Interested in joining one of our nationally-ranked graduate programs? The College of Education has all the resources and services you need to successfully complete your program, conduct innovative research, and achieve your post-graduate goals.


Assistantships provide valuable experience, open new career paths, and help finance your graduate education. In addition to a monthly salary, assistantships frequently provide a fee waiver for the out-of-state portion of tuition.

Graduate assistantships are available in the following areas:

  • Belin-Blank Center for Gifted Education and Talent Development
  • Department of Rehabilitation and Counselor Education
  • Education Technology Center
  • Department of Educational Policy and Leadership Studies 
  • Iowa Testing Programs
  • Department of Psychological and Quantitative Foundations
  • Student Field Experiences
  • Department of Teaching and Learning

The most important source of funding for most graduate students is their own graduate program. Please contact your program’s Graduate Coordinator for information about funding opportunities within the department.


As part of a Big Ten institution, you will get to participate in research opportunities from the moment you start your program. Our faculty are innovative scholars participating in cutting-edge and impactful research in their respective areas.

Whether you are interested in mental health and counseling, assessment, education leadership, and more, our staff and faculty are dedicated to supporting your interests and helping you flourish as a scholar.

To view some of our active research projects you can participate in, visit: Research.

Student Spotlight


Mintz nets NSF grant to improve computerized adaptive tests

Catherine “Catie” Mintz, a PhD candidate in the Educational Measurement and Statistics program, recently received a National Science Foundation (NSF) grant to pursue research on multidimensional computerized adaptive tests.

College of Education Writing Resource

Staffed by graduate students, the free College of Education Writing Resource helps facilitate individual growth as a writer and fosters a collaborative writing community.

Graduate and Professional Student Government

GPSG is the student government for graduate and professional students at the University of Iowa. They represent UI's nearly 10,000 graduate and professional students and advocate on their behalf.

Grants and Research Services Center

The College of Education Grants and Research Services Center (GRSC) provides support for grant and research projects, training projects, and service projects.

Office of Graduate Teaching Excellence

The Office of Graduate Teaching Excellence works closely with College of Education students and faculty to provide our Ph.D students with the support and programming needed to not only succeed, but to stand out in a competitive market.

Graduate Student Resources

Connect with GSEC

The College has invited a group of experienced graduate students to form our Graduate Student Executive Committee (GSEC) which has been active in offering sessions both informational and social that are intended to support graduate student endeavors. They have also provided valuable input to college administration on many issues including orientation for new students entering the college.

Comprehensive Exams

Offered by most programs during fall and spring semesters and by some programs during summer session. Program Coordinators or advisors should be contacted regarding availability of exams during summer session.

Comprehensive Exam sessions are scheduled twice each semester over two consecutive days. Applications must be submitted by the established deadlines (see procedures and exam deadlines above).

Ph.D. Thesis Defense (final exam)

The student and their faculty committee schedule Ph.D. final examinations (thesis defense). Exam dates must be officially declared in the Office of Teacher Education and Student Services at least 2 weeks before the oral defense and by the established deadlines. Students preparing for thesis defense must have satisfied all coursework submitted on the Graduate College Plan of Study form.

Additional Graduate College Forms

Ph.D. Thesis Defense: David Drustrup
Thursday, June 9, 2022; 10:30 AM; S104 Lindquist Center
Title: Decolonizing Safety: A Critical Narrative Analysis
Committee Chair: Saba Ali

Ph.D. Thesis Defense: Courtney Brennaman
Thursday, June 16, 2022; 9:00 AM; Zoom
Title: Exploring the Temporal Relationships Among Psychological Stress, Physical Activity, and Pain in Adults
Committee Chair: Martin Kivlighan

Ph.D. Thesis Defense: Hyeri Hong
Thursday, June 23, 2022; 9:00 AM; Zoom
Title: Finding Optimal Factor Analytic Representations of the Structure of Personality
Committee Chair: Walter Vispoel

Ph.D. Thesis Defense: Milad Mohebali
Friday, July 1, 2022; 11:00 AM; Zoom
Title: Who's Sick of What? Belonging in Pandemics, Pandemics of Belonging
Committee Chair: Jodi Linley

Ph.D. Thesis Defense: Cara Solness
Tuesday, July 5, 2022; 10:00 AM; Lindquist Center - TLC PDA
Title: Queering Group Therapy: A Mixed Methods Effectiveness Study of Group Therapy for Transgender and Non-Binary Persons
Committee Chair: Martin Kivlighan

Ph.D. Thesis Defense: Ismail Dilek
Thursday, July 7, 2022; 10:00 AM; Zoom
Title: Investigating Alternative Methods To Recover Level-2 Covariates in Multilevel Models
Committee Chair: Lesa Hoffman

Ph.D. Thesis Defense: Hacer Karamese
Thursday, July 7, 2022; 1:00 PM; Zoom
Title: A Comparison of Final Scoring Methods Under The Multistage Adaptive Testing Framework
Committee Chair: Won-Chan Lee

Ph.D. Thesis Defense: Tianpeng Ye
Tuesday, July 19, 2022; 9:00 AM; Zoom
Title: The Impact of Item Paramenter Drift on the Precision of Online Calibration in Computer Adaptive Test
Committee Chair: Brandon LeBeau

The College has invited a group of experienced graduate students to form our Graduate Student Executive Committee (GSEC) which has been active in offering sessions both informational and social that are intended to support graduate student endeavors.  They have also provided valuable input to college administration on many issues including orientation for new students entering the college

GSEC aims to support new graduate students by helping them get acquainted with other students, the College, and the area. In addition to the New Graduate Student Orientation event, helpful information regarding the College, transportation, family services, surrounding attractions, etc., can be found here: Helpful Information for New College of Education Graduate Students.

Mission Statement

The Graduate Student Executive Committee is a volunteer group of graduate students who serve in an advisory role reporting to the Associate Dean of Faculty and Graduate Programs on issues related to students.  The Committee also organizes and administers sessions promoting the quality of life for graduate students including the New Graduate Student Welcome Event with the support of the Dean’s Office. 

Activities include:

  • New Graduate Student Welcome Event – organized and delivered by experienced students.
  • Ice Cream Social
  • Finals Breakfast
  • Information in support of graduate student quality of life including adjusting to Iowa City culture.
  • Sessions that specifically target master’s students, and international students
  • Sessions in support of those in programs whose career goals support education in industry and non-academic jobs.
  • Support in the Graduate Student Commons
  • Cooperative projects with other graduate student organizations in the COE

Student volunteers gain skills in administration, collaborative planning, and serving as a liaison to College of Education administration. The committee strives to include at least two representatives from each department within the College of Education with at least one member from i-fellows and other graduate student organizations.

Students admitted to doctoral programs prior to Fall 2015 may choose to use either the current Ph.D. Research Requirements listed below, or to use newly approved program Ph.D. research requirements. Students admitted Fall 2015 or later must use their program’s research requirements. Check with your program for options available to you.

The College of Education requires students in all of its doctoral programs to demonstrate proficiency in both qualitative and quantitative research methodologies. We require five courses in research methodology for all doctoral students, with three courses in either quantitative or qualitative research and two courses in the other area. Within this structure, departments and programs have great flexibility to set more specific requirements. This is in addition to the following course, which must be taken in the first year of the student’s Ph.D. program:

  • EALL:5150  Introduction to Educational Research

It is very important that students make their course selection in regular and close consultation with their advisors. For course offerings, check MyUI.

Courses that may be used for meeting qualitative requirements

All students must take one of the following four courses:

  • EPLS:7373 Qualitative Research Design and Methods
  • RCE:7338 Essentials of Qualitative Inquiry in Education
  • EDTL:7070 Introduction to Qualitative Methods in Literacy Research
  • PSQF:7331 Qualitative Educational Research Methods

Students may then take one or two courses as appropriate for their program from the following list. After this requirement has been met, students may take additional coursework from the above list. University of Iowa courses may be added to this list if approved by the Executive Council of the College.

  • HIST:7197 The Art and Craft of Historical Writing
  • HIST:7199 History Workshop Theory & Interpretation
  • EPLS:5195 Research in Cross-Cultural Settings
  • EPLS:5240 Introduction to Historical Methodology
  • RCE:7438 Advanced Qualitative Research Seminar in Rehabilitation and Counselor Education
  • RCE:7444 Qualitative Research in the Multicultural Context
  • PSQF:6265 Program Evaluation
  • EDTL:7410 Mixed Methods Research
  • PSQF:7331 Conducting Research Online
  • EDTL:6267 Seminar Current Issues in Art Education: Qualitative Methods
  • EDTL:7071 Critical Discourse Analysis
  • EDTL:7072 Advanced Methods of Literacy Research: Qualitative Data Analysis and Reporting
  • EDTL:7073 Ethnographic Methods, Theories, and Texts
  • EDTL:7774 Qualitative Research with Computer-Aided Qualitative Data Analysis Software (CAQDAS)
  • EDTL:7751 Advanced Qualitative Data Analysis
  • EDTL:7953 Single Subject Design Research
  • CNW:6654 The Ethnographic Essay

Courses that may be used for meeting quantitative requirements

All students must take:

  • PSQF:6243 Intermediate Statistical Methods.

With the approval of the student’s program and advisor, this course may be taken pass/fail.

Students with little or no previous coursework in statistical methods may want to take PSQF:4143 Introduction to Statistical Methods before taking PSQF:6243. However, PSQF:4143 cannot be used to fulfill the quantitative research requirement.

Students may then take one or two courses as appropriate for their program from the following list. University of Iowa courses may be added to this list if approved by the Executive Council of the College.

  • EPLS:5176 Demographic Techniques for Educational Research
  • EPLS:6206 Research Process and Design
  • EPLS:6209 Survey Research and Design
  • EPLS:6370 Quantitative Methods for Policy Analysis
  • PSQF:6220 Quantitative Educational Research Methodologies
  • PSQF:6244 Correlation and Regression
  • PSQF:6246 Design of Experiments
  • PSQF:6247 Nonparametric Statistics
  • PSQF:6249 Factor Analysis and Structural Equation Models
  • PSQF:6252 Introduction to Multivariate Statistical Methods

Approved December 2015

These guidelines are designed to provide assistance for doctoral students and committees in creating dissertations that consist of multiple articles rather than the traditional format (with one large project). All dissertations should adhere to regulations and requirements from the University of Iowa Graduate College in addition to requirements from the College of Education. Moreover, programs can provide additional guidelines for this dissertation format. Students who are considering this format are strongly encouraged to confer with their dissertation chair as early as possible, since an article-style dissertation may not be the best approach for all students and dissertation topics.

  1. The dissertation should include at least two full-length articles that are of publishable quality within a peer-reviewed journal. At least one of these articles must be empirical in nature; that is, the student should conduct original data analyses of some kind (e.g., quantitative, qualitative, historical).
  2. Chapter 1 should provide an Introduction that discusses the need for these studies as well as the coherence among them, which may include an overarching conceptual or theoretical framework grounded within relevant literature. The end of the Introduction should provide at least one paragraph describing each of the articles. Each article then serves as an additional chapter. The last chapter should provide a Conclusion that discusses integrated findings, implications, and future directions that result from this collection of studies. The ideal length of the introduction and conclusion can vary at the discretion of the dissertation committee; for example, very closely related articles may require relatively less synthesis across studies (and therefore a shorter introduction and conclusion).
  3. The student must be the sole author or lead author on all articles. The student should be responsible for at least 85-90% of the conceptualization, data analysis, and writing of the articles.
  4. No more than one of the articles can be substantially complete before the dissertation proposal, but this study must have been conducted during the student’s current doctoral program. Moreover, if the student is only writing two articles, then neither of the articles can be substantially complete before the comprehensive examination. If applicable, students should secure appropriate copyright clearance to use a previously published article as part of their dissertation
  5. The intent of writing an article-style dissertation should be to publish the articles that appear in the dissertation. Therefore, it is strongly recommended that the student (with guidance from the committee) identify appropriate publication outlet(s) for each article, write the articles in a manner that adheres to the publication guidelines for the respective journals, and submit these articles soon after the completion of the dissertation
  6. The dissertation proposal for this format may differ from what is typically expected in a traditional format; the nature of the proposal may vary at the discretion of the dissertation committee. For instance, the proposal could consist of a longer version of Chapter 1 (introduction) that provides sufficient detail about each study so that the committee can provide feedback on the proposed articles.

community  • • •  camaraderie  • • •  commitment  • • •   career success

The College of Education offers Ph.D. students unique opportunities

Iowa Education Fellows Program

  • The i-fellows program helps new College of Education doctoral students start early, start together and start right. i-fellows provides professional development programs, peer and faculty mentorship, and community building opportunities. i-fellows— a 21st century idea, is a prototype for higher education. Inaugural class in 2009. 
  • Open to new College of Education doctoral students. 

Graduate Certificate in College Teaching 

  • The Graduate Certificate in College Teaching provides coursework and supervised experiences (12 semester hours) to prepare graduate students for careers in post-secondary education. The coursework includes the Ph.D. ePortfolio and Practicum in College Teaching.
  • All UI Ph.D. or other terminal degree students may enroll. This is a joint program between the UI Graduate College and the UI College of Education.

Life in Iowa City

With a legacy of literary excellence, a thriving arts and culture community, and a multitude of small businesses and local restaurants, it’s no wonder why Iowa City was ranked as one of the best college towns to live in. 

Whether you are new in town, or have been here all of your life, Iowa City’s acclaimed hospital system, robust school districts, and vibrant downtown area, will make you feel at home.

Learn More

Explore arts offerings, campus living, and the downtown area at: