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University Bulletin: Graduate Programs The George Washington University  



Dean M.J. Feuer

Senior Associate Dean C.A. Kochhar-Bryant

Associate Dean M.B. Freund

Administrative Dean and Chief of Operations P.H. Stevenson

The Graduate School of Education and Human Development prepares teachers, human resource leaders, counselors, and administrators for professional service. The School also offers opportunities to experienced professionals to extend and enrich their education. The programs are designed to meet the broad needs of persons who seek knowledge and skills necessary to provide effective learning and teaching, research, services, and leadership in a variety of settings that cover the entire life span.

The Graduate School of Education and Human Development is accredited by the District of Columbia Office of the State Superintendent of Education (DC–OSSE) and the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE). Programs that prepare students to become eligible for licensure/certification as teachers and other school personnel are state-approved by the DC–OSSE.

The Graduate School of Education and Human Development is the administrative unit for the departments of Counseling and Human Development, Curriculum and Pedagogy, Educational Leadership, Human and Organizational Learning, and Special Education and Disability Studies. In addition to programs of study leading to its degrees, the School offers credit and noncredit workshops designed to meet the unique needs of metropolitan area school systems and other clientele in industry and government.

Special curricula are individually tailored for liberal arts graduates and graduates of other professional schools who are interested in teaching or in other human services areas. The School also offers a wide range of courses for teachers who wish to pursue advanced studies and additional endorsements and for provisional teachers who wish to prepare for teaching certificates.

Laboratory and clinical facilities are provided by the Community Counseling Service Center and Office of Laboratory Experiences, which are responsible for internship placements in related educational programs in the community. Field experiences are provided in cooperation with public and private schools, social and health agencies, museums, institutions in the business community, institutions of higher education, nonprofit and professional associations, and the federal government. Some programs and courses are also offered at off-campus locations or via distance learning.

Mission Statement—The Graduate School of Education and Human Development, strategically based in the nation’s capital and serving the global community, develops informed and skilled leaders through innovative teaching and learning that engages in scholarly inquiry that raises the level of academic excellence by enriching theory, policy, and practice across the life-span; promotes leadership, diversity, learning, and human development reflective of changing global societies; creates public and private partnerships; and advocates continuous self-examination and critical analysis towards excellence.

Bridging Concepts—The following bridging concepts are central to the unified conceptual framework of the School and weave through the mission, goals, and initiatives of its strategic plan.

Research and scholarship are prerequisite to the improvement of educational practice.

Leadership is critical in the reform and redesign of education and human service at all levels.

Building reflective practitioners through integration of theory and practice must be a focus of all programs.

A community of diverse learners is prerequisite to success in the education and human service professions.

Teacher Certification Preparation Programs

Programs are available to prepare students for teacher licensure in elementary, secondary, and special education through the Master of Arts in Education and Human Development, Master of Education, and Education Specialist degree programs. Students who plan to prepare for licensure must apply to the appropriate degree program. These degree programs are also available to credentialed teachers seeking additional endorsements.

In accordance with the 2008 Higher Education Opportunity Act, Title II, Section 205, The George Washington University Graduate School of Education and Human Development provides required information in response to any request by potential applicants, guidance counselors, and prospective employers. An information sheet can be viewed at

GSEHD Regulations

Grades—Information on grades and computing the grade-point average is found under University Regulations.

The symbol I (Incomplete) indicates that a satisfactory explanation has been given to the instructor for the student’s failure to complete the required work of the course. The I remains on a student’s record for one calendar year; if work for the course is not completed within the calendar year, the grade converts to IF. If the work is completed within the designated time period and a grade is assigned, the grade is indicated in the form of I, followed by the grade. The indication of I cannot be removed from the transcript. See University Regulations.

Scholarship—A grade-point average of 3.0 is required for graduation. Students who receive a grade of C in more than 6 credit hours are subject to suspension. Students who receive a grade of F must confer with the dean’s office before enrollment for further course work is allowed. More detailed information for doctoral students can be found in the Doctoral Student Handbook.

Continuous Enrollment and Maintaining Residence—Students must be continuously enrolled in GSEHD unless the dean grants a leave of absence. Failure to register each semester of the academic year will result in lapse of candidacy. Subsequent readmission is subject to whatever new conditions and regulations have been established by the School. See Continuous Enrollment Status under University Regulations.

When master’s degree candidates are sitting for a comprehensive examination and are not otherwise enrolled in course work, they may prepare for and sit for the exam in continuous enrollment status. All doctoral and education specialist students and those master’s students who elect to take an additional semester to prepare for the examination or who must retake the examination are required to sign up for the examination preparation course, which carries a fee equivalent to 1 credit hour of tuition. See Master’s Comprehensive Examination, below.

Leave of Absence—Students who, for personal reasons, are temporarily unable to continue their program of studies may request a leave of absence for a specific period of time not to exceed one calendar year during the total period of degree candidacy. If the request is approved, the student must register for leave of absence each semester. If a student fails to register, degree candidacy is terminated. After reaching the one calendar year limit, students who are requesting to register in leave of absence status for additional semesters must seek approval for further time in this status from the appropriate appeals committee.

Class Attendance Policy—Attending regularly scheduled and scheduled make-up classes, discussions, and other course meetings is a fundamental student responsibility. Faculty may use class attendance and participation as factors in determining course grades.

PRAXIS® Teacher Assessments—All degree programs preparing students for initial teacher licensure require completion of the Educational Testing Service PRAXIS® teacher assessments as specified by the Office of the State Superintendent of Education of the District of Columbia.

International Students—In addition to all listed criteria for admissions, students who are not citizens of countries where English is the official language are required to take the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), or the academic International English Language Testing System (IELTS), or the Pearson Test of English–Academic (PTE). (Specified possible exemptions from this policy can be found at A minimum score of 550 (paper-based) or 80 (Internet-based) on the TOEFL, or an overall band score of 6.0 on the IELTS with no individual band score below 5.0, or a score of 53 on the PTE is required for consideration for admission.

Students with the following English language test scores are exempt from taking English for Academic Purposes (EAP) courses: IELTS, overall band score of 7.0 with no individual band score below 6.0; TOEFL, 600 paper-based or 100 Internet-based; PTE, 68. In their first semester at GW, all non-exempted international students are required to register for an EAP course. The EAP course that is required is indicated in the student’s letter of admission. In the first EAP class meeting, the EAP Diagnostic Test is given to confirm the correct EAP placement. Students assigned EAP courses should anticipate additional tuition expenses as well as a possible extended period of time required to complete their degree program.

The Degree of Master of Arts in Teaching in the Field of Museum Education

The Graduate School of Education and Human Development offers an intensive interdisciplinary program in museum education. The program is designed to prepare graduates for work fulfilling the educational mission of art, history, or science museums; zoos, aquaria, or nature centers; and historical societies or sites. Graduates also qualify to serve as liaisons between schools and museums and as professionals in museum-related private and public agencies.

Those interested in museum studies more generally should refer to Museum Studies under Courses of Instruction.

Admission Requirements

To be admitted to the program in museum education an applicant must have a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution; present a statement of purpose and two written references attesting to quality of academic record and work experience; submit scores on either the Graduate Record Examination or the Miller Analogies Test and transcripts from each institution attended; and be interviewed. A desire to broaden the museum audience and an interest in human development and learning are essential. Evidence of strong undergraduate, graduate, or professional experience in such fields as American studies, anthropology, art history, fine arts, history, or the biological, physical, or social sciences is desirable.

Plan of Study

All degree candidates take seven sequential core courses in four successive semesters beginning in June and ending in July of the following year. Each student also pursues two elective courses in a chosen museum-related academic discipline, museology, or education. Two carefully supervised field placements provide direct museum education experience. In the fall semester, students serve two days a week as museum resource specialists in an educational site. In the spring semester, students serve four days a week as audience learning specialists in a museum or museum-related organization. The program requires 33 credit hours.

The Degree of Master of Education

Elementary Education—The Master of Education in the field of elementary education is designed for those with an undergraduate degree in the arts and sciences. The 39-credit-hour program includes course work for students who wish to become eligible for licensure/certification for teaching at the elementary school level (grades 1–6); additional course work in content areas may be needed to meet specific jurisdictional requirements for licensure/certification.

Secondary Education—The Master of Education in the field of secondary education is designed for those with an undergraduate degree in the arts and sciences. Students are expected to have had substantial course work in an academic field taught in secondary schools. Degree candidates may specialize in art, computer science, English, English as a second language, foreign languages (Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Italian, Latin, Russian, and Spanish), mathematics, science (biology, chemistry, general science, and physics), or social studies. The minimum 33-credit-hour program includes the course work leading to eligibility for teacher licensure/certification; the foreign language and computer science specializations require 36 credit hours, and the English as a second language specialization requires 39 credit hours. Specific course work in the subject area to be taught may be needed to meet jurisdictional requirements for licensure/certification.

The Degree of Master of Arts in Education and Human Development

The degree programs leading to the Master of Arts in Education and Human Development are designed to provide students with specialized knowledge and skills required for advanced professional competence in a variety of educational, human development, and service industry careers. Each program of study involves a combination of classroom and field-based learning experiences tailored to a professional specialty and individual student needs. Students engage in a wide range of teaching and research approaches that reflect the School’s commitment to excellence in professional education.

The diversity of master’s programs in the Graduate School of Education and Human Development reflects its belief that education and human development comprise a multifaceted enterprise reaching persons of all ages in a variety of settings. These programs develop professional knowledge, skills, and attitudes that will enable graduates to foster learning, growth, and development in individuals throughout society. Depending on the program specialty, students are prepared to pursue careers in schools, universities, community-based and human service organizations, cultural and leisure institutions, and business and government settings.

Master’s programs are available in the fields listed on the following pages.

Counseling—The master’s programs in counseling are designed to provide three specialty concentrations and one subspecialty concentration for entry-level positions in professional counseling. Program graduates are prepared to specialize in a specific field and to work in a variety of settings in which professional counseling is offered. All counseling programs require the equivalent of two full years of study and provide core learning experiences that combine professional and behavioral studies with supervised laboratory, practicum, and internship experiences. Some programs have specific prerequisites in addition to the general admissions requirements. The master’s programs in counseling are accredited by either the Council for the Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP) or the Council on Rehabilitation Education (CORE), as described below.

Students who successfully complete a graduate program in counseling are eligible to apply for certification by the National Board of Certified Counselors. Students who successfully complete the graduate program in rehabilitation counseling are eligible to apply for certification by the Commission on Rehabilitation Counselor Certification. State licensure and certification are available in most states, and requirements vary by state. The core course of studies for all program concentrations includes course work in the foundations of counseling, human behavior and development, professional ethics, mental health problems, testing and assessment, career development, individual and group counseling, cross-cultural counseling, and research and statistics.

Clinical Mental Health Counseling—This 60-credit-hour program aligns to the CACREP 2009 standards for clinical mental health counseling. The program prepares graduates to enter the counseling profession in a variety of human service settings, including welfare and other social service agencies, mental health centers, penal institutions, court systems, employment centers, allied health agencies, government service agencies, community college counseling centers, employee assistance programs, and private practice. A subspecialty in employee assistance counseling is available to prepare counselors for business, industry, and government settings.

School Counseling—This 48-credit-hour program is accredited by CACREP and provides professional preparation for individuals to become certified as counselors in public and private schools. The program is designed to provide students with the requisite knowledge and skills to provide professional counseling, assessment, consultation, and guidance services in a school setting.

Rehabilitation Counseling—This 48-credit-hour program is accredited by CORE and prepares rehabilitation counselors to help persons with emotional, mental, and physical disabilities to live independently or return to work. The rehabilitation counselor works jointly with the consumer of rehabilitation services to make vocational and independent living choices and plans. In accordance with CORE accreditation requirements, students can receive a 6-credit waiver (thereby completing the program with a minimum of 42 credit hours) under the following circumstances: The student must hold a bachelor’s degree that includes two graduate-level courses in rehabilitation counseling and must receive approval from the advisor for the waiver upon admission to the program. Areas of concentration include autism spectrum disorder, traumatic brain injury, and substance abuse and psychiatric disabilities.

Curriculum and Instruction—This program prepares teachers and other educational personnel for increased responsibilities in the planning, implementation, research, and evaluation of curriculum and instruction. A minimum 36-credit-hour program includes study in curriculum development, research and evaluation of instructional practice, teacher education, work with special populations, and school policy and leadership. A program specialization may include reading and literacy, elementary education, or secondary education. An internship is required.

Education Policy Studies—The program is designed for students who wish to develop skills in policy research, program evaluation, and the technical, political, and managerial aspects of education policy. Emphasis is placed on developing both an understanding of the political and social environments affecting education policy and the competencies needed to develop policy options, analyze their potential, select the most promising, implement policies effectively, and evaluate impacts. Internships are offered in a variety of federal, state, and local agencies. The 36-credit-hour program includes 12 elective credits that can be used for courses, independent research, and internships in federal, state, or professional organizations.

Educational Leadership and Administration—This program prepares students for various school-based and central office leadership positions, for supervisory positions, and for increased responsibility in teaching. The program is designed to prepare graduates for advanced levels of professional responsibility in diverse educational communities and to increase their technical, conceptual, political, and leadership skills. Emphasis is on leadership and management, change, communication, organizational learning, administrative and legal issues, human relations, human resource development, general supervisory principles and responsibilities, and supervision of instruction.

The 33-credit-hour program includes courses and field experiences designed to meet administrative certification requirements in the District of Columbia, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, and other states that honor interstate compact agreements.

Educational Technology Leadership—This program is designed for persons who are entering or advancing in positions associated with schools, higher education, alternative educational settings, or other human service occupations in which computers and related information delivery technologies are used. The program of study provides students with opportunities to develop the knowledge, understanding, and skills necessary to provide leadership in the rapidly changing environment of technology in education.

The 36-hour program includes required course work in the theory and practice of educational technology, including the use of computers and other instructional technology systems, technological management systems, policymaking, research methods, and leadership. The pioneering program is delivered via interactive distance education to students around the world. Nine hours of the program are specialization electives.

Higher Education Administration—This program is designed to provide students with the skills and knowledge for successful work in entry- and mid-career professional positions in institutions of higher education, associations, national and international government agencies, and other related organizations. The 36-credit-hour program is designed so that a student may select a concentration in general administration, student affairs administration, higher education policy, international higher education, college teaching and academic leadership, and higher education finance. The program of study includes an introduction to higher education administration, research design and analysis, the concentration (in-depth focus on a particular aspect of higher education and its administration), application electives (including internships and practica), and leadership integration.

Human Resource Development—This program is designed for persons entering or advancing in positions associated with learning in organizational settings in all sectors of society. Typical careers are in organizational development, internal and external consulting, and training and development. The program is interdisciplinary, and students are encouraged to tailor their programs to individual career needs and objectives.

The eight required courses in the 36-credit-hour program include foundations and issues of human resource development, adult learning, group dynamics, research methods, organizational diagnosis, strategic human resource development, and assessing the impact of human resource development efforts. Fieldwork in cooperating Washington-area business, industry, government, and community organizations may be a part of the learning experience.

Individualized Program—This program provides the opportunity to develop an individualized curriculum that cuts across existing fields, both within the Graduate School of Education and Human Development and between the School and other schools and departments of the University and the Consortium. The program is designed to meet specific career and professional objectives of applicants who have unique needs. The flexible program structure can be tailored to prepare for new and emerging fields in education and human development. This 36-credit-hour program is available within or across the three departments of the Graduate School of Education and Human Development. The program must contain a 12-credit-hour core curriculum consisting of courses in human development, social/historical/philosophical foundations in education, and curriculum. The remaining 24 credit hours must correspond directly to the program objectives and bear a direct relationship to each of the areas identified above. A minimum of 6 credit hours of fieldwork, or the equivalent, must be a part of the program. All work toward the degree must be specified at the time the initial program is developed.

International Education—This program is designed for persons who are entering or advancing in positions associated with training, education, adult learning, and development activities in diverse settings that require international understanding. The program aims toward preparation of leaders to bring about improvements in developing education systems. Students acquire knowledge of other countries and cultures, using the education system as a means of interpreting and translating knowledge across cultures and analysis of the formal and nonformal school systems as they reflect history, culture, development, values, contemporary concerns, and future trends. In addition, students acquire tools, methods, and habits of analysis that enable them to play a variety of roles as leaders and change agents.

The program, which requires 36 credit hours, allows a selection from a variety of subspecialization areas. A minimum of 15 credit hours is required in the international education studies area. A 9-credit subspecialty complements the major area of study and may be taken in any division of the University. Up to 6 additional credit hours of internship may be required for students who do not have international education related experience.

Special Education—The master’s programs in special education provide core and specialty studies and field experiences designed to prepare highly competent and committed professionals for a broad range of educational and leadership roles in the field of special education and related services.

Bilingual Special Education—This 45-credit-hour program is designed to prepare educators to address the changing demographics of classrooms. Graduates are eligible for licensure in K–12 special education, K–12 ESOL/bilingual education, and bilingual special education. Program course work and field experiences are designed to build competence in the areas of assessment, programming, and teaching, with a focus on culturally and linguistically diverse students. Graduates will be prepared to work with students who have disabilities and those in the process of second language acquisition. Students complete field experiences throughout the duration of the program. This program is designed for already licensed teachers or other related service professionals.

Early Childhood Special Education—This program prepares educators in the areas of development of infants and young children evidencing developmental delay, identification and assessment procedures, and clinical teaching and alternative models of service for children with, or at risk for, disabilities. The program prepares students for interdisciplinary work with infants, birth to three, and children from three to eight years of age.

The 39-credit-hour program includes courses in language development, typical and atypical development, formal assessment, interdisciplinary theory, family intervention skills, behavior management, and legal and policy concerns. A practicum and internship are required.

Special Education for Children with Emotional and Behavioral Disabilities—This 39-credit-hour program of study requires a two-semester clinical internship at an elementary and middle school serving children with emotional and behavioral disabilities. Students are involved in course work and clinical experiences with professionals from various allied mental health fields. The program is designed to develop competencies in the nature and needs of troubled children; assessment, programming, and teaching; and working effectively as an interdisciplinary and interagency team member. The program provides eligibility for licensure certification in the area of emotional disturbance; it is available to both full-time and part-time students.

Secondary Special Education and Transition Services—This interdisciplinary program prepares educators and support personnel to address the needs of youth and young adults with special needs for careers and transition from school to postsecondary education, employment, and independent self-adjustment. Teacher licensure certification preparation in categorical learning disabilities or noncategorical special education is available through the program. The curriculum integrates the roles of relevant disciplines and service agencies, including postsecondary planning, alternative service models, and extended career support and adjustment to independent living. The program requires 39 credit hours of graduate course work, practicum, and field-based professional practice and research. Students can plan their programs to emphasize secondary and career programming, learning disabilities, collaborative vocational evaluation, traumatic brain injury, corrections, and business–education partnerships.

Admission Requirements for the Master of Education and Master of Arts in Education and Human Development

The Graduate School of Education and Human Development seeks applicants with strong academic potential, high motivation, and aptitude to do graduate-level work. Admission decisions are based on an evaluation of all material submitted in support of the application. The School requires a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution, official transcripts of all previous undergraduate and graduate course work, and acceptable test scores on either the Graduate Record Examination or the Miller Analogies Test. In the field of education policy studies, only the GRE is acceptable. In the field of human resource development, the Graduate Management Admission Test is acceptable as well.

Two letters of recommendation and a statement of purpose are required. Most programs also require an interview with program faculty. The interview may be waived with permission of the lead faculty of the desired program for those living outside the Washington metropolitan area.

In addition to these basic requirements, individual programs may require relevant professional experience and other supporting documentation before a final decision on admission is made. Upon receipt of the application to the individual program, information on specific requirements will be sent to the applicant. The personal interview, professional experience, and supporting references provide important qualitative evidence concerning an applicant’s academic potential and professional background.

The admission review is based upon a comparison of qualifications among all applicants, weighing both the School’s general admissions criteria and program-specific criteria.

Positive decisions are made quickly for applicants who present uniformly strong application credentials in all areas. In some cases, unusually strong factors will offset comparatively weak factors and result in an offer of admission to provisional status in the School. For a student to be admitted to full candidacy from provisional status, he or she must earn grades of B− or better with a minimum cumulative grade-point average of 3.0 in the first 9 credit hours of course work. Grades of I are not acceptable.

Advanced Standing

Advanced standing is granted for approved courses taken at other regionally accredited institutions, but a minimum of 24 credit hours must be completed in the Graduate School of Education and Human Development as a master’s candidate. A maximum of 12 credit hours taken in nondegree status may be credited toward the master’s degree.

Advanced standing is not granted for work completed five or more years before application for admission or readmission to master’s candidacy. All work accepted for advanced standing must have been earned with a grade of B or better and must be approved for acceptance by both the advisor and the dean. Credit, Satisfactory, Audit, or other nonletter grades are not acceptable.

Plan of Study

The plan of study leading to the degree of Master of Arts in Education and Human Development requires a minimum of 33 hours of graduate credit. All programs include Educ 6114 or 6116 to satisfy the research requirements. Several programs have additional credit hour requirements. The plan may, at the student’s option, include a thesis carrying 6 hours of graduate credit. Programs are initially reviewed in conference with an admissions advisor in the School and subsequently finalized with a designated advisor in the candidate’s area of specialization. Programs are based on a candidate’s interests and background; those related to teaching in public schools are designed around certification requirements of the state and locality in which the candidate plans to teach.

All degree requirements must be completed within six years, whether study is full time or part time. An additional (or seventh) year is allowed in the case of a student who breaks enrollment and is subsequently readmitted.

Thesis Option

Students may elect a thesis option. The choice of the thesis subject must be approved in writing by the student’s advisor and filed in the office of the dean. All theses must be submitted electronically and meet the formatting and other requirements set forth on line at Payment of tuition for the thesis course entitles the candidate, during the period of registration, to the advice and direction of the member of the faculty under whom the thesis is to be written. In case a thesis is unfinished, additional time may be granted. The student must, however, be enrolled continuously in the program. If the preparation of the thesis extends beyond the additional time granted, the student must register for the entire 6 hours of thesis again and pay tuition as for a repeated course.

Master’s Comprehensive Examination

Candidates in master’s programs requiring 33 credit hours must take a comprehensive examination. Candidates in some nonteaching programs whose basic requirements exceed 36 credit hours may waive the comprehensive examination with approval of the academic advisor. Candidates who plan to take the examination must file a written application in the Dean’s Office of the Graduate School of Education and Human Development by the announced deadline. Comprehensive examinations are required of students in educational leadership and administration, education technology leadership, and all programs in the Department of Curriculum and Pedagogy and the Department of Special Education and Disability Studies. See Continuous Enrollment and Maintaining Residence, above.

Second Master’s Degree

Persons seeking a second master’s degree in the Graduate School of Education and Human Development must complete all core and specialization requirements and a minimum residency requirement of 24 credit hours.

The Degree of Education Specialist

The program of advanced study leading to the degree of Education Specialist is for students with master’s degrees in education who seek further professional preparation for specific objectives. The program is available in the fields of educational leadership and administration, counseling, curriculum and instruction, higher education administration, human and organizational learning, and special education.

Admission Requirements

The following are required for entrance to an Education Specialist program: an undergraduate degree and a Master of Arts in Education and Human Development or its equivalent from a regionally accredited institution, two years of pertinent experience in an education or human development field, and a graduate scholastic average of at least 3.3 and an acceptable score on either the Graduate Record Examination or Miller Analogies Test. In the field of human and organizational learning, the Graduate Management Admission Test is acceptable as well. Two letters of recommendation, one from a professional supervisor and one from the most recent graduate faculty advisor, are required, along with a statement of professional goals. Each applicant must be interviewed and recommended by a faculty advisor in the major field.

Programs of Study and Degree Requirements

Individual programs are developed, through a plan of study worked out with a faculty advisor, to fit the candidate’s skills, interests, and career goals. A minimum of 30 credit hours beyond the requirements of the degree of Master of Arts in Education and Human Development is required. At least 21 hours of this work must be taken in residence at GW. A maximum of five calendar years is allowed for completion of the program.

At least 12 of the required 30 hours must be in appropriate graduate courses in education selected from the following areas: (1) foundations and cognate study, (2) background and general principles of the field of study, and (3) an area of specialization. A graduate-level research methods course must be included in the program if it was not completed in previous graduate work.

The Comprehensive Examination

Successful completion of a six-hour written examination and/or an oral examination, at the option of the major field advisor, is required. Candidates taking the examination must be registered for at least 1 credit hour in the semester it is to be taken and must file a written application in the dean’s office by the published deadline.

The Degree of Doctor of Education

The Graduate School of Education and Human Development offers programs of advanced study leading to the degree of Doctor of Education. These programs provide major fields of study in curriculum and instruction, special education, educational administration and policy studies, human and organizational learning, and higher education administration. Supporting fields are available in educational administration, higher education administration, curriculum and instruction, education policy, elementary education, human development, human and organizational learning, international education, program evaluation, secondary education, special education, supervision, and teacher education. See below for the Ph.D. in the field of counseling. With the approval of a student’s program planning committee, course work may be taken in other departments of the University and through the Consortium. All programs require study of interrelated areas of education and a doctoral dissertation in the major field of study.

All doctoral programs are designed to accommodate the needs of working professionals who must pursue their studies on a part-time basis. Required graduate courses, with few exceptions, are offered in the late afternoon and evening. In some programs, selected courses may be taken at off-campus locations.

Admission Requirements

The applicant must have adequate preparation for advanced study, including an undergraduate degree and a graduate degree from a regionally accredited institution in fields prerequisite to his or her objective and comparable to that required for the degree of Master of Arts in Education and Human Development at this University. Students with a master’s degree in a field other than education may be considered for doctoral study provided that the degree and previous experience are judged relevant by the major field program faculty.

For an application to be considered by the major field program faculty, an applicant must have a minimum graduate scholastic average of 3.3 on a scale of 4.0 and an acceptable score on the Miller Analogies Test or Graduate Record Examination. In the field of human and organizational learning, the Graduate Management Admission Test is acceptable as well. Programs often set higher admission standards, and the number of new doctoral students in each program is limited. All applicants must have an interview with faculty members in the major field. Students receiving favorable recommendations from the major field faculty are admitted to precandidacy for the degree.

Precandidacy and Candidacy

The Doctor of Education program is divided into two stages: precandidacy and candidacy. In general, the degree program requires three or more years of full-time study beyond the master’s degree or the equivalent in part-time study. Course work and the comprehensive examination must be completed within five years, and the entire program must be completed within eight years. The minimum residency requirement in degree status for the Ed.D. is 36 credit hours of course work in the precandidacy stage and 12 to 24 credit hours of dissertation research in the candidacy stage. In most cases, course work beyond the minimum is required.

In the precandidacy stage, all course work in the program must be completed and the comprehensive examination passed. Course work toward the doctorate is established on the basis of a framework of seven domains: knowledge of foundations; critical literature review; research methods; clarity of thought, as expressed both in speech and in writing; professional development; technological skills; and depth of knowledge of the specialty area. A program plan of study is developed between the doctoral student and a doctoral study advising team, generally consisting of two members of the program faculty.

The comprehensive examination is generally a two-day examination held each semester and taken upon completion of all course work (Pre-Dissertation Seminar may be excepted). Students taking the examination must be registered for at least 1 credit hour in the semester it is to be taken and must file a written application in the dean’s office by the announced deadline. Programs may have specific comprehensive exam requirements.

The candidacy stage of doctoral study begins after successful completion of the comprehensive examination. A doctoral research dissertation committee is established and the candidate develops a dissertation proposal (this may be while registered in Pre-Dissertation Seminar). Upon successful completion of all course work listed on the program of study and the comprehensive examination and the Dissertation Seminar, students must register for a minimum of 3 hours of Dissertation Research each fall and spring semester, until the satisfactory completion of the dissertation or the completion of 24 credit hours of dissertation research. Once they have reached their 24 credit hour maximum, they must register each subsequent fall and spring semester for 1 credit hour of Continuing Research until completion of their degree program with the successful defense of the dissertation to the Dissertation Oral Examination Committee. The accepted dissertation is submitted electronically, with a processing fee paid directly to Proquest/UMI.

Detailed information on the Ed.D. program and its administration is available in the GSEHD Doctoral Student Handbook. Students completing their degree program should refer to the section on Graduation Requirements, Participation in the Commencement Ceremony, under University Regulations.

The Degree of Doctor of Philosophy in the Field of Counseling

A Ph.D. in the field of counseling is offered through Columbian College of Arts and Sciences in collaboration with the Graduate School of Education and Human Development. The program is accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs. Application for admission is made to Columbian College of Arts and Sciences.

Graduate Certificate Programs

The Graduate School of Education and Human Development offers the following graduate certificate programs. Graduate certificates do not constitute eligibility for an initial license or assure admission to a subsequent degree program. Courses taken as part of a certificate program may be applied toward advanced credentials or endorsements added to an initial license. Note that Counseling, School Counseling, and Educational Leadership and Administration are post-master’s certificate programs.

Autism Spectrum Disorders (15 credits)

Bilingual Special Education (18 credits)

Brain Injury: Educational and Transition Services (15 credits)

Career and Workforce Development (12 credits)

Counseling (12 credits)

Counseling Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Persons (12 credits)

Design and Assessment of Adult Learning (12 credits)

Educational Leadership and Administration (18 credits)

E-Learning (18 credits)

Essentials of Human Resource Development (12 credits)

Forensic Rehabilitation Counseling (12 credits)

Global Leadership in Teams and Organizations (12 credits)

Grief, Loss, and Life Transitions (12 credits)

Incorporating International Perspectives in Education (12 credits)

Instructional Design (18 credits)

Integrating Technology into Education (18 credits)

Job Development and Placement (12 credits)

Leadership Development (18 credits)

Leadership in Educational Technology (18 credits)

Multimedia Development (18 credits)

Organizational Learning and Change (12 credits)

Professional Teaching Standards (15 credits)

Reading and Literacy (15 credits)

School Counseling (12 credits)

Secondary Special Education and Transition Services (12 credits)

Teaching English Language Learners (18 credits)

Training and Educational Technology (18 credits)



The George Washington University

© 2013 University Bulletin
The George Washington University All rights reserved.

Information in this bulletin is generally accurate as of fall 2012. The University reserves the right to change courses, programs, fees, and the academic calendar, or to make other changes deemed necessary or desirable, giving advance notice of change when possible.