Skip Navigation

Science Education

Science Education

Science Education Ph.D.

The Instructional Leadership and Academic Curriculum Ph.D. with emphasis in Science Education at the University of Oklahoma prepares students to continue and expand on their work as teachers of science at a variety of levels including PK-12 school systems and higher education as well as to develop their abilities in making scholarly contributions to the field of science education. Designed to build on the experiences of PK-12 science teachers, the program explores ways to teach science in authentic and meaningful ways through the utilization of three-dimensional teaching and learning.

The program also accommodates adult learners seeking certification in the sciences and experienced practitioners interested in teaching college-level science. Recent graduates of our graduate programs teach science at all grade levels (PK-20), work as curriculum developers, serve as curriculum directors for their local school districts, and work as professional development experts. Science education continues to be a high-need area and, as such, graduates from this program are in high-demand at both the PK-12 school level and in higher education.



Core (24 hours minimum)

  • ILAC 6013 Proseminar in Instructional Leadership and Academic Curriculum (3 hours)
  • ILAC 6023 Theoretical Issues in Instructional Leadership and Academic Curriculum (3 hours)
  • ILAC 6003 Curriculum Theory (3 hours)
  • ILAC 6233 Understanding Different Cultures (3 hours)
  • Research Methodologies 12 hours (minimum)

Concentration (36 hours minimum)

The concentration focuses on specializations within the field of Instructional Leadership and Academic Curriculum.  Studies undertaken shape the thematic issues in the students' programs. Courses for all concentrations focus on (1) the specialization areas and (2) related educational areas, including academic disciplines.

Requirements and distribution of hours are specified by each program area (see program advisor).  For all concentrations, courses are selected based on program criteria and students' professional interests and goals.  Programs of study must be approved by the advisor and members of the doctoral committee.

Electives (12 hours maximum)

Electives allow the student and advisor some flexibility in including coursework that either (1) extends the number of hours in areas such as research methodology, but does not include dissertation hours, or (2) includes previously taken graduate course hours that do not fit existing categories.  Courses will be selected based on the students' professional interests and goals and approved by the advisor and doctoral committee.

Dissertation (9-12 hours)

Additional hours beyond the maximum 12 may be taken but will not be included as part of the 90-hour program.

TOTAL HOURS: 90 hours beyond the Bachelor’s Degree

Visit the Course Catalog for course descriptions.

Students standing at a table conducting a science experiment

The Ph.D. program is designed for students with present and/or prospective positions in colleges and universities, public schools, and other education‑related agencies. The program is directed at the development of scholarly expertise in the field of science education and is intended to serve individuals who have promise of making contributions to the field.

All doctoral students are expected to follow the policies and procedures of the Graduate College, as outlined in the Graduate College Bulletin. In addition, the Department of Instructional Leadership and Academic Curriculum has developed its own requirements that are unique to this department and that support the requirements of the Graduate College.

  1. Minimum GPA of 3.25 on a 4.0 scale in graduate work.
  2. Three letters of recommendation
  3. Submission of a sample of written work, such as a research paper, master's thesis, seminar paper or published article.
  4. Submission of a written goal statement briefly discussing the applicant's background and professional purpose for entering the program.
  5. An initial interview with the science education program faculty to discuss the application and to describe the general structure of the program.

Application materials include the application to the Graduate College, all transcripts, Graduate Record Examination scores, and goals statement. When all materials are received in the ILAC office, they are sent in their entirety to the science education program faculty. After reviewing the application packet, the faculty may schedule an interview with the applicant. The science education faculty makes a recommendation regarding admission to the Graduate College and returns all materials to the ILAC office where they are checked for completeness and relayed to the Graduate College for an official admission decision. Graduate students who choose to change their program area after being admitted to ILAC must apply to the other program area and follow the appropriate admission procedures.

All ILAC programs consider applications on a rolling basis.