Doctor of Philosophy


What can I do with a Ph.D. in Early Childhood Education?

The doctoral program in Early Childhood Education at USF prepares individuals who aspire to become university professors at major research universities. Graduates of our program acquire the knowledge, skills, and dispositions needed to assume roles as leaders, advocates, and scholars in the development and implementation of high quality and innovative early childhood education practices.

How long will the Ph.D. program take?

The program may be completed in 3 to 8 years, depending on the student’s full-time or part-time status. See Program of study page for more information.

Are any of the courses online or taught on regional campuses?

The doctoral program is taught on the Tampa campus. There is the possibility of taking a few foundations courses online; however, all of the early childhood courses are taught in person. Through these courses and the residency experience, doctoral students are apprenticed into research and academia. See Advising page for more information.

How much does the program cost?

Tuition rates are constantly changing. To determine current fees and tuition, visit the registrar’s website. See Cost and Commitment page for more information.

Are there scholarships or financial aid available?

Yes. The university and the College of Education, as well as many independent organizations, offer scholarships and fellowships. Within the Department of Teaching and Learning, we offer doctoral student assistantships (graduate assistantships). Graduate assistants teach courses within the early childhood and elementary education programs. These students receive tuition waivers and a yearly stipend. See Cost & Commitment page for more information.

What qualifications are required to enter the Ph.D. program in Early Childhood Education?

Doctoral students must possess a strong academic record and read and apply research into their practice. Students must have a Master’s degree in early childhood education or a related field. Students also must have at least two years of experience working with young children. See Admission Requirements page for more information.

Do I have to take the GRE?

The Graduate Record Examination (GRE) is optional for admission. However, students who wish to apply for fellowships and scholarships must submit GRE scores for consideration. See Admission Requirements page for more information.

When should I apply?

Students are admitted into the program in the fall only. The deadline for applications is February 15. Students whose applications are received by December 15th of the preceding year will have the greatest opportunity for scholarships and fellowships. See Admission Requirements page for more information.

What happens after I apply?

See Admission Requirements page for full details.

Who do I contact if I have more questions?

For questions regarding the program content and objectives, contact:

Dr. Ilene Berson
Early Childhood Ph.D. Program Coordinator
Phone: (813) 974-7698
Mail Point: EDU 202
Office Location: 4202 E. Fowler Avenue, EDU 202, Tampa, FL 33620

For questions regarding admissions and registration, contact:

Todd Williams
Academic Program Specialist
Phone: (813) 974-8351
Mail Point: EDU 105