Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Social Studies Education

Graduate Programs

Beginning Ph. D. students can demonstrate the competencies through previous coursework  in conjunction with an oral interview with social studies education faculty about that coursework. Among the courses that could demonstrate competency include those in:

  • History of Social Studies Education
  • Theories of Social Studies Education
  • Measurement and Research Design
  • Quantitative Research Methods
  • Qualitative Research Methods
  • Learning Theories
  • Multicultural Education
  • Social Foundations of Education
  • Teaching and Learning
  • Curriculum Theory
  • International Education
  • Content courses drawn from the disciplines (e.g., advanced courses in economics, history, geography, political science, etc.)

This residential program has rolling admission. Applications must be fully complete, submitted, and all application fees paid prior to the deadline in order for applications to be considered and reviewed.

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 Social Studies 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.

A completed master’s degree is required prior to admission.

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: Social Studies Education
    • Please select a Degree Objective: Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
    • Primary Course Delivery: Residential
View Requirements

I. Social Studies Education Requirements (12 credits)

  • EDCI 62400: Seminar in Social Studies Education – or approved substitute (12 credits)

II. Curriculum & Instruction Foundations (11 credits)

  • EDCI 58000: Foundations of Curriculum (3 credits)
  • EDCI 58500: Multicultural Education (3 credits)
  • EDCI 62800: Curriculum and Instruction Doctoral Seminar I (1 credit)
  • EDCI 63800: Curriculum and Instruction Doctoral Seminar II (1 credit)
  • EDCI Elective (3 credits)

III. Content Area Related Course Work (9-12 credits)

Graduate courses in relevant social studies content areas such as history, political science, and economics.

IV. Cognate Area (9-12 credits)

Students will take a minimum of three graduate courses in a single self-selected cognate area. Cognate area selection should be discussed with the student’s major professor and advisory committee. Examples include: learning design and technology, English learners, multicultural education, global education, gifted, creative, & talented education, educational psychology.

V. Research Courses (15 credits)

  • EDPS 53300 – Introduction to Research in Education (3 credits)
  • EDCI 61500 – Qualitative Research Methods in Education (3 credits)
  • EDPS 63000 – Research Procedures in Education (3 credits)
  • Advanced research methods courses in either qualitative or quantitative research methods. (3 credits)

VI. Research PhD Thesis

  • EDCI 69900

*Please note that depending on prior coursework, additional courses in EDCI and/or EDPS may be required.

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