Program Requirements

Program admission

  • Completed application to the Graduate School and demonstration of a sound academic and/or professional history and potential for success in graduate school.
  • Identification of a mentor, by mutual agreement between mentor and student.


Students in our program complete various courses designed to build disciplinary content knowledge and DBER research skills. Working with their mentor and advisory committee, students design a plan of study to build the foundation for a successful dissertation and career. Further details on our coursework can be found in our handbook.

Core Didactic Courses

  • STEM 810: Teaching College Science (3 credits)
  • STEM 820: STEM Curriculum & Instruction (3 credits)
  • STEM 830: Research Methods in STEM (3 credits)

Additional Coursework

  • STEM 890: Graduate Seminar (1 credit/year)
  • Elective Graduate Courses in STEM Discipline and/or Education (minimum of 18 credits to meet minimum of 27 credits coursework requirement)
  • EDUC/BIOL/BIOC/MATH/PHYS 899: Doctoral Dissertation (number of credits depends on individual plan of study)

Dissertation research

All students develop and implement an independent research project that contributes new knowledge to DBER. The dissertation project is an opportunity to not only develop and demonstrate research skills, but to grow as an independent and life-long learner.

The dissertation process is divided into two general phases. The first phase is advancing to candidacy and typically occurs after a student has completed their coursework.

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