Degree Program Descriptions

M.S. in Social and Philosophical Studies

This master’s degree works well as a foundation for doctoral study. When focused with an approved “topical major,” the degree may also serve a variety of career and academic purposes. Students following this degree program engage in the study of the history, sociology, philosophy, and comparative international analyses of education. Education, in this case, is broadly defined to include all aspects of formal and informal learning in and out of educational institutions.

SPSE Program Planning Worksheet (PDF)


M.S. in Higher Education with Optional Concentration in Student Affairs

This master’s degree serves those contemplating careers in higher education or already working in a college or university. It may also be organized as a foundation for doctoral study. Students may choose to develop a program which examines the history, sociology, philosophy, and/or comparative international analyses of post-secondary settings broadly defined. Students may also choose to concentrate their studies in the field of higher education administration, including student affairs administration. This degree program is compatible with the new Graduate Certificate in International Higher Education for students interested in comparative higher education.

HIED Program Planning Worksheet (PDF)


M.S. in Research Methods in Education

The Master of Science in Research Methods in Education (RMinE), offered by the Department of Educational Policy Studies and Evaluation, will provide students training for careers in settings such as academic institutions, school districts, state and federal agencies, healthcare, and certification, licensing and testing organizations.

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Ed.D. in Educational Policy Studies, Measurement and Evaluation

The Ed.D. degree program in Educational Policy Studies Measurement and Evaluation provides advanced study for those who seek careers in the administration or evaluation of educational programs in schools, colleges, or other institutional settings. Ed.D. candidates in the Department of Educational Policy Studies & Evaluation may pursue a variety of research interests including but not limited to post-secondary education, institutional research and assessment, educational measurement and evaluation, P-12 educational policy issues, comparative education, as well as community or continuing education issues.

Admission to this program is offered regularly on UK’s Lexington campus with an individualized on-campus program of study. In addition, the department offers the Ed.D. degree with a focus on open-access post-secondary institutions via a statewide cohort model approximately every four years.  Additional information on the Ed.D. Cohort can be found HERE.

The Ed.D. differs from the Ph.D. in terms of focus and audience. Ed.D. candidates are prepared to address live or emerging issues in education as scholarly practitioners addressing consequential questions. As such, their work will be relevant to multiple audiences including educational professionals, public policy makers and stakeholders, as well as the field of applied educational research. Ed.D. candidates are expected to have a broad knowledge of research methodologies as applied to specific educational contexts. In contrast, Ph.D. candidates are prepared for in depth investigation of critical questions in education with a goal of contributing new knowledge to the field of education and/or developing existing theoretical knowledge. Either degree is appropriate for those who wish to develop the scholarly competence required for service as faculty members in colleges of education.

EPME Program Planning Worksheet (PDF)

EPE Participation in the Carnegie Project on the Education Doctorate


Ph.D. in Higher Education

The Ph.D. program in Higher Education requires research on some aspect of higher education, broadly defined. Students may select an area of concentration from the history and philosophy of higher education, the socio-cultural study of higher education, legal and organizational study of higher education, or research, measurement, and evaluation in higher education. Ph.D. dissertations are expected to advance knowledge in the field and/or further develop existing theory. The program is ideally suited for those who wish to develop the scholarly competence required for service as faculty.

Admission requirements and procedures are the same as for the Ed.D..

SHED Program Planning Worksheet (PDF)


Ph.D. in Education Sciences

The Ph.D. in Education Sciences program is designed for individuals seeking research careers at research-intensive universities, education agencies, research centers, and private organizations. While the program is housed within the College of Education, the Department of Educational Policy Studies participates in three options for the degree: (1.) Educational Evaluation & Policy, (2.) Philosophical & Cultural Inquiry, and (3.) Quantitative & Psychometric Methods (in conjunction with the Department of Educational, School, & Counseling Psychology). The Education Sciences program offers considerable flexibility to students seeking to develop rigorous methodological skill sets and/or deep contextual understandings of education policy and practice.

Additional information about the program can be found on the College of Education website.


Graduate Certificate in International Education

The Graduate Certificate in International Education prepares graduate students for careers in international education, including but not limited to education abroad, international student services, and placement in other international organizations which support the exchange of students in higher education. This certificate is designed for any University of Kentucky graduate student (or admitted post-baccalaureate student) wishing to enhance their graduate degree.

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Graduate Certificate in Research Methods in Education (RMinE)

The RMinE Graduate Certificate provides students with the ability to specialize in education research methods that can be applied to a host of disciplines, e.g., social sciences, physical sciences, and business. The courses students will take provide them with a foundation in a range of approaches to research, including quantitative methods, assessment, evaluation, and measurement, which can be applied at the introductory level to their specific fields. The program is open to students who want to demonstrate they have completed rigorous coursework in research methods.

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