M.A. 401.874.2564

Ph.D. 401.874.4877

Professor Seitsinger, coordinator of graduate studies.

Faculty for the M.A.: Professors Boulmetis, S. Brand, S. T. Brand, Byrd, Eichinger, Hammadou-Sullivan, Seitsinger, Willis; Associate Professors Adamy, Ciccomascolo, Deeney, deGroot, Hicks, Kern, Peno, and Shim; Assistant Professors Coiro, and Fogleman; Professors Emeriti Bumpus, Croasdale, Favazza, Heifetz, Kellogg, MacMillan, McKinney, Purnell, Russo, and Young; Associate Professor Emeritus Nelson.

URI Faculty for the Ph.D. in Education Program: Professor Seitsinger, URI Co-Director; Professors Boulmetis, Brady, S. Brand, S.T. Brand, Byrd, Eichinger, Hammadou-Sullivan, Hobbs, Kovarsky, McCurdy, Roush, Seitsinger, George Willis, Grant Willis, and Xiao; Associate Professors Adamy, Branch, Ciccomascolo, Deeney, deGroot, Hicks, and Shim; Assistant Professors Coiro, Fogleman, and Vaccaro; Professors Emeriti Heifetz, McKinney, Purnell, and Young.

RIC Faculty for the Ph.D. in Education Program: Professor Castagno, RIC co-director; Professors Barton, Castagno, Cordeiro, Dufour, Eldridge, Filinson, Fluehr-Lobban, Johnson, Kochanek, Lynch, Panofsky, Ozcan, Ramocki, Rowell, and Stieglitz; Associate Professors Bigler, Brell, Bogad, and Niska; Assistant Professor Horwitz; Assistant Dean E. Sullivan.

Master of Arts

Admission requirements: A faculty interview is required. Individuals seeking to undertake the initial certification options in elementary and secondary education are expected to have a substantial academic background in the field of interest. In addition, applicants should contact the department regarding the required testing, admissions portfolio, interview process, and yearly admission deadline (or visit the website at For foreign applicants, a TOEFL score of 600 PBT, 250 CBT, or 100 iBT is required, and the University minimum must be met on each of the four sections of the exam; see

Program requirements: Individuals may choose the thesis or nonthesis option. Required are 30 credits for the elementary and secondary specialization; 33 credits for the adult education specialization; and a minimum of 34 credits for reading education; including a required core of at least six credits (a foundation and a research methodology course); two electives (six credits), and an academic specialization (18-24 credits). The nonthesis option requires a written comprehensive examination and at least one designated course with a substantial paper involving significant independent research.

Master of Arts Teaching Certificate Program (MATCP): applicants who wish to pursue the initial teacher certification option of the elementary or secondary specializations take 19-34 additional credits. Students may obtain certification prior to completing the requirements for the M.A., as listed above. See Teacher Certification.

Specializations: Applicants seeking the Master of Arts degree must declare an area of specialization. A specialization may be one predefined by the department or designed in accordance with the applicant’s background and interest. Defined specializations include:

Elementary education—advanced study for elementary teachers; the MATCP option is available for students seeking initial certification in elementary teaching.

Secondary education—advanced study for secondary teachers of English, history, languages, mathematics, science, and social studies; the MATCP option is available for students seeking initial certification in these areas.

Reading education—program leading to advanced certification as reading specialist/consultant. Applicants must hold initial teaching certification in early childhood, elementary, or secondary education. A résumé of experience must be submitted with an application.

Adult education—administration; adult literacy; education, training, and management (ETMS); gerontology; training and development; and vocational education.

M.A. in Special Education

Admission requirements: A faculty interview is required. Applicants seeking special education certification need to have the necessary certification in elementary, or secondary education. Applicants should contact the department or check the School of Education website for complete admission information.

Program requirements: The graduate program in special education enables students to meet the Council for Exceptional Children standards and the requirements for a RI special education teaching certificate in the area of mild/moderate disabilities either at the elementary school level (grades 1-6) or at the secondary level (grades 7-12). Students complete a total of 36 credits over a three-semester sequence. Students must also achieve a passing score on the comprehensive exams and on all state or University outcome measures.

Applications will continue to be accepted for fall admission after the February 1 deadline until the cohort is full.

Doctor of Philosophy (Joint with Rhode Island College)

Rhode Island College and the University of Rhode Island offer a Ph.D. in education, which prepares scholar practitioners for new professional roles as educational leaders, mentors, and scholars. The program is grounded in the knowledge bases of school teaching and learning. The program’s four objectives provide a framework for the preparation of scholar practitioners to: 1) develop and employ collegial relationships through professional collaboration; 2) acquire and apply the skills and processes of scholarly inquiry; 3) demonstrate expertise in an area of specialization that advances the mission of American education; and 4) implement professional practices that promote progress in educational settings.

Designed for professionals involved in prekindergarten through adult education, the doctoral program admits 10 to 15 students per year. This cohort-based research program is for students who previously earned a master’s degree in education or an allied field or have earned at least 30 graduate credits from a regionally accredited institution. The graduate-level work must include three credits in each of the following areas: a) educational foundations; b) curriculum; and c) research. A major segment of each student cohort will be made up of teachers and administrators from Rhode Island who are committed to developing advanced teaching, leadership, and research skills.

Admission requirements: Graduate Record Exam (GRE) scores no older than 5 years, official transcripts, curriculum vita, and letters of recommendation are required. Finalists in the application process must participate in a personal interview. Applicants are admitted for the fall semester only. The completed application package must be received by January 31. The program is offered jointly by the two institutions with single admission and administrative processes. Prospective applicants should address inquiries concerning the program to one of the co-directors at either Rhode Island College or URI. All applicants must complete the electronic graduate application for admission, available online at

Program requirements: the program requires a minimum of 56 credits beyond the master’s degree or 86 graduate credits. Three year-long core seminars emphasize different aspects of education from history, culture, and foundations, to curriculum development, teaching, and learning, and finally to administration, leadership, and policy analysis (EDP 610, 611; 620, 621; 630, 631, for a total of 18 credits). Field research seminars (EDP 641, taken four times for a total of four credits) are taken in parallel with the core seminars. Field-based research (EDP 622, two credits, taken in the second year) explores community service and service learning in the context of schools. Students gain research expertise to help their development as school leaders through course work (EDP 612, 613, 623 for a total of ten credits) and the field research seminars. Scholarly expertise in a professional area is acquired through specialization courses (12 credits).

All students must complete a doctoral dissertation (12 credits). To progress through this program, students must 1) receive positive recommendations from core seminar professors; 2) pass a qualifying examination upon completion of the first core seminar (EDP 610, 611) and the first two courses in research methodology (EDP 612 and 613) if they have not previously completed a master’s degree in education or a closely related field; 3) pass a comprehensive examination after completion of all core seminars and research courses; and 4) complete a successful dissertation and defense.