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Preparing educators for professional advancement and opening the world of teaching to people seeking to change their careers.

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)

While Ph.D. programs in education are admitted exclusively to the Pullman campus, select academic programs afford the opportunity for students to access classes and advising on the WSU Spokane campus.

Educational Leadership (K-12)

The Ph.D. in Educational Leadership program focuses on developing and applying theoretical and research knowledge and skills in the field of K-12 educational leadership. The program is recommended for students who intend to become professors and/or to conduct empirical research in other professional roles. All Ph.D. students are encouraged to focus their research on problems of practice in K-12 schools. The program of study for the Ph.D. requires a total of 72 semester hours, including at least 42 semester hours of graded course work and at least 24 semester hours of EdAd 800 for completion and defense of the doctoral dissertation. Please note, a one-year residency of full-time enrollment is required.

It is recommended that applicants interested in pursuing the Ph.D. in educational leadership on the Spokane campus request an interview with academic faculty prior to applying to the degree program, to ensure compatible research interests are available for advising.

Applicants to the Ph.D. in educational leadership must apply to the program through the Pullman campus, and should identify their intention to access classes in Spokane. As described in the handbook, Ph.D. applicants must submit departmental materials as part of the application packet.

Mathematics and Science Education

The Ph.D. in Mathematics and Science Education is designed to develop scholars capable of making important contributions to the research base, professional context, and learning environments related to mathematics and science education. Areas of emphases can include student learning, teacher education, professional development, curriculum, and technology throughout the PK-16 grade spectrum.

2015Math Science Brochure

Requirements and application

Applicants hold an advanced degree in education, mathematics, science, technology, or other related fields. In addition, they must have a GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale and submit an online application to the Graduate School including a letter of in-tent, three letters of recommendation, a writing sample, and GRE scores that are less than seven years old.

In addition to familiarity with public school contexts and a rudimentary awareness of educational research, particularly in the context of mathematics or science education, incoming students are expected to have a strong foundation in mathematics or science. Preferably, applicants have been prepared and licensed to teach science/mathematics in public schools at the K-12 level.

We seek students who show a commitment to educational research in Mathematics and/or Science Education, who have familiarity with K-12 school contexts, and have a strong foundation in mathematics and/or science.

The Ph.D. is accessible to students across the statewide USE system on the Pullman, Spokane, Tri_Cities and Vancouver campuses. Applicants interested in Math/Science Ph.D. program in Spokane, must apply through the Pullman campus and indicate their intention to take classes in Spokane.

  • Application deadline for fall term is June 1, and for spring term is October 15.
Program Advantages
  • Students choose an individualized path of study.
  • Students are guided by faculty members.
  • The program is accessible in Pullman, Spokane, Tri-Cities, and Vancouver.
  • Our program has a track-record of supporting a broad learning community.
  • All courses, advising, and weekly seminar are supported by a statewide teleconferencing system.

Additional information may be found on the Pullman web page, including program handbook, sample course syllabi and doctoral student web pages.

Mathematics and Science Education Overview


The program is designed to contain a blend of foundational courses, research courses, mathematics and science education courses, as well as research experiences. The Ph.D. candidate can determine an individualized focus on mathematics, science, or cross-disciplinary study.

Math and Science Education PhD Application Process

STEP 1: Students submit all department application materials (see below) to the Pullman Office of Graduate Studies:

Office of Graduate Studies
College of Education
Washington State University
70 Cleveland Hall
PO Box 642114
Pullman, WA 99164-2114

  • Recommendation letter writers CANNOT be from WSU math/science education tenure-line faculty.
  • Student files with below minimum GRE scores will not be distributed for review.
  • Students will apply to the current PhD in Mathematics Education until the new PhD in Mathematics and Science Education is approved.

Application Materials Required:

  1. Cover sheet with specific information such as name, contact info, degree seeking w/emphasis Science or Math
  2. Letter of Interest
    a. Past experience in the field
    b. Future plans/goals
  3. Current Resume
  4. Transcripts
  5. GRE (w/at least score of 400/140 Q, 280 VW)
  6. Writing Sample (Master’s Thesis, published paper, other appropriate work)
  7. Three Letters of Reference
  8. Introductory Conversation (over phone or in person with at least one faculty member)
    a. Applicant has a chance to ask questions about program
    b. Faculty will ask about specific interests, goals, assistantships, etc.

For information about applying to Ph.D. programs, contact:
Nick Sewell (509)335-7016, or
Kelly McGovern, (509) 335-9195