School of Education - George Mason University

The Teaching and Teacher Education PhD specialization focuses on research, development, and evaluation of teacher education for both pre-service teachers and the continuing professional development of practicing teachers.

The Teaching and Teacher Education 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.

Program Information

Students who study in this specialization will be prepared to assume leadership, teaching and research roles in:

  1. Preservice teacher education, in either university or alternate route programs;
  2. School district offices of continuing teacher professional development; and
  3. School-based teacher education.

The program 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, etc. In addition, the program focuses on research, development, and evaluation of teacher education for both preservice teachers and the continuing professional development of practicing teachers.

Program Length

The PhD in Education program requires a minimum of 85 credits of study beyond the baccalaureate degree or a minimum of 55 credits beyond the master's degree. Students have five years to complete all course work and the portfolio, and five additional years are allowed to complete the dissertation.

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)

  • EDUC 800: Ways of Knowing (3 credits) ( OR EFHP860. EFHP 860 is for Kinesiology concentration students only. Other students should select EDUC 800. Course should be taken 1st semester.)

Research Methods (15 credits)

Professional Specialization (24 credits)

These courses differ according to a student's major specialization but always include three hours of internship credit.

Required Courses

Required for Undergraduate Teaching

Possible Electives


Select 18 credits from courses listed below.

Teaching and Teacher Education as a Secondary Specialization

Teaching and Teacher Education as a secondary specialization: This program can serve as the secondary specialization for students who choose a specialization in another program area, but who desire to move toward a career educating teachers, either in a university or a school division. In consultation with the student's program committee, twelve credits selected from those above would satisfy the College's secondary specialization.

Secondary specialization for students whose Specialization is Teaching and Teacher Education: There is no recommended minor for students in this specialization. The identification of the minor the students will create will be the result of consultation among the student and the members of her/his program committee.

Secondary Emphasis (12 credits)

Students have a number of options for secondary concentrations including concentrations within the Graduate School of Education, within other George Mason University departments, interdisciplinary concentrations, or using the master's degree as part of the secondary concentration requirements.

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.