The Department of Education offers full-time programs for graduates who desire either a master's degree for teacher certification or a PhD in Education. The teacher certification master's programs are ideal for recent graduates who have few, if any, formal courses in education. The Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) is for students seeking secondary teacher certification in a specific subject area; the Master of Arts in Education (MAEd) is for students seeking elementary teacher certification. Students interested in the elementary certification program may also consider the MAEd/MSW joint degree program with the Brown School. The teacher education program principles include: a commitment to an equitable and just education for all students; a knowledge of both the subject(s) to be taught and best practices in pedagogy; and the enactment of the role of teacher-as-enquirer.

Doctoral study in Education is aimed at strengthening and deepening the student's analytical understanding of education in both research and practice. The PhD in Education focuses on three main strands of study: Social Contexts of Educational Research; Science and Mathematics Education; and Applied Linguistics in Education. In addition, students may select concentrations in the following areas: mathematics and science education; policy studies; urban education and American culture studies; second language research; English language learners.

Students working toward a PhD in Education are expected to acquire an understanding of education as a complex social, cultural, and moral/political activity and as a field of study with rich literature bases and strong ties to disciplinary knowledge, classroom practice, and a variety of technologies. Our faculty bring special interests and expertise to the examination of educational interactions in such sites as schools, families, and other cultural institutions. Students are expected to acquire theoretical and empirical expertise in an area of concentration even as they demonstrate their broader understanding of educational processes and problems. Finally, students are expected to acquire methodological competence in empirical inquiry and to pursue questions that are of interest and import for the student individually as well as a larger educational community.

Graduates of the PhD program should be prepared to join the community of professional educators who contribute to our understanding of the complexity of education and to continue inquiring into educational processes and problems wherever they choose to work.

In addition, through University College, the department offers part-time students the opportunity to earn teacher certification (elementary and secondary) through a non-degree post-AB program, and those currently working in a classroom the opportunity to earn an MAEd through evening classes. For more information on part-time programs, visit the University College – Education page of this Bulletin.


Master of Arts in Education

The MAEd program for students seeking elementary teacher certification requires 48 credit hours of Professional Education courses, which include 8 credit hours of student teaching during the final semester. The courses are typically completed in three semesters and one summer course. The first fall semester consists of foundation courses in education, including educational psychology and teaching reading courses. Spring is the Curriculum & Instruction (C & I) block, which includes C & I courses in the basic subject areas as well as a field seminar requiring 50 hours of school observation. Summer includes a course in education and psychology of exceptional children. The second fall (and final semester) includes 12 weeks of student teaching, as well as courses for reading and creating a teaching portfolio. When students successfully complete the program and the state-mandated certification assessments, they are eligible for initial teacher certification in Missouri for elementary education grades 1-6.

Master of Arts in Teaching

The MAT program for students seeking secondary teacher certification requires at least 36 hours in Professional Education courses plus 12 graduate credit hours in their teaching subject area during semesters when their schedules allow. The courses are typically completed in four semesters. The first fall semester includes professional education courses in adolescent development and a foundations of education course, along with appropriate courses in the content area. The second semester includes educational psychology courses with 30 school observation hours and appropriate content area courses. The third semester includes a field experience seminar requiring 50 hours of school observation, a curriculum and instruction course for the content area, a reading intervention course, and a possible content area course. The final (fourth) semester consists of 12-14 weeks of student teaching (8 credit hours), as well as courses for reading in the content area and a teaching-learning process course. When students successfully complete the program and the state-mandated certification assessments, they are eligible for initial teacher certification in Missouri for their selected subject area.

Students may be certified in the following areas: (grades 9-12) Biology, Chemistry, Earth Science, Physics, Mathematics, Social Science (history, political science, psychology, anthropology, etc.), English; (grades K-12) Art, Dance, Foreign Language (Latin, Chinese, French, German, Japanese, Russian, Spanish). There are specific subject area requirements for each subject, which students may fulfill from both their undergraduate courses and the 12 credit hours of subject area graduate courses required in the MAT program. It is strongly suggested that students apply for a subject in which they have completed (or will complete) a bachelor's degree (or earned the credits equivalent to an undergraduate major).

PhD in Education

Our doctoral program focuses on three major strands of study: Social Contexts of Educational Research; Science and Mathematics Education; and Applied Linguistics in Education. Students are afforded an opportunity to build unique programs of study by combining concentrations from: urban education and American culture studies, mathematics and science education, policy studies, second language acquisition, or English language learners. These concentrations are supplemented by core studies in history and methodology and by a seminar shared by all doctoral students. Many courses have fieldwork and research components, opportunities to attend and present at local and national conferences, and seminars. Required and elective courses provide the student with a broad understanding of scholarship and research in education and prepare the student for meeting the qualifying examination requirements and for dissertation research and writing.

Students are required to take graduate-level courses in history, methodology, and doctoral seminars, as well as in their major strand of study and additional concentrations. By the third year, students should be completing their courses and submitting a Qualifying Portfolio of written work before moving on to the dissertation phase of the program. Students must have a dissertation proposal approved, generally by the fourth year, before they continue with the bulk of their research and writing for the dissertation. A dissertation is then completed and defended, usually between the fifth and seventh year of study.

Integrating teaching and research with scholarly development involves the doctoral candidate in the central responsibilities of the professional educator. An advantage of a small department within Arts & Sciences is that students have multiple opportunities to work closely with many of the faculty in the department. In addition, the university offers a climate supporting interdisciplinary conversations across schools, departments and programs. As Education faculty, we encourage students to pursue learning experiences and contacts with faculty in other programs. Students encounter a diversity of disciplinary perspectives within and outside of the Department of Education in order to provide a broad understanding of the field.


Kit Wellman
PhD, University of Arizona

Endowed Professors

William F. Tate
Edward Mallinckrodt Distinguished University Professor in Arts & Sciences
PhD, University of Maryland, College Park

Carol Camp Yeakey
Marshall S. Snow Professor of Arts & Sciences
PhD, Northwestern University


Cindy Brantmeier
Professor of Education and Applied Linguistics
PhD, Indiana University, Bloomington

Associate Professors

Garrett A. Duncan
PhD, Claremont Graduate University

Mary Ann Dzuback
PhD, Columbia University

Rowhea Elmesky
PhD, Florida State University

Odis Johnson Jr.
Associate Professor and Director of Graduate Studies
PhD, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor

Assistant Professors

Ebony Duncan
PhD, Vanderbilt University

Michelle Purdy
PhD, Emory University