PhD in Education

The degree of Doctor of Philosophy in Education is offered to qualified candidates, normally by full-time study. It consists of courses, a comprehensive exam, and a thesis, and can be completed in four years of full-time study.

The Ph.D. in Education program enables candidates to pursue a rigorous and in-depth specialization in Post-Secondary Studies. Under the supervision of a committee of faculty members, the doctoral program prepares graduates for faculty and leadership positions in adult learning and post-secondary institutional settings.

The General Regulations of the School of Graduate Studies of Memorial University of Newfoundland outlined in the current Calendar, and the Degree Regulations of the Faculty of Education outlined below will apply.

Admission Requirements

In addition, to the General qualifications for admission to the Ph.D. Programs at Memorial University of Newfoundland set out in the University Calendar under School of Graduate Studies, General Regulation Qualifications for Admission, Ph.D. Program, the following admission requirements apply:

    1. an 'A' standing in a Master's Degree in Education or in an equivalent Master's Degree from an accredited university;
    2. evidence of scholarly work, such as a master's thesis, directed research project, or qualifying research paper (all required and supporting documentation must be submitted to with the applicants full name (last, first) and Memorial student number or date of birth on all email attachments);
    3. normally, completion of two years of professional experience in an educational setting;
    4. an interview may be required.

Program of Study

  1. Courses
  • Students are required to successfully complete four courses on the doctoral program.
    • Education 701A/B - Doctoral Seminar in Education: Area of Specialization
    • Education 702A/B - Advanced Educational Research
    • Students register for the 'A' portion of the above-noted courses in the Fall semester of their program of study and the corresponding 'B' portion of the course in the following Winter semester. A grade of NC (No Grade Expected) will be assigned to the 'A' portion of each of these courses.
    • Students will also be required to complete two available graduate courses related to their program focus and specialty, based on the advice of the student's supervisory committee.
    • Normally, no more than four courses may be undertaken on a candidate's program.
    • Education 7003-30 - Special Topics (offered as required)

2. Comprehensive Examination

  • The candidate shall undertake a written and an oral comprehensive examination, which will follow General Regulation Comprehensive Examinations, Ph.D. Comprehensive Examination which sets out the procedures for the comprehensive examination.
    • A candidate in a Ph.D. program in Education shall normally take the examination no later than the end of the seventh semester in the program. The candidate will have completed required courses prior to taking the Comprehensive Examination. In preparation for the Comprehensive Examination, the doctoral candidate, with the guidance of the candidate's Supervisor, will undertake study of the sub-disciplines/areas of concentration identified by the candidate and supervisory committee and approved by the Doctoral Committee. Normally, these will include the candidate's area of concentration and two additional sub-disciplines/areas of concentration.
    • Such study of sub-disciplines will normally include but not be limited to developing a reading list of important historical and current publications within the sub-disciplines, identifying emerging research emphases within the sub-disciplines, and writing scholarly review papers of these publications.
    • In preparation for the written comprehensive examination, the doctoral candidate and the supervisory committee will agree on the topics to be examined. The examination will be written over a three-week period.
    • Normally, the oral comprehensive examination will occur within six weeks of the written examination, which if judged to be successful by the Comprehensive Examination Committee, will form the basis of an oral comprehensive examination.
    • The procedure for scheduling the Comprehensive Examination shall be initiated by the candidate's Supervisor who will notify, in writing, the Dean of Education of the candidate's readiness. The date of both the written examination and the oral examination will be determined by the Dean of Education. The candidate will receive a written notice of the scheduled date for both examinations from the Dean of Education.
    • The Comprehensive Examination Committee shall be appointed by the Dean of Graduate Studies in accordance with School of Graduate Studies General Regulation Comprehensive Examination, Ph.D. Comprehensive Examination on the recommendation of the Dean, Faculty of Education. There will be six members of the Comprehensive Examination Committee as follows:
      • Dean of Education or delegate (Chair)
      • Chair of the Doctoral Committee of the Faculty Council of Education
      • Candidate's Supervisor
      • Second member of candidate's supervisory committee
      • Dean of School of Graduate Studies or delegate (non-voting)
      • Member of the Faculty of Education or educational community selected by the Dean of Education.
    • In the event that the Chair of the Doctoral Committee is the candidate's Supervisor, the Dean of Education shall appoint an additional member.

3. Ph.D. Thesis Regulations

    • The candidate must submit a thesis proposal based on the candidate's own research interest to all members of the Supervisory Committee for critical evaluation. Normally, the proposal must be approved prior to the eighth semester of the program. The Chairperson of the Supervisory Committee will inform the candidate within one month of its acceptance, rejection or acceptance with recommended changes.
    • If the proposal is not acceptable, the candidate will normally be permitted a second attempt. The revised proposal must be submitted and deemed acceptable by the Supervisory Committee within a semester. Failure to resubmit within this time period will lead to termination of the candidate's program.
    • The thesis shall give evidence of the candidate's ability to carry out independent and original research, develop the necessary theoretical and methodological framework and analyses, and present the findings in a scholarly manner.
    • Each candidate will be required to present a seminar on the candidate's thesis research to the Faculty.
    • Ph.D. program will conclude with the examination and oral defence of the completed thesis in accordance with the appropriate sections of the General Regulation Theses and Reports, Evaluation of Ph.D. Theses governing the School of Graduate Studies.


  • 701A/B Doctoral Seminar in Education: Area of Specialization (credit may not be obtained for 701A/B and the former 7001)
  • 702A/B Advanced Educational Research (credit may not be obtained for 702A/B and the former 7002)
  • two available gradudate courses related to program focus and specialty (based on the advice of the studen'ts supervisory committe)
  • 7003-30 Special Topics (offered as required)


The School of Graduate Studies Regulations Governing the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy

Regulations Governing the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy in Education

PhD Handbook - Faculty of Education

The Faculty of Education of Memorial University of Newfoundland, under the terms of THE MEMORIAL UNIVERSITY ACT, accepts as its primary responsibility the professional preparation of those who will give leadership in education.

The responsibility includes the professional preparation of teachers, administrators, and specialists who will work in primary, elementary, and secondary schools, and post-secondary institutions. The work of the faculty incorporates undergraduate, and graduate studies, and continuing education.

The mandate includes specialized research for the improvement of pedagogical practice, and broadly based research for the advancement of knowledge. The faculty initiates and responds to change through a wide range of programs and a variety of field services. It seeks to prepare educators who will have a reasoned philosophy of education, an appreciation of what knowledge is of most worth, a genuine love of learning, and the ability to think critically. It strives to prepare educators who have an understanding of the past, a plan for the present, and a vision for the future.

Financial Information and Assistance

Funding PhD: $12,000

Tuition (NL PhD students): $888/semester

Tuition (Other PhD Canadian students): $1,154/semester

Tuition (International PhD students): $1,499/semester

Faculty Research Interests

Graduate applicants interested in research-based programs are strongly encouraged to contact a faculty supervisor at the time of application. Visit the Faculty of Education website for a list of faculty members, their research interests, and contact information. You may also use the Yaffle search engine to find a supervisor you may wish to work with.


Office of Academic Programs
Faculty of Education
Memorial University of Newfoundland
St. John's, NL A1B 3X8
Telephone: (709) 864-3403, Option #2
Facsimile: (709) 864-2001

School of Graduate Studies
IIC - 2012, Bruneau Centre for Research and Innovation
230 Elizabeth Avenue, Memorial University of Newfoundland
St. John's, NL A1C 5S7
Telephone: (709) 864-2445
Facsimile: (709) 864-4702