M.A. 401.874.2564

Ph.D. 401.874.4872

Professor Deeney, coordinator of graduate studies.

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

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

RIC Faculty for the Ph.D. in Education Program: Professor Johnson, RIC co-director; Professors Bigler, Bogad, Castagno, Cordeiro, Dufour, Johnson, Lynch, Ramocki, Schuster ; Associate Professors August, Brell, Eagle, Goodrow, Halquist, Horwitz, LaCava, and Ozcan; Assistant Professors Battle, Benson, and McKamey;  Professor Emeriti Barton.

Master of Arts

Admission requirements: 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. For foreign applicants, a passing TOEFL score is required, and the University minimum must be met on each of the four sections of the exam; see the Graduate School web site for current information on required passing scores.

Program requirements: Individuals may choose the thesis or non-thesis option. Required are 30 credits for the elementary and secondary specialization; 33 credits for the adult education specialization; and a minimum of 31 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 non-thesis 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, health, physical, or secondary education 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. Core courses: EDC 502 OR 503, 529. 570, and 575 OR 599. You will complete 6 courses (18 credits minimum) focused on expanding your skill and knowledge in Elementary Education. One course must be a non-EDC code.

Secondary education—advanced study for secondary teachers of English, history, mathematics, science, and social studies; the MATCP option is available for students seeking initial certification in these areas. Core courses: EDC 402, 502 OR 503, 529 OR 530, and 574. You will complete 9 credits of education electives and 9 credits of discipline electives

All Grades Teachers:  Graduate study for all grades teachers (PK-12) Health, Library/Media, Music, Physical Education, and World Language; 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. Required courses: EDC/PSY 527, EDC 529, 562, 563, 564, 565, 566, 567, and 594.

Adult education—administration; adult literacy; education, training, and management (ETMS); gerontology; training and development; and vocational education.
Core courses: EDC 505, 529: 583:584, and 575 OR 599
Specialization areas:  You will complete six courses from the list of your specialization area courses or you may design a specialization with the help of your advisor, to meet your individual needs and interests.
Program Administration: EDC 539, 558, LRS 579, MBA 502, and HDF 562.
Adult Literacy: EDC 504, 516, 521, and 525.
Training and Development: EDC 539, 581, EDC 582, HDF 450, 562, MBA 502, and MGT 641.
Adult and Higher Education: EDC 581, 582, and 525.
Education Training and Management Specialist (U.S. Navy P- Code): EDC 539, 581 582, 525, MBA 502, MGT 641, and PSC 506.
Other adult education courses that may be taken as part of your specialization: EDC 500, 504, 516, 521, 525, 539, 581, and 582.

Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages and Dual Language Immersion (TESOL/DLI) – Students in this program prepare for certification in English as a Second Language (ESL) and/or Dual Language Immersion (DLI) and Bilingual Education. Applicants must hold an initial teaching certification (e.g. early childhood education, elementary education, secondary education, etc.) or be currently enrolled in an approved teacher preparation program. A track is also available for those whose goal is to teach English to adult speakers of other languages internationally. This track does not require teacher licensure. Required courses for certification: LIN 420, EDC 501, 527, 56, 516, and 519. Additional courses: EDC 506, 529, 515, and 6 credits of professional electives.

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 either a three-semester sequence (for full-time students) or a five-semester sequence (for part-time students). Students must also achieve a passing score on the comprehensive exams and on all state or University outcome measures. Courses required for elementary certification include EDS 500, 501, 502, 503, 504, 505, 506, 509, 510, 511, 512, 518. The secondary certification requires EDS 500, 501, 503, 504, 507, 508, 511, 513, 516, 517, 518, 520.

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 is an inclusive program for individuals who seek to advance their research knowledge and skills for the purpose of creating and supporting positive change in diverse educational settings. The program is designed to create and sustain a lively, inquiry-oriented culture that supports educational researchers and practitioners in critical and transformational dialogue, coursework, and research. The program’s three outcomes provide a framework for the preparation of candidates who will be transformational thinkers, engaged scholars, and thoughtful contributors to public discourse and policy.

Designed for professionals involved in prekindergarten through adult education as well as higher 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. Cohorts are typically made up of teachers, administrators, and other education professionals 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, personal statement, research statement, and three 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 58 credits beyond the master’s degree or 88 graduate credits. All Ph.D. students enrolled in our program are expected to a basic understanding of statistics prior to taking formal coursework. To ensure this basic understanding, accepted students will either a) enroll in and pass a summer session statistics course (EDC 555 – 3 credits) specifically designed for students in our program, b) test out of EDC 555 by passing a written test given by the course instructor in May of each year, or c) complete and pass an approved online statistics course covering content similar to EDC 555 prior to beginning formal coursework in the fall semester. 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 educational 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). Students benefit from working with faculty from URI and RIC with scholarly expertise in the following areas:  Equity and Social Justice in Education, Literacy in Education (print literacy and digital literacy), Special Education, Adult and Higher Education, Pedagogy and Practice (Instruction, Curriculum, Assessment, and Teacher Education).

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.

Graduate Certificate in Digital Literacy

The Graduate Certificate in Digital Literacy is a 12-credit graduate program that enables educators, librarians and media professionals to acquire the knowledge, skills and competencies required for full participation in a read/write culture where active participation in a knowledge community requires the skill use, creation and sharing of digital texts, tools and technologies. The program consists of four rigorous courses, two that take place in the summer using a face-to-face institute model (EDC 531 and 535, six credits), and two online courses (EDC 532 and EDC 534, six credits) that are held during the fall and spring semesters. Courses are open to any graduate student in any program, and even to non-matriculating students interested in exploring one facet of the program before committing to the other courses. Typically, students begin by registering in early March for the first Summer Institute in Digital Literacy (EDC 531), which is held for one week in July. Then, to best meet your needs, students discuss with the Co-Directors options for applying to the Graduate School, enrolling in the two online classes (EDC 532 & EDC 534), and completing the second Summer Institute (EDC 535). The courses have been designed to enable interested graduate students to complete the program in one year’s time; beginning their coursework in one summer and finishing the certificate at the end of the next summer. However, students have up to four years from the date enrolled in the first course to complete all twelve credits in the certificate.

Graduate Certificate in Dyslexia Knowledge and Practice

The Graduate Certificate in Dyslexia Knowledge and Practice is a 12-credit graduate program that enables educators, to acquire the knowledge, skills and competencies required to teach K-12 students with dyslexia and other language-based learning difficulties. It is designed as a hybrid synchronous on-line and face-to-face program to allow practicing teachers flexibility in attaining the competencies needed to educate students with dyslexia and other language-based learning challenges. The program consists of four courses, EDC/PSY 544 Reading Acquisition and Reading Disability: Research and Implications for Practice, EDC/PSY 527 Language Study for Teachers of Reading, EDC562 Methods of Intervention for Literacy Difficulties, EDC 566 Intervention in Reading and Writing Difficulties. Courses are open to any graduate student in any program, and to non-matriculating students interested in exploring one facet of the program before committing to the other courses.