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The PhD in Education Program is individualized, interdisciplinary, and experiential. Students may opt to specialize in teaching and teacher education (TATE) or incorporate coursework within a self-defined interdisciplinary program of study.

Have questions? Attend an information session or contact the specialization representative, Elizabeth Levine-Brown.

About the Specialization

The Teaching and Teacher Education Specialization focuses on research, development, and evaluation of teacher education for both pre-service teachers and the continuing professional development of practicing teachers. This specialization has a specific focus that ties the study of teachers, teaching practices, teacher education, education reform, and education policy together into a coherent whole for understanding and generating new knowledge on the educators of educators who will lead the efforts of an equal education for all children.

The specialization focuses on the research on teaching from a generalist perspective as well as providing opportunities to study teaching in a chosen subject matter area (e.g., English, history, special education, physical education etc.). In addition, the specialization focuses on research, development, and evaluation of teacher education for both preservice teachers and the continuing professional development of practicing teachers.

What Will You Learn?

TATE faculty are experts in teaching and teacher education scholarship and practice and are deeply engaged in significant research in their fields. TATE focuses on:

  • Teaching, research, program development, and evaluation in teacher education for both preservice teachers and the continuing professional development of practicing teachers
  • Bringing together the study of teachers, teaching practices, teacher education, education reform, and education policy to generate new knowledge informed by critical and global perspectives
  • Theory and research in teaching and teacher education
  • Foundational knowledge about teaching and teacher education
  • Research methodologies to address a variety of topics related to teaching and teacher education
  • Specialized knowledge in teaching and teacher education related to your area of interest 

Our Graduates

Greer P. Mancuso, PhD 2021

  • Dissertation Title: Teachers Who Work with English Learners Who Have Had Interrupted Schooling: A Collaborative Action Research Study
  • Dissertation Chair: Dr. Rebecca Fox

Holly Glaser, PhD 2020

  • Dissertation Title: How Teachers Create Talent Development Contexts for Students from Historically Underrepresented Populations in Gifted Programs: A Multiple-Case Study
  • Dissertation Chair: Dr. Nancy Hollincheck

Alicia Leggett, PhD 2020

  • Dissertation Title: Black Teacher Preparation: Experiences at a PWI and HBCU
  • Dissertation Chair: Dr. Seth Parsons

Emily Christopher, PhD 2019

  • Dissertation Title: White Female Teachers and Their Students: An Exploration of the Beliefs of Preservice Teachers and Interns Regarding Intersectionalities of Today's Students
  • Dissertation Chair: Dr. Gary Galluzzo & Dr. Nancy Hollincheck

Leila Nuland, PhD 2019

  • Dissertation Title: One Size Does Not Fit All: A National Survey of Teachers’ Perceptions of Online Teacher Professional Development
  • Dissertation Chair: Dr. Seth Parsons
  • Employment on Graduation: Senior Managing Director, K12 Research and Professional Services at Hanover Research

Nisreen Daoud, PhD 2018

  • Dissertation Title: Examining Elementary Teacher Preparation: What Works in Today's Programs
  • Dissertation Chair: Dr. Seth Parsons

Cynthia Hall, PhD 2018

  • Dissertation Title: Milwaukee Teachers' Perceptions of Union Benefits and Job Security in the Wake of Wisconsin Act 10
  • Dissertation Chair: Dr. Anastasia Samaras

Ronald Shultz, PhD 2018

  • Dissertation Title: The (Trans)formation of Teacher Candidates' Dispositions Toward English Language Learners in the Mainstream Elementary Classroom
  • Dissertation Chair: Dr. Seth Parsons


Each student in the PhD in Education Program is mentored by faculty in the development of their own personalized program of study that fosters their ability to:

  • Demonstrate knowledge of significant theories, developments, and practices in one's chosen area of study
  • Understand, utilize, and interpret basic principles, ethical practice, and methodologies of educational research design and data analysis
  • Effectively communicate both orally and in writing to a variety of professional audiences

Supported professional experiences and internships beyond required coursework support mastery of these competencies, including:

  • Attending and/or presenting your scholarly work at professional conferences to researchers, policymakers, and practitioners
  • University teaching and/or co-teaching experiences in professional areas of expertise
  • Supervising pre-service teachers
  • Writing, editing, and reviewing for scholarly journals
  • Research apprenticeships and assistantships
  • Supported independent research in an area of professional interest
  • Internships unique to the individual’s area of study
  • Building a professional portfolio

The PhD in Education is awarded after the successful completion of:

  • Coursework
  • A comprehensive portfolio assessment
  • A written dissertation
  • An oral dissertation defense

Why This Program?

Are you ready to expand your impact in the field of education?

A PhD in Education from GMU can help you reach that goal! Our accomplished faculty can help you leverage your existing expertise in the field of education and deepen your toolkit of professional knowledge and skills that will take your career to the next level of influence. 
Our graduates have attained consequential professional positions such as:

  • Academic faculty at post-secondary institutions
  • Leadership and research positions in federal and state government, post-secondary institutions, research organizations, and non-government agencies
  • Analysts and consultants with private companies, political advocacy groups, education or research think tanks, and professional associations
  • School, district, and statewide leadership positions in major preK-12 school districts, technical assistance centers, and other informal educational agencies
  • Curriculum and instructional materials developers

Our flexible student-centered program structure allows each student to design a personalized, interdisciplinary program of study that helps them to become outstanding educational researchers, practitioners, and leaders in their respective fields. Our faculty have strengths in:

Theoretical & Applied Research

  • Choose from a wide range of advanced quantitative and qualitative research methods coursework options
  • Have the opportunity to gain research experience on projects funded by federal agencies, including the Institute for Education Sciences and the National Science Foundation 

Advanced Teacher Preparation

  • Choose from a wide range of teaching and teacher preparation coursework and internship options, including opportunities to co-teach university courses with faculty and supervise teacher internships
  • Receive advanced training in online teaching and learning

Education Leadership & Policy

  • Choose from a wide range of coursework and internship opportunities in leadership and policy fields, both national and international
  • Have unique opportunities for experiential learning due to proximity to Washington DC and several of the largest school systems in the country

Movement & Sport Sciences

  • Choose an intensive Kinesiology program with opportunities for experiential learning in state-of-the-art movement labs.
  • Or, create a custom program of study in fields related to movement and sport sciences, including teaching in physical education and sport management

How Can I Learn More?

Visit our Frequently Asked Questions and Answer Page

Frequently Asked Questions

Attend an Information Session

The PhD in Education Program periodically conducts information sessions to acquaint applicants with our program and the admissions process. Information sessions include an overview of the PhD in Education Program followed by breakout sessions with faculty who can answer questions about professional specialization areas. Scheduled sessions are listed at the top of this page.