Jan 27, 2023  
2021-2022 Graduate Bulletin 
2021-2022 Graduate Bulletin [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

STEM Education PhD

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The Center for Science and Mathematics Education offers programs leading to the Doctor of Philosophy in Science Education. Graduates of the program are prepared as Science Education candidates for university tenure track positions, teaching positions in colleges and community or junior colleges. Students are immersed in science education research methods, measuring and investigating teaching and learning of science in an array of learning environments both formal and informal. They develop and exhibit a deep understanding of theory and research on learning, development, and teaching. Students learn to integrate and analyze sound pedagogical practices with an eye to sociological challenges and perspectives in various teaching settings, curricular supports, and tools. Students in the program work closely with faculty on a variety of research and outreach projects. Graduates conduct an original research project for their dissertation.    

Admission Requirements

Regular admission to the doctoral program in science education requires a master’s degree and a minimum GPA of 3.5 for all previous graduate work. Applicants are required to submit Graduate Record Examination scores, 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 rigorous 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.

These admission requirements are in addition to the general Academic Requirements and Procedures  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.

  1. Qualifying exam
  2. Twenty-four (24) semester hours in a science content area with a minimum of 15 hours in the emphasis discipline.
  3. 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  
  4. Research tool (6 hours of REF or equivalent courses)
  5. Comprehensive examinations
  6. 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. 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 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.

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.

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