Jul 11, 2020  
2019-2020 Graduate Bulletin 
    
2019-2020 Graduate Bulletin

Science Education (Physics) PhD


Overview


The Center for Science and Mathematics Education offers programs leading to the Doctor of Philosophy in Science Education with emphasis in biology, chemistry, coastal science, computer science, earth and environmental sciences, marine science, mathematics, physics, or polymer science.

Within the framework of the overall curriculum requirements, programs are planned to accommodate the professional goals of the individual graduate student. For students holding Class-AA certification from the Mississippi State Department of Education, the doctoral program in each emphasis area can be planned to provide for Class-AAAA advanced certification if desired. Graduates of the program are prepared as candidates for teaching positions at the secondary school, community college, and senior college levels as well as for positions in curriculum supervision, curriculum development, educational research, and the informal delivery of education in their chosen discipline.

Admission Requirements


Regular admission to the doctoral program in science education requires a master's degree, a Class-AA teaching certificate in one of the emphasis areas if an advance in certification to Class-AAAA is desired, three years of teaching experience at the secondary or college level, and a minimum GPA of 3.5 for all previous graduate work. Applicants are required to present for consideration verbal, quantitative and writing scores on the Graduate Record Examination, a résumé, three letters of recommendation, and a letter of intent expressing academic, professional, and research goals to the Center Director. Letters of recommendation should be from persons qualified to assess the applicant's readiness for graduate study.

Initial admission to the program may be conditional. Students are expected to possess proficiency at the undergraduate level in the chosen emphasis for advanced study. Students not proficient may be required to take additional undergraduate courses. Regular status will be granted with the completion of 9 semester hours of Southern Miss graduate courses with a 3.5 GPA, a positive recommendation from the Center Director, and the removal of any deficiencies.

The previous admission requirements are in addition to these general Academic Requirements and Procedures  as set forth in this Bulletin.

Program Requirements and Academic Policies


The doctoral degree in science education requires a minimum of sixty-three (63) semester hours of graduate work beyond the master's degree, including the hours for the dissertation and research tool requirements, as specified below.

  • Qualifying exam
  • Twenty-four (24) semester hours in a content area with a minimum of 15 hours in the emphasis discipline of Earth & Environmental Sciences
  • Twenty-four (24) semester hours in science education including three (3) semester hours of SME 789  - Seminar, SME 761 , SME 762 , SME 701 , SME 703 SME 700   
  • All students must subscribe to the TK20 Assessment System. TK20 provides an electronic portfolio and storage system for students as well as tracks, stores, retrieves, and analyzes data for accreditation purposes.
  • Research tool (6 hours of REF or equivalent courses)
  • Comprehensive examinations
  • Dissertation and oral defense of dissertation (9 hours of SME 898  required)

Exams and Graduate Committee: The Center requires a written qualifying examination. This examination is based on at least two 3-hour SME courses, and is designed to assess the student's fitness to pursue doctoral work. The student's program will be directed by a five-member graduate committee consisting of faculty members affiliated with the Center for Science and Mathematics Education, one from the emphasis discipline, one from educational research, and one open for selection according to the student's research focus. The committee will approve the student's program plan and dissertation prospectus, and conduct the comprehensive examinations, which are administered near the completion of the student's coursework. Upon acceptance of the dissertation by the student's committee and following the timeline of the Graduate School, a final oral examination in defense of the candidate's dissertation will be administered.

Research Tool: Additional requirements include demonstrated proficiency in a research tool, usually educational statistics (REF 761  and REF 762  or equivalent courses) and independent research culminating in an acceptable dissertation. The research may focus on a problem in the student's emphasis area that is related to the teaching/learning of the discipline or a more general educational research problem.

Research and Scholarly Integrity Education: All faculty holding Regular or Associate graduate faculty status must complete CITI training modules required by the Graduate School and their respective schools. All graduate students must complete the CITI training modules required by the Graduate School and their schools the first semester they are enrolled in graduate school. The RSIE policy and training information are found on the Graduate School web page –www.usm.edu/graduate-school. Contact the Dean of the Graduate School if you have any questions regarding the policy of training information.

Residency: Students must meet the residency requirements specified in this Bulletin.

Continuous Enrollment Requirement: Students must meet the requirement specified in the previous section of this Bulletin.

See General Degree Requirements  and General Academic Information  for other requirements and expectations.