School of Education - George Mason University

An interdisciplinary specialization can be individually designed, including coursework selected from across CEHD program areas and other Mason units.

Such primary specialization should align with a coherent rationale for the choice of specific coursework which meets the student's professional goals. The requirements for the specialization must have the approval of a CEHD faculty member who serves on the student’s Program Advisory Committee as a representative to the interdisciplinary specialization.

Program Structure

The program requires a minimum of 85 credits of study beyond the baccalaureate degree or a minimum of 55 credits beyond the master's degree. However, an individual's program typically requires 10 more credits depending on the person's goals, program requirements, and previous preparation. For both full-time and part-time students enrolled in doctoral programs, whether entry is post-baccalaureate or post-master's, the total time to degree will not exceed nine (9) calendar years from the time of first enrollment in the program as a doctoral student. Doctoral students are expected to progress steadily toward their degree and to advance to candidacy within no more than six (6) years. Students who do not meet published time limits because of compelling circumstances beyond their control may request an exception to this policy by petitioning their dean for a single extension of one calendar year prior to the expiration of the time limit.


Course Work

General Culture (3 credits)

Research Methods (15 credits)

Specialization - combined primary and secondary specialization areas (36 credits)

  • Primary specialization coursework (18-24 credits)
  • Secondary specialization coursework (12-18 credits)
  • In some instances, students may be required to take undergraduate courses or graduate courses as prerequisites for courses included on their programs of study or to complete other coursework as preparation in areas where they are judged by their advisors to be deficient; such required courses at any level are not counted as part of a student's PhD in Education program of study.

Dissertation (12 credits)


Students complete an educational portfolio as part of the requirement of the Ph.D. 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 of 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.

Licensure Disclosure

This program has been identified by George Mason University as one that may lead to a career requiring professional licensure/certification. Federal regulations require Mason to disclose information as to whether this program meets/does not meet the educational requirements for licensure/certification in your state, or whether such a determination has not been made. Please consult our Licensure Disclosure Tool for the disclosure statement specific to your desired state/program combination.

George Mason University will verify completion of the requirements of a Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) state-approved preparation program at the graduate or undergraduate level. Such verification does not guarantee the issuance of a Virginia Collegiate Professional, Postgraduate Professional, or Pupil Personnel license from the Commonwealth of Virginia. It is solely the student's responsibility to comply with all requirements for licensure by the Commonwealth. Under Virginia law, a social security number is required for licensure.

Contact the PhD Program for additional information.