2017-2018 Graduate Course Catalog 
    Jul 25, 2024  
2017-2018 Graduate Course Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

College Science Teaching, PhD

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Sharon Dotger
101 Heroy Geology Lab


Sharon Dotger, John W. Tillotson, Jason R. Wiles

The graduate programs in the Department of Science Teaching focus on contemporary theories, research paradigms, and instructional practices that advance the knowledge of science education through specialized preparation. The programs draw on the multiple resources of the University to prepare leaders in science education, ranging from the classroom teacher to the research specialist.

Ph.D. in College Science Teaching

This program is for those who plan to teach undergraduate courses in the natural sciences in a junior college, liberal arts college, or university setting. The program leads to a Ph.D. in college science teaching and offers:

  1. broad training concentrated in the natural sciences or engineering;
  2. a combination of breadth, specialization, and integration in the sciences or engineering;
  3. supervised college teaching experience in the candidate’s science specialty, either at Syracuse University or at another college in the Syracuse vicinity;
  4. seminars in curriculum development and methods of teaching science in higher education; and
  5. research focused on the teaching and learning of science in the undergraduate environment.

Representatives from the Department of Science Teaching and the natural sciences comprise the doctoral committee which guides the student’s graduate program. An advisor is selected during the first year of study in consultation with the program faculty.


Applicants must meet the requirements for admission to the Graduate School and must hold a bachelor’s degree in a science or engineering field or in science education. Typically, students have earned a master’s degree in a science or engineering field prior to admission to the doctoral program.

Program Requirements

The degree requires a total of 90 credits, of which a minimum of 9 must be for the dissertation. At least 54 credits of graduate courses in science and science education beyond the bachelor’s degree are also required. Programs are planned individually so that each student specializes and develops teaching and research competence in one or more fields.

The following courses, which constitute a foundation area, are also required:

Research Tools Requirement

A research tools requirement must be satisfied by successfully completing a prescribed core of courses in research methods (12-15 credits). Students are admitted to doctoral candidacy only after successfully completing the following:

  1. the research tools requirement;
  2. the foundation area of 9 credits;
  3. written and oral qualifying examinations.

Additional Information

The dissertation must focus on research addressing teaching and/or learning science in the undergraduate or graduate environment.

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