SCS is interdisciplinary in nature and designed to prepare students for positions in academic institutions and educational policy-making organizations.

This 90 semester hour program places a strong emphasis on building research skills. Faculty members specialize in the three core disciplines (sociology, history, and philosophy of education) and are focused on their students’ growth as scholars and practitioners.

    Application Deadline

    • January 15* (Fall Semester)

    * Applications will be reviewed beyond this date; however, program enrollment numbers may limit late admissions. Applicants are encouraged to apply early. The program cannot guarantee that late applications will receive consideration for funding.

    Admission Requirements

    • A bachelor’s degree from a Regionally Accredited American College or University, or an equivalent degree from another country as determined by the Office of Admissions
    • Undergraduate grade-point average (GPA) of 3.00 or better on a four-point scale
    • Graduate Record Exam (GRE) General test – verbal and quantitative
    • English Proficiency Requirements (international applicants)
    • A personal interview with one or more members of the Schools, Culture, and Society faculty (recommended)
    • Undergraduate and/or graduate emphasis in education, philosophy, history, sociology, or the humanities (encouraged)

    Application Process

    1. Create an application account to begin the application process.
    2. Submit the online application to the Graduate College and pay the $60 application fee by credit card ($100 for international applicants).
    3. Once you have submitted your application, you will receive email instructions on how to establish your HawkID and password which you will use to access MyUI, our online service center for students and applicants.
    4. You will use your Admissions Profile on MyUI to upload required supplemental materials.

    Required Supplemental Materials

    • Official transcripts from all post-secondary institutions
    • Official GRE scores from Educational Testing Service (the University’s institutional code is 6681)
    • Official TOEFL scores may be required for some non-native speakers of English
    • A one- to three-page statement of purpose
    • Three letters of recommendation*

    * You will be asked to give the contact information of your recommenders, including their email, on your Admissions Profile. The recommender will then get an email with instructions on how to upload the recommendation letter and/or form.

    Contacts

    Application questions can be directed to: Sue Cline in the Office of Student Services   319/335-5260, sue-cline@uiowa.edu.

    We look forward to receiving your application!

    Ph.D. Student Handbook

    1. Required Core Courses (12 s.h.)

    • EPLS:5156 Philosophies of Education
    • EPLS:5130 Sociology of Education
    • EPLS:5102 History of American Education
    • EPLS:5126 Twentieth Century Educational Movements

    2. Disciplinary Foundation Courses (12 s.h.)

    Each student will choose one of the following three areas. Each student will then choose three courses from the list for that area. A fourth course (3 s.h.) must be chosen from the CLAS department of same name.

    A. Sociology

    • EPLS:5131 Race, Class, and Gender Inequalities in Education
    • EPLS:5134 Education and the World of Work
    • EPLS:5142 Sociology of Higher Education
    • EPLS:5210 Education and Social Change
    • EPLS:5240 (Special Topics) courses dealing with sociology of education

    B. History

    • EPLS:5123 History of Ethnic/Minority Education
    • EPLS:6237 History of the Teaching Profession
    • EPLS:6238 Gender and Education in Historical Perspective
    • EPLS:6220 History of Higher Education
    • EPLS:5240 (Special Topics) courses dealing with history of education

    C. Philosophy

    • EPLS:5155 Critical Thinking
    • EPLS:5157 Ethics in Education
    • EPLS:5158 John Dewey and Education
    • EPLS:5240 American Contributions to Educational Philosophy
    • EPLS:5240 Contemporary Issues in Educational Philosophy
    • EPLS:5240 Philosophy of John Dewey
    • EPLS:5240 Philosophy of Mind and Education
    • EPLS:5240 (Special Topics) courses dealing with philosophy of education
    • EPLS:6358 Seminar in the Philosophy of John Dewey

    3. Interdisciplinary Focus Courses (9 s.h.)

    Each student will choose one of the following two areas. Each student will then complete three SCS courses from list for that area. At least two of these three SCS courses must be in a disciplinary area other than the student's Disciplinary Foundation.

    A. Diversity and Equity

    • EPLS:5104 Education in the Third World
    • EPLS:5123 History of Ethnic/Minority Education
    • EPLS:5154 Education, Race and Ethnicity
    • EPLS:5157 Ethics in Education
    • EPLS:6237 History of the Teaching Profession
    • EPLS:6238 Gender and Education in Historical Perspective
    • EPLS:6275 Diversity and Equity in Higher Education
    • one relevant course from another department, with advisor approval

    B. Policy Contexts

    • EPLS:5134 Education and the World of Work
    • EPLS:5157 Ethics in Education
    • EPLS:5210 Education and Social Change
    • EPLS:6225 Introduction to Public Policymaking
    • EPLS:6237 History of the Teaching Profession
    • EPLS:6270 Policy and Politics of Leadership
    • one relevant course from another department, with advisor approval

    4. Cognates (28 s.h.)

    Students must complete at least 28 hours of additional graduate-level coursework in a field or fields that are relevant to the students’ scholarly and professional goals. Commonly, some or all of the 28 hours are from relevant graduate-level coursework completed in other University of Iowa programs or at other institutions and transferred to the University of Iowa. Students’ advisors, in consultation with other program faculty, determine which coursework to accept.

    5. Research (17-20 s.h.)

    Current students may choose between the following two sets of requirements. (All students admitted from 2016 onward will be required to fulfill Choice 2).

    Research Requirements: Choice 1

    A. Basic Research Methods (2 courses, 6 s.h.)


    The following two courses are required:

    • EPLS:6206 Research Process and Design, 3 s.h.
    • EPLS:7373 Qualitative Research Design and Methods, 3 s.h.

    B. Intermediate Statistics and Linear Regression (2 courses, 6-8 s.h.)

    Choose either 1 or 2

    1. PSQF:6243 Intermediate Statistical Methods, 4 s.h.
      PSQF:6244 Correlation & Regression, 4 s.h.
    2. SOC:6170 Introduction to Sociological Data Analysis, 3 s.h.
      SOC:6180 Linear Models in Sociological Research, 3 s.h.

    C. Advanced/Specialized Research Methods (2 courses, 6 s.h.)

    Students consult with their advisor to choose two courses appropriate to their dissertation design from the Qualitative or Non-Quantitative Courses and Quantitative Courses listed following Choice 2.

    Research Requirements: Choice 2

    A. Basic Research Methods (2 courses, 6 s.h.)

    The following two courses are required:

    • EPLS:6206 Research Process and Design, 3 sh
    • EPLS:7373 Qualitative Research Design and Methods, 3 sh
      OR one of the following approved substitutes:
      RCE:7338 Essentials of Qualitative Inquiry in Education, 3 sh
      EDTL:7070 Qualitative Methods in Literacy Research, 3 sh
      PSQF:7331 Qualitative Educational Research Methods, 3 sh

    B. Intermediate Statistics and Linear Regression (8 s.h.)

    All students must take the following three courses:

    • PSQF:6243 Intermediate Statistical Methods, 4 sh
    • EPLS:5240 Data Coding & Management, 1 sh
    • EPLS:6370 Quantitative Methods for Policy Analysis, 3 s.h.

    C. Advanced/Specialized Research Methods (1 course, 3 s.h.)

    Students consult with their advisor to choose one course appropriate to their dissertation design from the Qualitative or Non-Quantitative Courses and Quantitative Courses listed here:

    Qualitative or Non-Quantitative Courses:
    • EPLS:5195 Research in Cross-Cultural Settings, 3 s.h.
    • EPLS:5240 Historical Methodology in Education, 3 s.h.
    • EPLS:5240 Analysis of Philosophical Argumentation
    • EPLS:7392 Mixed Methods Research, 3 s.h.
    • RCE:7444 Qualitative Research in the Multicultural Context, 3 s.h.
    • PSQF:6265 Program Evaluation, 3 s.h.
    • EDTL:7071 Critical Discourse Analysis in Education Research, 3 s.h.
    • EDTL:7072 Advanced Qualitative Data Analysis, 3 s.h.
    • EDTL:7073 Ethnographic Methods, Theories, and Texts, 3 s.h.
    • EDTL7751 Advanced Qualitative Data Analysis, 3 s.h.
    • HIST:7197 The Art and Craft of Historical Writing
    • HIST:7199 History Workshop: Theory and Interpretation
    • OR other comparable research methods courses approved by student’s advisor and SCS Program*
    Quantitative Courses:
    • EPLS:5176 Demographic Techniques for Educational Research, 3 s.h.
    • EPLS:6209 Survey Research and Design, 3 s.h.
    • EPLS:5240 Multilevel Modeling, 3 s.h.
    • EPLS:6370 Quantitative Methods for Policy Analysis, 3 s.h. (req’d for Choice 2)
    • PSQF:6249 Factor Analysis and Structural Equation Models, 3 s.h.
    • POLI:7003 Advanced Methodology, 4 s.h.
    • SOC:5160 Research Design and Methods, 3 s.h.
    • SOC:7170 Advanced Statistical Modeling of Data, 3 s.h.
    • SOC:7180 Structural Equation Modelling, 3 s.h.
    • OR other comparable research methods courses approved by student’s advisor and SCS Program*

    *Students who desire to enroll in an advanced/specialized course that is not listed above, and wish to receive credit towards their program requirements, must obtain prior approval from their advisor AND from the SCS Program.

    6. Comprehensive Examinations

    Upon completing coursework for the common core, the disciplinary foundation, and the interdisciplinary focus, students will undergo a comprehensive examination. (Research requirements do not need to be complete at the time of comps.) The comprehensive examination is an opportunity for students to demonstrate that they are experts in their disciplinary area and that they can synthesize and apply the knowledge gained in the program. During a one-week “take home” period corresponding to the College of Education’s Ph.D. comps schedule in fall or spring semester, students write 12-page answers exams in each of three areas: (1) the common core; (2) the disciplinary foundation; and (3) the interdisciplinary focus. Following the written examination, students sit for an oral examination with the examining committee.

    Examining Committee

    Students should work with their advisors to construct an examining committee to include faculty members with varying, but related, areas of expertise. The committee must consist of five faculty members of the University’s Graduate Faculty, and the SCS faculty recommends that most of them be from the SCS program. There is no requirement that the comp committee include a faculty member from outside the SCS program or the EPLS department. SCS students will ask faculty to join their comp committees prior to or during the semester preceding the semester in which they plan to sit for the exams.

    (Please note that in the event of any discrepancy, the policies of the Graduate College and College of Education will take precedence over program policies.)

    7. Dissertation

    A dissertation is a required part of the doctoral program at the University of Iowa. SCS Ph.D. students identify a dissertation topic with the assistance of their faculty advisor. Although students may take up to five years to successfully defend the dissertation, it is strongly recommended that they finish as quickly as possible following comprehensive exams. While writing the dissertation, students must register each fall and spring through the semester of their actual graduation. Consult the Graduate College manual for more information.

    Dissertation Committee

    The committee must include:

    • At least four faculty members who are members of the University of Iowa tenure-track/tenured faculty.
    • At least two tenure-track/tenured faculty members from the EPLS department (defined as faculty members who hold any appointment in the major department or program).
    • At least one faculty member from outside the EPLS department. This committee member can be an appointee if four tenured/tenure-track faculty are serving on the committee. (This is Graduate-College policy.)

    Graduate-College policy states that departments and programs may request the dean's permission to replace one of the five members of the Graduate Faculty by a recognized scholar of professorial rank from another academic institution. This request must demonstrate that the external scholar brings expertise or experience not available among University of Iowa faculty.

    (Please note that in the event of any discrepancy, the policies of the Graduate College and College of Education will take precedence over program policies.)

    Employment Opportunities
    • Faculty and researchers at colleges and universities
    • Leaders at educational policy-making organizations
    • Administrators at international education organizations
    Application Questions

    Sue Cline
    Office of Student Services
    319-335-5260
    sue-cline@uiowa.edu.

    Application Deadline: January 15* (Fall Semester)

    * Applications will be reviewed beyond this date; however, program enrollment numbers may limit late admissions. Applicants are encouraged to apply early. The program cannot guarantee that late applications will receive consideration for funding.