School of Education - George Mason University

All students in the PhD in Education and Human Development program in the School of Education at George Mason University are required to have a secondary specialization area of scholarship in addition to a major or professional specialization area of study in education.

The purpose of the PhD secondary specialization requirement is to ensure that each student has adequate exposure to the concepts and research methods of a specialty or a coherent interdisciplinary field of study which is relevant to the field of specialization in education.

Students generally achieve the goals of the secondary specialization area of scholarship in one of the following ways:

  • Discipline-Based Secondary Specialization

    Secondary specialization areas may be selected from any of the primary PhD program specializations. However, the secondary specialization must be in a different program area than the student's primary area of study. The course requirements for these secondary specialization areas are established by program area committees and monitored by individual faculty members. A faculty member in the designated program area serves on the student’s advisory committee as the student's secondary specialization area adviser.

  • Interdisciplinary Secondary Specialization

    Secondary specialization areas can be individually designed across PhD Specialization areas and other Mason programs. Such secondary specialization areas should include a coherent rationale for the choice of specific coursework which meets the student's professional goals. The requirements for the secondary specialization must have the approval of the student's Program Advisory Committee.

  • Secondary Specialization in a Non-CEHD College, School, Department, or Institute

    Students may select a secondary specialization from any of the George Mason University departments or schools offering graduate programs in specific areas of study. The requirements for these secondary emphases are set and monitored by faculty in the administering department. A faculty member in the designated department serves as the student's secondary specialization area advisor.