PhD in Education (with a focus on Educational Sustainability)


Program Description

PhD in Education (Educational Sustainability)

Grounded in the context of a post-modern society, and recognizing the importance of multiple perspectives, this Ph.D. program in Educational Sustainability will prepare students from a variety of fields, such as education, health, social work, social justice and administrative leadership, for sustainable educational practices in the 21st century.

By sustainable practice, we mean conducting research, teaching, and learning across disciplines, cultures, and nationalities and embracing a global vision of education that develops self-knowledge and an understanding that the relationship of the self to people, to nature, and to the designed environment is fundamental in becoming an educated person. Educational Sustainability means that within the program students and faculty members will be asking questions that take into account the social context in which we live, and consider the ways in which the world is interrelated. The purpose is to build capacity to meet the needs of present and future academics and professionals working in various social science fields who will leave the program prepared to move beyond the status quo of 20th century standard practice to create real and virtual educational environments where active learning and multiple perspectives are the foundations of individual and institutional action. The degree is designed for educators within the school system, and within the professions more generally, who will become engaged citizens who can think critically and are prepared to accept individual responsibility for the well-being of society.

Through a variety of courses, a comprehensive exam and a Dissertation (research Thesis), the Ph.D. program in Educational Sustainability has the following learning outcomes for students:

  • Draw on a wide variety of theoretical and practical literature to develop a broad understanding of the educational landscape through course readings and through individual research projects.
  • Conduct critical conversations about education in the student’s field during course seminars and within research presentations.
  • Assume an investigative stance in regard to teaching and learning in order that students can develop a scholarship of teaching and learning through opportunities to conduct seminars and engage in research related to instructional practices in multiple fields.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of a range of research methodologies that display an appreciation of the complexity of knowledge and the potential contribution made by diverse interpretations methods and disciplines in both coursework and through the development of an in-depth research project.
  • Engage in original research that contributes to educational knowledge in the student’s field.
  • Develop qualities and transferable skills necessary for employment requiring the exercise of personal responsibility and largely autonomous initiative in complex and unpredictable situations in professional or equivalent environments.

Minimum Admission Requirements

The normal minimum admission requirement is a master’s degree or equivalent, as recognized by Nipissing University in an appropriate discipline, with a minimum A- standing. Since completion of a dissertation is a required part of the PhD program, preference will be given to applicants whose master’s degree included an independent research component such as a thesis or major research paper.

Applicants whose master’s work did not include a thesis or major research paper may, at the time of application, submit another piece of original research for consideration. If at the time of application, an applicant cannot provide evidence of having conducted original research at an acceptable level, he or she may be required to complete a qualifying research paper (QRP) prior to acceptance.

All applicants are required to provide an up-to-date curriculum vitae. All applicants are required to write a statement of approximately 1000 words explaining the value of undertaking a doctoral degree for their specific circumstances, their research interests, and their desired area of thesis research.

All applicants are required to provide three academic and professional letters of recommendation from professors or appropriate professionals who can speak to their level of preparation and readiness for graduate studies at the doctoral level. At least two of the letters of reference must be from those qualified to address the academic ability and competence of the applicant. Letters of reference cannot be from anyone who is personally related to the applicant, and ideally will come from more than one institution.

Since this program will be conducted in the English language, evidence of the applicant’s ability to complete scholarly work independently in English will be required. Applicants may also be asked to submit supplemental information as appropriate.

It is understood that admission to the PhD program is limited and, therefore, applicants who meet or exceed the minimum admission requirements are not guaranteed admission.

Last updated Apr 2019

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