Cross-Specialization Concentration

Degree: Doctor of Philosophy in Educational Studies

Bob Bain

Bob Bain taught high school history and social studies for 26 years. Now, he’s associate professor in the School of Education and in the Department of History in the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts, and faculty chair of secondary education. 

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Current or prospective doctoral students may have research interests that cut across our designated doctoral concentrations. In keeping with our traditions of interdisciplinary scholarship, rather than requiring students to choose a concentration that may not be the best preparation for the work they wish to do, we offer a Cross-Specialization Concentration option. Under this option, students complete an individualized set of requirements (in addition to the Educational Studies degree requirements applicable to all students) that is agreed upon by a three-member faculty committee. This concentration option is open only to currently enrolled students. Prospective students must apply initially to one of the existing concentrations, noting in their essay that they plan to apply for transfer to the cross-specialization option upon matriculating.


Under the Cross-Specialization Concentration option, the Educational Studies degree requirements that apply to all students in the program must be met, including the core courses and cognates. Individualized course requirements, comparable in quantity and scholarly rigor to those of other Educational Studies concentrations, will be set by the student's Studies Committee, appointed by the chair of the Educational Studies program, and chaired by the faculty advisor. A copy of the student's plan of studies, as approved by the Studies Committee and the Educational Studies chair, will be kept on file in the Educational Studies office. The Studies Committee should approve any subsequent changes in the plan in advance, and a copy of the revised plan, including committee signatures, should be filed with the Educational Studies office. The Studies Committee will serve as the student's annual Portfolio Review Committee, and the committee chair will provide the Educational Studies office with a copy of the annual portfolio feedback letter to the student. The Studies Committee will also serve as the student's Preliminary Examination Committee and will follow departmental policy regarding the examination. The student will qualify to advance to candidacy after completion of all departmental and individualized requirements and passing all parts of the preliminary examination.

Studies Committee

Students electing the Educational Studies Cross-Specialization Concentration option will be guided by a Studies Committee consisting of three members of the governing faculty of the School of Education, including the student's advisor (serving as the committee chair) and at least one faculty member whose primary affiliation is either with a different concentration within Educational Studies from that of the advisor or with another program or unit within the School of Education. The Studies Committee is appointed by the chair of the Educational Studies program. A Studies Committee may include a university faculty member from outside the School of Education, if approved by the Educational Studies chair. The Studies Committee will act as readers for the student's Part A scholarly paper (but may invite other readers whose expertise is relevant), and set a written (and optionally an oral) Part B examination to assess the student's preparation to undertake research in an agreed-upon area of interest. The committee completes its responsibilities when the student achieves candidacy.

Plan of Study

Course planning sheets outline the School of Education course requirements.

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