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PhD in Educational Theory and Practice (Teacher Education)

If you are interested in research about teacher education, choose this emphasis for your degree in educational theory and practice. Teacher education may take place as formal and alternative preparation programs, as in-service professional development and continuing education experiences, and within mentoring and supervision relationships that bridge university and P-12 settings. You will study teacher education amid institutional, discursive, socio-cultural, and political contexts.

Our faculty are committed to being and preparing teachers to be advocates for children, for communities, for learning, and for their profession. Our graduates go on to careers as aspiring and practicing teacher educators, instructional coaches, administrators, supervisors, and university faculty.


  1. Regularly ranked as a top 5 program by U.S. News & World Report
  2. Home to nationally recognized and award-winning faculty
  3. Work with faculty on cutting-edge education research
  4. Prepare to become a leader in education research and practice


As a student in the emphasis in teacher education, you will study how it manifests in multiple and varied contexts. This includes institutional, discursive, socio-cultural, and political contexts that continuously shape and reshape the meanings and purposes of teacher education. Graduates of this program go on to careers as aspiring and practicing teacher educators, instructional coaches, administrators, supervisors, and university faculty.

Your courses in this emphasis will be determined in consultation with your committee, although at least nine credit hours will come from within the Department of Educational Theory and Practice. At least one of the members of your doctoral committee should come from the teacher education emphasis area, where our faculty are committed preparing teachers to be advocates for children, for communities, for learning, and for their profession.

Additional information and disclosures regarding state licensure for professional practice in this field can be found at the UGA Licensure Disclosure Portal .


Part 1: Apply to the University of Georgia

The Graduate School handles admission for all graduate programs at the University of Georgia, including those in the College of Education. The Graduate School website contains important details about the application process, orientation, and many other useful links to guide you through the process of attending UGA at the graduate level.

Start A Graduate School Application

Part 2: Apply to the PhD in Educational Theory and Practice (Teacher Education)

The program of study includes 43 hours of coursework, preliminary and comprehensive examinations, a dissertation prospectus, and a dissertation. Required coursework includes theory and research on teaching or research on teacher education, and seminars. You will also take at least four research methods courses, determined in consultation with your advisory committee. You are encouraged to take as many research methods courses as needed to accomplish your research.

Of your coursework, 22 credit hours prepare you to think deeply about and conduct research within the field of teacher education. Courses in this emphasis are determined in consultation with your committee, though at least nine of these credits should come from within the department. At least one of your committee members should be from this emphasis area.

After filling out your application to the graduate school, please submit the following directly to the graduate programs office:

  1. A personal statement telling the doctoral admissions committee why doctoral education is being pursued; the questions and/or commitments about teaching, learning and schooling pushing the applicant to further her or his education; what readings, theories, and/or research inform these questions; why the Doctoral Program of Educational Theory and Practice is an appropriate place to pursue such questions; the emphasis area (or areas) in which the applicant sees his or her interests fitting; and the personal and professional goals for obtaining a PhD degree in Educational Theory and Practice;
  2. A writing sample that demonstrates the applicant’s ability for scholarly writing and engagement with intellectual ideas;
  3. A resume or curriculum vitae.
  4. Please note that at least one of the three references you provide to the graduate school should be a university faculty member who can attest to your academic potential, preferably from the master’s level.

Deadline To Apply

January 1 (Summer/Fall Admission), October 1 (Spring Admission)

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Additional Resources

Please use our online form if you have any questions for the department. Please be as specific as possible so that we may quickly assist you.

Faculty and Advisors

The College’s programs are taught by dedicated faculty who are experts in a range of areas and are passionate about helping students succeed both in their programs and professionally.

Meet the Faculty

Most graduate students at UGA are not assigned to a faculty advisor until after admittance. A close working relationship with your advisor is paramount to progressing through your program of study.

Tuition and Financial Aid

Almost all in-state students begin their studies at UGA paying limited tuition or fees. Please note that these amounts are subject to change and are meant to give prospective students an idea of the costs associated with a degree at the University of Georgia College of Education.

Students may qualify for a variety of assistantships, scholarships, and other financial awards to help offset the cost of tuition, housing, and other expenses.

Tuition Rates   Browse Financial Aid

Student Life

Your experience begins with a doctoral orientation seminar that introduces foundational ideas, readings, and scholars in the field. We invite you to explore, read, think, collaborate, research, and share your ideas about educational theory and practice with researchers, teachers, and leaders in your area of emphasis.

The program is home to a mixture of full-time and part-time students. Most full-time students are supported through teaching and research assistantships. Most part-time students work on the PhD while continuing to work as teachers and administrators.

See for yourself how much UGA College of Education has to offer! Schedule a tour of campus to learn more about the UGA student experience.

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