The PhD is an academic, research degree designed especially for Christian educational administrators, teacher educators, and professors serving at the tertiary level. It is accredited by the Adventist Accrediting Association (AAA) and by the Philippine Accrediting Association of Schools, Colleges, and Universities (PAASCU) at Level III.

The program emphasizes the knowledge and skills needed by educational leaders. It incorporates a research orientation and is intended to prepare students for effective decision making, enabling them to become positive change agents in their institutions. A solid foundation in Adventist educational philosophy prepares students for leadership positions through which they can exert an influence on the future of Christian educational systems.

The PhD program is offered with specialization in the areas of Curriculum and Instruction and Educational Administration. The available cognates for the PhD degree are Curriculum and Instruction, Educational Administration, and TESOL. A customized cognate is also available for those who have a particular area of interest. See more about customized cognate in the PhD curriculum section.

Estimated completion time for the PhD program is approximately 39 months (approximately 24 months for coursework beyond the MA in Education, 3 months to prepare for the comprehensive examination, and approximately 12 months for the PhD dissertation). Prerequisites will increase this estimate.

When to Begin

A student who plan to take a full-time PhD program on the main campus are advised that the best time to start their program is at the beginning of the inter-semester (March) or at the beginning of the second semester (October) in order to avoid scheduling problems and a delay in the completion of the program. All students should coordinate their arrival on campus with the department. Upon entry, the student will be assigned an academic advisor by the department chair.

Admission Requirements

  1. An MA in Education degree or its equivalent (a minimum of 36 semester hours required), with a minimum GPA of 3.50 (on a four-point scale). A prospective student who does not meet the entry-level GPA requirement may be admitted on scholastic probation and given the opportunity to meet this requirement by earning a 3.50 GPA at AIIAS during the first 12 semester hours. Alternatively, students with a master’s degree in another discipline can meet entry requirements through an EdS program at AIIAS, with a GPA greater than 3.50. Credit transfer from an AIIAS EdS to an AIIAS PhD is automatic, regardless of whether the EdS was completed or abandoned. For an AIIAS PhD, an EdS from outside AIIAS would be subject to the 25% transfer rule, just as for any other program.
  2. Demonstrated English proficiency. All students taking the TESOL cognate are required to take one of the standard English proficiency tests prescribed by AIIAS. The minimum passing score for the test is higher than for other programs – IELTS 7.0 or equivalent.
  3. Provide a statement (500-750 words), (a) describing why they desire to pursue a PhD in Education at AIIAS, and (b) the topic or topics they would like to pursue their dissertation research.
  4. Complete a proctored writing sample to be used as an assessment.
  5. Participate in a Growth States Interview.


1. Graduate Education courses (minimum grade of B, counted as part of the MA credits), to include the following courses, regardless of the area of emphasis: 

  • Supervision on Instruction
  • Classroom Management
  • Pedagogical Foundations
  • Foundations of Christian Curriculum
  • Faith and Learning in Christian Education
  • Research Methods
  • Statistics
  • Academic Writing
  • Action Research

Additional graduate courses required for the emphasis in Curriculum and Instruction:

  • Instructional Models
  • Process Curriculum

Additional graduate courses required for the emphasis in Educational Administration:

  • Institutional Finance 
  • Principalship and School Improvement
  • School Organization and Law

2. A master’s thesis or a report of other significant research. In the absence of such prior research, the student is required to complete RESM 685 Research Experience (3 semester hours.) as a prerequisite.

3. Teaching experience, normally a minimum of three years. A letter of verification is required.

4. At least one religion course (undergraduate or graduate), with a minimum grade of C, from each of the following areas:

  • Adventist Beliefs
  • Adventist History or Spirit of Prophecy
  • Biblical Studies

The following courses are offered as graduate-level self-study modules to meet these prerequisites:

  • CHIS 501 Spirit of Prophecy (2 units)
  • NTST 502 Life and Teaching of Jesus (2 units)
  • THST 501 Adventist Doctrines (2 units)

Other Seminary courses may also apply (ask your academic advisor).


To be awarded the PhD degree, a candidate must satisfactorily fulfill the following requirements:

  1. Complete a minimum of 51 semester hours of coursework beyond the MA in Education (600-level or above) with a minimum GPA of 3.50.
  2. Successfully complete a minimum of 2 semester hours of fieldwork.
  3. Pass the written comprehensive examination.
  4. Complete a minimum of 15 semester hours of dissertation credit.
  5. Pass an oral defense of the candidate’s dissertation before the Dissertation Defense Committee.
  6. Complete Service Learning requirement.
  7. Develop an e-portfolio to showcase his/her work in meeting professional competencies.


A total of 68 semester hours is required for the PhD degree, distributed in the following manner:

Doctor of Philosophy in Education Curriculum
Philosophy     4 units
CHPH 872 Philosophy: An Adventist Perspective (3 units)
OTST/NTST 655 Interdepartmental Colloquium and Forum (1 unit)
Major Field of Concentration      21 units
The PhD student selects one of the following areas of specialization:
Specialization in Curriculum and Instruction
EDUC 700 Orientation to Graduate Studies (1 unit)
EDCI 729 Topics in _____ (3 units)
EDCI 730 Advanced Curriculum Theory and Practice (3 units)
EDCI 750 Seminar in Curriculum and Instruction (3 units)
EDCI 765 Advanced Instructional Processes (3 units)
EDCI 685 E-Learning (3 units)
EDCI 792 Advanced Fieldwork in Curriculum and Instruction (2 units)
Choose one of the following:
EDCI 793 Advanced Readings in_______________ (3 units)
EDCI 870 Independent Project in________________ (3)
EDCI 895 Directed Research in_____________ (3 units)
Specialization in Educational Administration
EDUC 700 Orientation to Graduate Studies (1 unit)
EDAD 729 Topics in _____ (3 units)
EDAD 730 Financial Management for Educational Institutions (3 units)
EDAD 750 Seminar in Administration and Institutional Development (3 units)
EDAD 786 Administration in Higher Education (3 units)
EDAD 792 Advanced Fieldwork in Educational Administration (2 units)
MGMT 725 Change and Crisis Management (3 units)
Choose one of the following (not included in the MA degree credits):
EDAD 793 Advanced Readings in_____________________ (1-3 units)
EDAD 870 Independent Project in ______________________(1-3 units)
EDAD 895 Directed Individual Research in__________________(1-3 units)
Cognate     12 units

The PhD in Education student selects at least one of the following cognate areas, distinct from the area of specialization:

*If you already completed these courses in your master's program, you may take other 600 or 700 level EDAD or EDCI courses as relevant to the cognate area.

Cognate in Curriculum and Instruction*
Four of the following:
EDCI 615 Instructional Models (3)
EDCI 632 Inclusive Instruction (3)
EDCI 640 Process of Curriculum (3)
EDCI 785 E-Learning (3)

Cognate in Educational Administration*

EDAD 640 Institutional Finance (3 units) 
EDAD 651 Principalship and School Improvement (3 units)
EDAD 674 School Organization and Law (3 units)
EDAD 786 Administration in Higher Education (3 units)
Cognate in TESOL
EDAD 729/829 Topics in _____ (3 units)
Three of the following courses:
EDTE 620 Second Language Acquisition (3 units)
EDTE 622 TESOL Methods for Content-Area Reading and Writing (3 units) 
EDTE 628 TESOL Methods in Speaking & Listening (3 units)
EDTE 630 Pragmatics (3 units)
EDTE 680 Advanced Grammar for English Language Teaching (3 units)
Customized Cognate
For those students who have a particular area of interest, they may design a cognate in consultation with their academic advisor and approval of the Education Department. This cognate may include courses from other departments at AIIAS, transfer credits, online courses, or independent research. To fulfill the customized cognate requirement, students must take three courses from the master's level and one course from the doctoral level for a total of 12 credits in the chosen cognate area.
Research     9-11 units
RESM 715 Advanced Statistics (3 units)
RESM 740 Qualitative Research Methods (3 units)
*RESM 752 Applied Quantitative Analysis (3 units) or
RESM 751 Applied Qualitative Research Methods (3 units)
RESM 770 Institutional Evaluation (3 units)

Disciplinary Research

Choose from the following options, according to the area of specialization.

Curriculum and Instruction

EDCI 780 Disciplinary Research Topics in Curriculum/Instruction (4 units)

Educational Administration

EDCI 780 Disciplinary Research Topics in Administration Policy/Management (4 units)
Dissertation     15 units
†EDAD/EDCI 897 Dissertation Proposal Writing (3 units)
‡EDAD/EDCI 898 PhD Dissertation (12 units)

68 units 

* One of these taken according to the research methodology specialty.

† At least one unit must be taken before taking Applied Qualitative Research Methods or Applied Quantitative Analysis

‡ May be taken only after attaining candidacy status


Work-Embedded Doctor of Philosophy in Education (PhD)


The Work-Embedded PhD in Education is designed to provide educational administrators and experienced faculty members an opportunity to continue their education without leaving their workplaces for a long period of time. Designed as a cohort, the participants attend on-campus classes for two months (July and August) every year. In addition, prerequisites and electives are completed as online courses or independent studies as necessary.

Admission Requirements

Admission to the Work-Embedded Phd in Education follows the same criteria as for the campus programs in PhD in Education. It is a cohort program.

Course Requirements

Since the classes are conducted in an intensive format, participants are expected to complete pre- and post-course requirements besides the on-campus class activities.

Pre-course activities will begin at least one month prior to the course and will include receiving the course outline, reading, and completing assignments as necessary.

The on-campus session for each course will consist of 4-hour classes from Monday to Friday, for 12 working days; the total contact hours being 48 hours.

Post-course activities will include completing research activities and other reading and written assignments. Deadlines for submission of these post-course activities are noted on the course outlines by the teachers and must be adhered to.

Degree Requirements

The Work-Embedded PhD in Education degree program has the same curricular requirements as the regular campus PhD in Education programs. This includes writing a comprehensive examination and a dissertation. Once the PhD student completes all the courses and successfully passes the comprehensive examination, he/she must apply for candidacy status before progressing to the dissertation. The same 10-year time limit to complete the program applies.


Take the Next Step

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