Doctoral Studies

Specializations - Learning and Development

Program Overview

The Ph.D. in Urban Education specialization in Learning and Development prepares graduates to work as educational researchers, college professors, teacher educators, and mentor teachers in schools and other educational settings. The program also enables students to design and implement dissertation projects that contribute to the knowledge base in studies of Learning and Development and have practical applications for schools and other educational settings. The Learning and Development specialization permits doctoral candidates with previous background in educational psychology, school psychology, and/or special education to increase their professional preparation in theory and research related to the implications of human variability to instruction service delivery in educational and social agencies. This track builds upon the Life Cycle core seminar as background for the construction of a specially designed program of concentration to be developed in concert with the candidate's doctoral program advisor.

Learning and Development accepts applicants with a broader range of master’s-level study and prepares them for careers including: (1) teaching in a subject specific area such as mathematics, science, social studies, etc. in the public school (2) teaching in the university Levin College of Public Affairs and Education in the teacher preparation in subject specific areas such as math education, science education, early childhood, literacy, etc. (3) teaching Educational Psychology courses in the Levin College of Public Affairs and Education.

Program Objectives• Deepen students’ knowledge of child development and learning theory

• Provide students with a comprehensive understanding of urban education
• Build skills necessary to conduct research, including data collection and analysis
• Equip students to teach Educational Psychology and Developmental Theory at the college level


Graduates of the Learning and Development specialization may pursue a number of opportunities in colleges and universities as well as K-12 environments.  Depending on professional experience, students may attain roles in a number of areas, including:
• Teaching in a K-12 subject-specific area, such as mathematics, science, and social studies
• Preparing college or university students to teach in K-12 subject specific areas, such as math education, science education, early childhood, and literacy
• Teaching Educational Psychology courses in colleges or universities

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Admission Requirements

Admission Term: Applications for admission are processed for Fall semester only
Application Deadline: First Monday in February
Prerequisites: Master's Degree
GRE Requirement: Optional
Letters of Recommendation: Required and a statement of purpose along with the resume

Degree Completion Requirements

The Learning and Development specialization accepts applicants interested in the improvement of instruction through understanding individual differences in learners and learning environments with an emerging emphasis on technology. Graduates pursue teaching and instructional leadership roles in K-12, teacher, higher education, and adult education settings.


• EDU 811 – Intellectual Variability
• EDU 812 – Personal & Social Factors
• EDU 813 – Differentiating Intervention: Learning & Developmental Settings
• EDB 711 – Educational Evaluation & Innovation


At least eight additional credit hours approved by the advisor.
Students in the Learning and Development track may also specialize in a specific curricular area.