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With this emphasis within the educational theory and practice degree, prepare to offer intellectual leadership and advocacy in middle grades education, including research, teacher education and other teaching in higher education, and leadership positions in local, state, regional, national, or international institutions or agencies. Your studies and research will address the needs of middle grades education locally, nationally, and globally with a focus on:

  • The study of young adolescents and middle grades education within continually shifting institutional, socio-cultural, discursive, and political contexts
  • Adult stakeholders who impact middle grades education
  • Teaching and learning of the content areas in the context of middle grades education
  • The structure and organization of educational environments serving young adolescents
  • Middle grades school improvement efforts
  • Curriculum, pedagogy, policy, and social justice issues in middle grades education

Our graduate students go on to become educational researchers at colleges and universities, teacher educators, policymakers, instructional coaches, directors of professional development, and practicing teachers or administrators.

Program Highlights

  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. Integrates theory and practice to support educational change

Deadline to Apply

January 1 (summer/fall admission), October 1 (spring admission)

View admissions criteria

Faculty and Curriculum

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.

In addition to completing a one-credit hour teaching assistantship, you must complete three three-credit courses from the following topics of study:

  • Young adolescents and schools
  • Theory and practice in middle grades curriculum
  • Socio-cultural issues in early adolescence
  • Comparative and international perspectives in middle grades education
  • School reform and young adolescence

Of your coursework, 22 hours focus on your specific interests, coursework related to your area of emphasis, and 12 credits of electives. Electives may be from within or outside the College, and might include courses in anthropology, art education, counseling, education law, educational policy, history, learning communities and professional development, philosophy, psychology, sociology, special education, subject area courses (e.g., language and literacy, mathematics education, science education, and social studies education), and supervision related to middle grades education.

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

Meet Your Advisor

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.

Find your advisor

Student Life

Your experience begins with a doctoral orientation seminar that introduces foundational ideas, readings, and scholars in the field. Graduate students also have the opportunity to participate in a number of student organizations, including the Feminist Scholars-Activist and the Graduate Student Organization.

Most full-time students can apply for and receive a graduate assistantship.

Book a campus visit

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.

Schedule a visit


Part 1: Apply to the University of Georgia


  1. Submit an online application to the Graduate School
  2. Test scores (depending on your program)
  3. Unofficial transcripts (native language and English for international applicants)
  4. Three letters of recommendation

Part 2: Apply to this program


The program faculty may request additional materials from applicants. As you complete your application for the UGA Graduate School, you will be able to attach the following documents:

  1. Curriculum vita (CV) or resume
  2. Statement of purpose (short essay)
  3. Official transcripts
View full admissions requirements

Program Resources

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