Doctor of Philosophy Concentration


Ph.D. students with advisors

Throughout the process of coursework, qualifying exam, and dissertation research preparation, students work closely with their major professors and committee members.

Doctoral students in elementary education receive many opportunities to develop as professionals and scholars. The world of academia is quite distinct, and there are several ways for doctoral students to engage as scholars.Doctoral students work alongside faculty on research projects, collaborative conference presentations, and collaborative publications.

Components of the Program

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 the Elementary Education Program, a faculty member who represents the cognate field, and at least two other faculty members. Students select the committee members and may modify their committee membership based on changing interests, the need for faculty with different areas of expertise, or faculty availability.

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 University and the College of Education, 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. 

Academic Communities

Presentation page

Doctoral students are expected to begin a focused line of research within the doctoral program. Membership in various professional associations offers doctoral students the opportunity to read across research journals. In addition, doctoral students must also attend national conferences to learn from other scholars, and they must publish original research in scholarly journals. There are several funding sources available to support doctoral student conference travel. Please visit our Financial Assistance page and also visit the USF Graduate Student Council Website.

Yearly Graduate Assistant Professional Development Conference

Each fall, we hold a two day conference to support the professional learning of graduate students. We engage in community-building activities, planning for coursework, guest speakers from across content areas, and discussing theoretical frameworks of teacher education.