PhD Secondary Specializations
PhD students are often more interested in driving change by contributing their knowledge and understanding in some of the following ways: conducting research that reshapes their field of expertise, altering political agendas or simply training the next generation of teachers to approach their craft from a new angle.
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.
Secondary specialization areas normally consist of 12-18 semester hours of credit. The secondary specialization area of study provides an opportunity for advanced, intensive, and purposeful study in a particular specialty or a coherent interdisciplinary field of study. Accordingly, the requirements for the secondary specialization area require rigorous inquiry and involvement in scholarly activities. Through this area of study, students may explore and become familiar with the analytical concepts and assumptions that distinguish a particular specialty from other areas of study. The student may also develop proficiency in the methods by which specialists develop and test knowledge.
Students generally achieve the goals of the secondary specialization area of scholarship in one of the following ways:
- primary PhD program specializations within the School of Education. 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 as the student's secondary specialization area adviser.