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Program Overview

The Interdisciplinary Ph.D. in Education Sciences (major code: EDSC) program is designed for individuals seeking careers in educational research. Graduates of the program are prepared to meet the growing national need for educators who are well trained in methodological issues in education research. This Ph.D. program prepares individuals who will have careers in research universities, educational research labs and corporations, and research groups within education agencies.

All EDSC students will be encouraged to apply for 20-hour per week research assistantships on grant-supported projects in the College of Education and other units at the University of Kentucky. In addition to coursework, students will be expected to attend local, state, or national professional conferences during the first and second years of their programs. All students will be expected to present their research at professional conferences by their third year in the program. EDSC doctoral students are expected to submit manuscripts to professional journals and accomplish refereed publications during their doctoral study. Presentations and publications may be scholarly works with a single author or groups of co-authors.



EDSC is a rigorous doctoral program that does not require year-round, full-time study. Students may enroll in any semester. Students will be required to complete a set of core courses in research methods, and students will then follow a particular “strand” of courses in an area of specialization. All students will be involved in educational research projects throughout their time in the program.

EDSC doctoral students will be required to designate at the time of application the strand that they would like to complete. These include advanced concentrations in the areas of:

  • Curriculum and Instruction
  • Educational Leadership Studies
  • Educational Policy Studies: Educational Evaluation and Policy
  • Educational Policy Studies: Philosophical and Cultural Inquiry
  • Health Education
  • Physical Education
  • Quantitative and Psychometric Methods
  • STEM



Qualified applicants will have earned baccalaureate and master’s degrees from fully accredited institutions. Applicants must meet admission requirements set by the University of Kentucky Graduate School.

Graduate School & Departmental Application

We are part of the Hobsons ApplyYourself Application Network, a system that provides an opportunity to submit all Graduate School and Departmental requirements in one application including letters of recommendation. All applications for graduate study at the University of Kentucky Graduate School must be submitted online.

Please be aware of the following information regarding proper format for the supporting materials that must be included with your application via the Graduate School website:

Resume or Vita
  • Include your educational background, work experiences, professional certifications, professional memberships, publications, and references.
Statement of Purpose
  • Previous teaching and/or life experiences that have influenced your decision to pursue a degree in Educational Science ,
  • Research interests (i.e., specific problems or general areas in which you hope to work),
  • Specific career goals, and
  • Rationale for why the Educational Science program at the University of Kentucky is a “good fit” for your goals.
Writing Sample 

(PhD applicants only)

  • Sole authored article, manuscript, class paper, or Master’s Thesis demonstrating APA style command (title page, headers, references).


Questions about a specific area of study?

Feel free to contact the Director of Graduate Studies for your desired area of study listed below.

Curriculum & Instruction

Kristen Perry

(859) 257-3836


Educational Leadership Studies

John Nash

(859) 257-7845


Educational Policy Studies

Jane McEldowney Jensen

(859) 257-1929


Health Education, Physical Education

Melinda Ickes

(859) 257-1625


Quantitative and Psychometric Methods

Kristen Perry

(859) 257-3836


Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM)

Molly Fisher

(859) 257-1643