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Doctoral Programs

Graduate programs in the Michigan State University College of Education foster the insights and skills needed to deal with the most pressing challenges facing the education profession. They also are among the most highly regarded by deans and professors throughout the nation. Outstanding, internationally known faculty members construct rigorous opportunities for advanced study, mentor students and engage in millions of dollars of funded research.

Preparing Top Scholars

The Ph.D. programs prepare researchers to serve in professional positions in universities, research agencies, policy agencies and schools. Doctoral students are essential partners in developing new knowledge and in preparing the next generation of educators, coaches, athletic trainers and scholars.

See which doctoral programs rank in the nation's top-10.

Unparalleled Experiences

  • A commitment to study real problems of practice and contribute to policy development and analysis. 
  • A diverse community of scholars known for its culture of collaboration, especially across disciplinary boundaries
  • The opportunity to participate in an international study trip sponsored by the college
  • Flexibility allowing individuals to tailor programs to their scholarly and professional interests
  • Many centers, projects and offices that provide contexts for conducting and disseminating research in the field, on a small or large scale

Doctoral-level Graduate Certificates and Graduate Specializations

Graduate certificates and specializations are non-degree-granting areas of study that provide students with a focused curriculum or set of courses to expand knowledge and understanding about a key topic.

Economics of Education Specialization

The interdisciplinary specialization in Economics of Education at Michigan State University helps students focus on learning the best quantitative methods to answer policy questions in education. Doctoral candidates from four College of Education programs – Educational Policy, K-12 Educational Administration, Measurement and Quantitative Methods, and Curriculum, Instruction and Teacher Education – are eligible for the fellowship program, which includes a graduate assistantship and an annual $30,000 stipend.

Language and Literacy Education Specialization

The specialization in Language and Literacy Education is designed for doctoral students from three programs--Curriculum, Instruction and Teacher Education, Educational Psychology and Educational Technology, and Special Education--who aspire to be scholars, curriculum developers and policy leaders in literacy. The specialization focuses on literacy theory, research and education, helping students address issues of language and literacy development, use and instruction, literacy contexts of social, cultural and linguistic differences, and the possibilities of transforming how people read and take action in their worlds.

Science Education Graduate Certificate

The graduate certificate in Science Education is designed for Doctoral students who are interested in developing expertise in science education across and within a range of theoretical and methodological perspectives, including cognition, sociocultural, and feminist/critical perspectives along with both qualitative and quantitative methodologies.

Urban Education Graduate Certificate

Graduate students in the College of Education have an opportunity to study issues of urban education in greater depth through the Urban Education Graduate Certificate program. This interdepartmental sequence of courses is primarily for doctoral students (Masters students are allowed to apply as well) who have a particular interest in teaching and conducting research within the contexts of urban communities.

For a full listing of all Graduate Certificates offered by Michigan State University, visit MSU Academic Programs - Graduate Certificates

For a full listing of all Graduate Specialization offered by Michigan State University, visit MSU Academic Programs - Graduate Specializations

Search Areas of Expertise

Didn't see what you're interested in? Try searching or browsing our other areas of expertise to find an area of study that suits you.

Doctoral Menu

Curriculum, Instruction and Teacher Education (CITE)

Department of Teacher Education To Program

The CITE doctoral program prepares students to be leading scholars and educators who deeply understand and work to improve education in its political, social and cultural contexts, with a particular focus on teaching, teacher education and teachers' work. The program takes a distinctive interdisciplinary approach that combines rigorous intellectual inquiry with close connections to professional practice. Students collaborate closely with faculty on research, teaching and program design.

Coordinator: Sandra Crespo

Educational Leadership (Ed.D. program)

Department of Education Administration To Program

The Doctor of Educational Leadership (DEL) program seeks to develop a strong network of senior leaders for Michigan schools, districts, community organizations and other education-related agencies. The program is conceptualized around the knowledge and skill demands for effective professional practice and the goal of faculty and students working together to address critical challenges to the education field. Features include annual Summer Forums and group Capstone Projects.

Coordinator: Susan Printy
Contact: (517) 353-8480

Educational Policy

All-College of Education Program

The College of Education is committed to conducting research on urgent policy issues, training policy professionals, and providing service to policymakers and policy communities in Michigan and beyond. The doctoral program, which draws on faculty expertise across three departments, prepares students to assume roles in policy analysis and development in local, state, national and international organizations, as well as faculty positions in higher education.

Coordinator: Michael Sedlak
Contact: (517) 432-1260

Educational Psychology and Educational Technology (EPET)

Department of Counseling, Educational Psychology and Special Education To Program

The EPET doctoral program, which is available on campus and in a hybrid (online and face-to-face) format, produces scholars and leaders in the study of human learning and development and/or in the development and study of diverse technologies supporting learning and teaching. Graduates are prepared for careers in university research and teaching, research and development of educational technologies, and leadership in school systems and the private sector.

Program Director: Kelly Mix
Contact: (517) 432-1817

Educational Psychology and Educational Technology (EPET) Hybrid

Department of Counseling, Educational Psychology and Special Education To Program

The EPET hybrid doctoral program is a substantially online option in the educational technology emphasis area. This blended program is designed for experienced education professionals currently employed in schools, higher education and research institutions who want to earn a Ph.D. while continuing in their current positions. The goal is to develop the next generation of educational leaders who understand the need to create new technologically sound pedagogies grounded in innovative research and practice.

Program Director: Cary Roseth
Contact: (517) 432-0454

Higher, Adult and Lifelong Education (HALE)

Department of Educational Administration To Program

HALE programs at MSU prepare individuals for leadership positions in postsecondary educational organizations, including community colleges, four-year colleges and universities, and public agencies. The doctoral program enables students to examine changing perspectives on postsecondary educational organizations, changing notions of postsecondary teaching and learning, and the changing roles of students, teachers, researchers and administrators.

Coordinator: Matthew Wawrzynski
Contact: (517) 355-6617

K-12 Educational Administration

Department of Educational Administration To Program

The doctoral program in K-12 Educational Administration enrolls professional educators and others interested in the intersections of leadership, school organizations, research and policy. Its mission is to improve leadership practice and to expand knowledge for educational leadership development and the improvement of school organizations and systems.

Coordinator: John Yun
Contact: (517) 884-7822


Department of Kinesiology To Program

Scholars in the Department of Kinesiology's doctoral program may concentrate on athletic training, exercise physiology, growth and motor development, or the psychosocial aspects of physical activity and sport. The objective is to develop professionals who are competent in teaching, conducting research, and serving in leadership roles in various educational, governmental, public, or private agencies.

Program Director: Deb Feltz
Contact: (517) 355-4736

Mathematics Education

PRIME To Program

The doctoral program in mathematics education, offered jointly with the College of Natural Science, is designed for those who show promise of becoming leaders in local, state, national and international mathematics education communities. The program prepares researchers and leaders to address critical issues in mathematics education by developing analytical perspectives for research, engaging in reflective teaching, and deepening mathematical knowledge.

Coordinator: Vincent Melfi
Contact: (517) 884-3476

Measurement and Quantitative Methods (MQM)

Department of Counseling, Educational Psychology and Special Education To Program

The MQM program is for scholars who want to specialize in educational research methodology, the development of educational and psychological tests, and the methodology of statistics as applied to problems in educational research. Students, who specialize in either measurement or statistics, prepare for positions as faculty members in education, psychology, or applied statistics; in the testing industry; and in state-level and national departments of education.

Coordinator: William Schmidt
Contact: (517) 355-1838

Rehabilitation Counselor Education

Department of Counseling, Educational Psychology and Special Education To Program

The doctoral-level program prepares individuals for professional careers as educators and researchers in the field of rehabilitation counseling, where there currently is a critical shortage of leaders. The program benefits from strong ties to the rehabilitation community and service delivery systems, and through long-standing affiliations with national and international professional associations.

Coordinator: Michael Leahy
Contact: (517) 355-1838

School Psychology

Department of Counseling, Educational Psychology and Special Education To Program

The Ph.D. program helps school psychologists become data-based, system-wide problem-solvers who work with learners of all ages. The program's goal is to train students for a wide range of practice consistent with contemporary models of school psychological services while concurrently developing them as scientists who can assume leadership roles in universities, communities and/or school systems.

Coordinator: John Carlson
Contact: (517) 432-0843

Special Education

Department of Counseling, Educational Psychology and Special Education To Program

The special education Ph.D. program is designed to prepare professionals for leadership positions in the field. Students learn to conduct research that impacts policy, practice and student success. They also develop a strong commitment to excellence in preparing teachers and in serving the families, institutions and professional communities concerned with children and youth with special needs.

Coordinator: Gary Troia
Contact: (517) 355-1837