more of the activities listed within each competency area (see Guidelines below). A variety of venues such as courses, internships, and school-based activities can be used to satisfy the competencies. Diversity, access, and equity issues and practices are expected to be infused and pervasive within all competency areas and activities that satisfy student competency attainment. Each student’s approved graduate competency plan will be reviewed at least once each semester. All successfully completed competencies will have documentation in the form of products. After the student has satisfied all competencies and required activities, the advisor and committee members will conduct a final review and evaluation of the student’s portfolio. Upon final approval, a statement of certification of successful completion of the graduate competencies requirements will be forwarded by the advisor to the College of Education Graduate Studies Office for inclusion in the student’s file.

Monitoring and Assessment Procedures

  • Student receives and reviews the Graduate Competencies Guidelines.
  • Student meets with advisor to discuss his/her plan to satisfy the graduate competencies.
  • Student develops his/her graduate competency plan.
  • The advisor and committee review and approve the plan.
  • The student implements the plan and develops the portfolio.
  • The student and advisor meet at least once each semester to review the plan, monitor progress, and evaluate formatively the portfolio.
  • All requirements in the graduate competency plan will be completed and satisfied no later than the middle of the last semester before expected graduation.
  • The advisor and committee members review and evaluate summatively the student’s portfolio.
  • The student delivers a presentation of his/her portfolio during or prior to the final oral examination.
  • A statement of certification is forwarded to the College of Education Graduate Studies Office for inclusion in the student’s file when all of the graduate competencies have been satisfied.


  • Synthesize Knowledge
    • Activities
      • Write a literature review
      • Produce a proposal
    • Products (examples)
      • Literature review
      • Proposal
  • Create Knowledge
    • Activities
      • Conduct a research project
      • Plan and implement a program
      • Develop program or instructional materials
      • Write a journal manuscript
      • Prepare a thesis
    • Products (examples)
      • Research project
      • Program improvement project report
      • Instructional materials
      • Journal manuscript
      • Thesis
  • Communicate Knowledge
    • Activities
      • Plan and deliver a workshop
      • Present at a professional conference
      • Present at a seminar
      • Prepare a conference paper
      • Write a project report
      • Prepare and/ or publish a journal article
    • Products (examples)
      • Workshop presentation report
      • Conference presentation report
      • Seminar presentation report
      • Conference paper
      • Project report
      • Journal manuscript/article
  • Think Critically and Reflectively
    • Activities
      • Prepare a critical and reflective paper
      • Write a critical analysis paper (critique)
      • Develop a professional philosophy statement
    • Products (examples)
      • Manuscript
      • Critical analysis paper
      • Philosophy statement
  • Engage in Professional Development
    • Activities
      • Participate in workshops
      • Attend professional conferences
      • Maintain memberships in professional organizations
      • Prepare a professional portfolio
    • Products (examples)
      • Workshop participation report
      • Professional conference report
      • Organization membership(s) log
      • Portfolio
  • Participate Actively in Their Profession
    • Activities
      • Prepare a report and critique of a conference or workshop
      • Present at professional meetings
      • Participate actively in professional associations
      • Mentor colleagues
      • Plan and deliver inservice workshops
      • Provide technical assistance to colleagues
    • Products (examples)
      • Conference or workshop critique
      • Professional meeting presentation report
      • Professional association participation journal
      • Mentoring log
      • Inservice workshop report
      • Technical assistance log

The competencies, activities, and products will use several venues that include courses, internships, independent studies, thesis research, seminars, comprehensive written examinations, oral examinations, school-based activities, professional organization activities, community activities, and others identified by the student, advisor, and/or committee members. The student will select one or more activities to satisfy the components of each competency area with the guidance of his/her advisor and committee members.

Graduate (General) Competencies

See a chart of graduate (general) competencies in Career and Technical Education.



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