The PhD is an academic, research degree designed especially for Christian educational administrators, teacher educators, and professors serving at the tertiary level.
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. 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
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.
- 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 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.
- Demonstrated English proficiency.
- 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 for their dissertation research.
- Complete a proctored writing sample to be used as assessment.
- 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:
- EDAD 601 Supervision on Instruction (3 units)
- EDCI 610 Classroom Management (3 units)
- EDUC 526 Pedagogical Foundations (3 units)
- EDUC 582 Foundations of Christian Curriculum (3 units)
- RESM 610 Research Methods (3 units)
- RESM 615 Statistics (3 units)
- RESM 520 Academic Writing (3 units)
- RESM 625 Action Research (3 units)
Additional graduate courses required for the emphasis in Curriculum and Instruction:
- EDCI 615 Instructional Models (3 units)
- EDCI 640 Process Curriculum (3 units)
Additional graduate courses required for the emphasis 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)
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:
- 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.
- Successfully complete a minimum of 2 semester hours of fieldwork.
- Pass the written comprehensive examination.
- Complete a minimum of 15 semester hours of dissertation credit.
- Pass an oral defense of the candidate’s dissertation before the Dissertation Defense Committee.
- Complete Service Learning
- Develop an e-portfolio to showcase student work in meeting professional competencies.
A total of 68 semester hours is required for the PhD degree, distributed in the following manner:
* One of these taken according to the research methodology specialty
† At least one unit must be taken before taking Applied Qualitative Research or Quantitative Analysis
‡ May be taken only after attaining candidacy status