Loyola University Chicago

School of Education


PhD in Cultural and Educational Policy Studies

Completion of the Ph.D. degree program requires 60 semester hours, a comprehensive examination, a dissertation and a final oral dissertation defense. Students are required to obtain adequate preparation in research courses appropriate to their depth area.

Cultural Foundations and Policy Core (12 semester hours) 
One course from each of the following areas: Comparative and International Education, History of Education, Philosophy of Education, and Sociology of Education.

Depth Area (15 semester hours) in one of the following areas: 
Comparative and International Education, History of Education, Sociology of Education, Philosophy of Education.

Research Courses and Electives (33 hours):

  • RMTD 420: Educational Research I: Building a Body of Evidence Using Qualitative Methods
  • RMTD 421: Educational Research II: Building a Body of Evidence Using Quantitative Methods

Additional research and elective courses are selected in consultation with an advisor.

Length of the Program: This is a 60-semester-hour program, of which up to 30 hours can be included from previous graduate study, as approved by the student's advisor. Students typically take two or three courses each term and up to two courses during the summer. Completion time for the dissertation depends on the topic selected, the project’s research design and the diligence of the student. Continuous enrollment each academic term is required until all requirements are completed. Time for degree completion, including the dissertation, is six years.

Continuous Enrollment: Doctoral students in cultural and educational policy studies are required to maintain the status of continuous enrollment during their program of studies. This means that during each semester of each academic year (excluding Summer Sessions), each student must do one of the following:

  • Enroll in one of the following:
    • At least one course OR
    • ELPS 610: Doctoral Studies (maximum enrollment two semesters) OR
    • ELPS 600: Dissertation Supervision
  • A formal leave of absence may be granted upon request and the approval of the Graduate School's Associate Dean.

Comprehensive Assessment: Three essays based on an agreed-upon reading list written over a three week period.


Degree Conferral: While the commencement ceremony is every May, degrees can be conferred May, August, and December. Students must apply for graduation/degree conferral. Students should apply for graduation in the semester they anticipate completing all degree requirements. Failure to meet application deadlines may result in a delay of the conferral of the degree to the following semester. Applications for Degree Conferral are due:

  • August 1 for December conferral
  • December 1 for May conferral
  • February 1 for August conferral

Please note the degree conferral application is valid for only one semester. If the degree is not conferred for the semester requested, a new application is required for a subsequent semester.

See also