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The Doctor of Philosophy degree program provides a rigorous course of study along with mentored research and teaching experiences to enable students to achieve core educational objectives as scholars in four specialization areas. Several thematic contexts, critical to our state and region, provide the platform for the study of education and achieving the competencies in each area. These unique themes include: the rural nature of our state context, the poverty many children and families live in throughout the region, and the cultural context of Appalachia, all as they impact education.

Career Profile

The primary objective is to prepare students who have both breadth and depth of knowledge in education and who will (a) conduct original research and (b) contribute to the knowledge in the discipline. Doctoral candidates who achieve these objectives will be well prepared to serve as members of the academic communities of peer institutions of higher education. The educational objectives of the program are clearly connected to the mission of WVU. West Virginia University’s mission includes conducting focused research and providing professional service to the state and nation based on that research.

Program Application Requirements

Statement of Purpose, 3 Letters of recommendation, Supplemental Application / Portfolio

Program Application Test Requirements


Application Deadlines

Fall Deadline

December 1

Spring Priority


Summer Deadline


English Proficiency Requirements

All applicants whose first language is not English must provide proof of English language proficiency. WVU accepts either the TOEFL or the IELTS for this purpose. Learn more about our English language proficiency requirements.

Accreditation Information

WVU is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

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