Ph.D. Concentration

Faces, Spaces and Places


Advanced Graduate Program Coordinator

The Advanced Graduate Program Coordinator serves as the initial advisor to doctoral students. The coordinator is a research faculty member who assists students as they enter the program. The coordinator guides students in their initial selection of courses, advises students as they select committee members, and supports students in their teaching and research endeavors.

The coordinator also directs many aspects of the doctoral program. The coordinator reviews applications and interviews applicants, secures funding and assistantships for students, monitors policy changes from the College of Education and USF, guides the development of courses, and monitors the residency experiences of students.

Throughout the program, doctoral students may seek advice and support from the Advanced Graduate Program Coordinator and any member of the faculty.

Doctoral Committee Membership

Within the first year of the program, students select doctoral committee members who challenge and guide their course selection and research opportunities. The committee includes a major professor from early childhood, a faculty member who represents the cognate field, and at least two other faculty members. Students select the committee members. As needed, students may change their committee membership based on changing interests, the need for faculty with different areas of expertise, or faculty availability. 

For further details on committee membership and the accompanying forms, please read the USF Graduate Catalog.

Cohorts and Colleagues

Doctoral students are only admitted in the Fall semester of each year. As a result, informal cohorts begin to form among the newly admitted students. Similarly, collegial relationships form among students from earlier cohorts. Students tend to position themselves in relation to their admission in the program and their progress in the program of study. New students are brought together with existing students through informal monthly meetings, faculty meetings, and office assignments.


Doctoral Student Meetings

The Advanced Graduate Program Coordinator meets regularly with all doctoral students to provide opportunities for networking, socializing, professional development, and policy discussions.

Program Meetings

Doctoral students are often invited to participate in program meetings. We encourage doctoral students to engage in program discussions to understand the roles of faculty in program administration and the College governance process.

Office Assignments

Graduate assistants share offices. When possible, experienced students are placed with new students to provide mentorship, guidance, and friendship.


Academic Communities

As scholars in the field of early childhood education, program faculty conduct rigorous research that addresses important questions in the field. Our next responsibility is to disseminate this research so that the findings may be shared with other scholars, practitioners, and policy makers. Membership in various early childhood education associations gives doctoral students the opportunity to read research journals and to engage in professional conversations with scholars.

Professional Conferences

Doctoral students are expected to begin their own focused lines of research and to publish original research in scholarly journals. Doctoral students must also attend national conferences to learn from other scholars. There are several funding sources available to support doctoral student conference travel. Please see our Cost page and also visit the USF Graduate and Professional Student Council Website

There are many forums for research publication and presentation. Below is a selection of several major associations and journals.

Major Associations & Journals
Association Journal Conference
American Educational Research Association   Spring
Association for Childhood Education International Childhood Education; Journal of Research in Childhood Education Spring
American Psychological Association Developmental Psychology Summer
Council for Exceptional Children Journal of Special Education Technology; Teaching Exceptional Children Spring
National Association for the Education of Young Children Early Childhood Research Quarterly; Young Children June and November
National Association of Early Childhood Teacher Educators Journal of Early Childhood Teacher Education June and November
Society for Research in Child Development Child Development Biennial Meeting
Southern Early Childhood Association Dimensions of Early Childhood Spring
Zero to Three

Zero to Three Journal


Contemporary Issues in Early Childhood


Early child development and care

  Early childhood education journal  
  Early childhood research & practice  
  Harvard Educational Review  
  International journal of early years education  
  International Journal of Early Childhood  
  International Journal of Early Childhood Special Education  
  Journal of early childhood literacy  
  Journal of early childhood research  
  Journal of Early Intervention  
  Young Exceptional Children