Doctor of Philosophy


Total Credits = 69 minimum 

Annual Review

Each doctoral student is responsible for preparing a narrative statement of his/her activities in teaching, research, and service and for providing documentation of his/her professional activities and accomplishments. The specific guidelines for this process are distributed to the students each year . The annual review encompasses the previous academic year. The Elementary Program Faculty  reviews the files of the doctoral students and provides written feedback regarding the student’s progress in the program.

Residency Year

Each doctoral student is required to spend at least two consecutive semesters (approximately 30 weeks) in full-time residency on the Tampa campus. However, two years of residency is encouraged for those who are pursuing a teacher education position in higher education. An alternative residency option is a possibility for teachers and administrators in our designated partner schools. Please contact the program coordinator for additional information.

Qualifying Exam

Option 1: The Summative Test: a 12 hour test that is administered over a three day period in four hour segments. The test integrates the work in the student’s specialization area, the cognate area, and measurement or foundations area.

Option 2: Formal papers: preparation of three formal papers directly related to the student’s research questions. Each must be submitted to refereed journals approved by the student’s committee.

In addition to the written exam, doctoral students in elementary education must also complete an oral defense of their qualifying exams.

Upon successful completion of the qualifying exam, doctoral students enter candidacy.


Option 1: A single-volume dissertation that is defended before the committee and other members of the academic community and fulfills the research requirement for the PhD.

Option 2: An exhaustive review of literature and a database that is directly related to his or her research question(s). This database is subject to scrutiny, evaluation, verification and audit by the student’s doctoral committee. Option 2 further requires that the student authors three substantial research manuscripts for submission to refereed journals approved by the program faculty. Two must be accepted for publication and the other under editorial review in order for degree requirements to be fulfilled.