school of education

Chafee Hall, 10 Chafee Rd, Kingston, RI 02881


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Ph.D. in Education

Program Co-Directors

Julie Coiro (URI)

Janet Johnson (RIC)

Program History

The Ph.D. in Education program began in 1995 as a collaborative effort of Rhode Island College and the University of Rhode Island. Start-up funding for the program came from a generous grant by the Feinstein Foundation, which has provided extensive support for programs to enhance Rhode Island’s public and private schools, colleges, and universities. In recognition of the Foundation’s central role in launching the Ph.D. in Education program, its doctoral students are known as Feinstein Fellows.


The Ph.D. in Education program offers reform-minded professionals a unique way to advance their research knowledge and skills, and to address educational problems in a variety of settings. Our Ph.D. students benefit from working with faculty from the University of Rhode Island and Rhode Island College with scholarly expertise in the following areas:

  • Literacy in Education (Print Literacy and Digital Literacy)
  • Special Education
  • Adult and Higher Education
  • Pedagogy and Practice (Instruction, Curriculum, Assessment, and Teacher Education)
  • Equity and Social Justice in Education

Drawing on the resources of two strong institutions, this collaborative program has been designed with a specific focus and a crucial mission: to prepare individuals who seek to advance their research knowledge and skills in order to create and support positive change in diverse educational settings.

As a Ph.D. in Education graduate, you will be part of an exceptional professional network, addressing educational issues in public and private educational settings from pre-kindergarten through high school, undergraduate to graduate higher education, and in various adult education settings. We invite you to join us.

Student Cohorts

To capitalize on the strengths of active professionals, the Ph.D. program’s innovative cohort structure is based on groups of students who travel through the program together. These cohorts provide a community of fellow-scholars, who support each other’s efforts and contribute substantially to each other’s growth.

Part-Time Schedule

To accommodate the schedules of working professionals, all required courses begin at 4:00 p.m. or later. This class schedule enables doctoral students to maintain their current positions and to relate their ongoing experience to their coursework. The typical Ph.D. student course load is 6-7 credit hours in most fall, spring, and summer terms.

Some students may choose to pursue full-time study. For these students, there may be opportunities for graduate assistantships. Information about these opportunities may be obtained from the program co-directors.


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