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The Joint Ph.D. in Educational Studies is offered jointly by Brock University, Lakehead University, and the University of Windsor. The designation of "home university" is applied to the home university of the doctoral candidate's dissertation supervisor. The student has the right to take courses and seminars or to use the academic facilities at any of the participating universities in accordance with the approved plan.

The regulations governing the preparation of theses and conduct of examinations will be those of the supervisor's home university.

The degree requirements, regulations and procedures for the Joint Ph.D. program have been approved by the appropriate governing body of each institution. Where there is a conflict in regulations and procedures:

(a)in academic matters, the regulations of the institution offering the course will prevail;
(b)in non-academic matters, the regulations of the institution at which the student is registered will prevail.


The joint program will accomplish the following goals:

1) provide greater access to advanced study in education for qualified candidates across a wider geographic range in the province;

2) promote the growth of research activity and professional development through collaboration among practitioners, scholars, educational institutions, and Faculties of Education;

3) foster inter-university links and promote partnerships among Ontario universities;

4) further the expansion of research culture and service throughout the province; and

5) contribute to the renewal of the professoriate and educational leadership in Ontario during the upcoming period of heavy retirement in the universities and school systems.

The objectives of the program are to produce graduate students who will:

1) contribute to the development of knowledge and expertise in teaching/ learning at all levels on the education continuum;

2) contribute to the solution of problems/issues in Canadian education;

3) promote scholarly enquiry and the development of methodological advances in the study of education;

4) integrate theory and practice in education; and

5) assume positions of leadership in Faculties of Education, school systems, and other public- and private-sector institutions concerned with education.


Normally, the minimum academic requirement for admission to the Ph.D. is successful completion of a Master of Education or Master of Arts in Education with an A standing.

In exceptional circumstances, applicants with lower formal academic qualifications but with a strong track record of professional experience related to the proposed area of doctoral study may be admitted. In these cases, however, the Admissions Committee may place additional requirements upon the applicant. Additional requirements will be stated on the offer of admission.

Applicants must provide evidence of research competence normally demonstrated by a master's thesis.

English is the primary language of communication and instruction in the program. Applicants from other countries who have not completed a degree at a university where the primary language of instruction is English must pass the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) with a minimum score of 600 (250 computer-based) or an equivalent demonstration of proficiency.
Candidates who are working on the degree at a distance from the home university must purchase the software and access to the internet which will enable them to participate fully in the required courses.


Students may receive advance credit for a maximum of one-half course specialization elective at the graduate level provided that this course has not been credited to a degree or certificate already awarded, is relevant to the proposed area of study and has been taken within three years of admission. Requests for advanced credit must be declared prior to admission. No substitution may be made for Core Seminars I and II or the Joint Specialization Elective via distance education.


Applicants must submit a description of their proposed area of research (approximately 2-3 typed pages). When an applicant meets the basic requirements for admission, the potential supervisor and/or the Program Director will assist the applicant in developing a plan of study which will be presented to the Program Committee for approval. If approved, the applicant will proceed to register as a doctoral student at the home university of the dissertation supervisor and will be subject to the general degree regulations of that university. The offer of admission will be made to the applicant by the home university.

Dissertation supervisors will be required to report candidates' progress annually to the Program Committee and to appropriate authorities at the participating universities. Normally, candidates will be expected to complete course requirements and the comprehensive portfolio, and to submit a research proposal within three years of their initial registration. Changes to the approved plan of study must be approved in advance by the Program Director in consultation with the candidate and the supervisor.


1) Cognition and Learning: Cognition and learning draws primarily upon cognitive, developmental, social, and educational psychology as well as science and technology, to examine critically the cognitive, behavioural, emotional, and social processes of educators and students as they engage in teaching and learning. Integral components of this field include, but are not limited to, issues concerning best practices, remedial and contemporary instruction, assessment and evaluation, professional development, curriculum development and implementation, metacognition, and learning theories.

2) Educational Leadership and Policy Studies: This field of study encompasses a range of humanities and social science disciplines to explore the morale, social, and cultural purposes of educational organizations, policy and leadership. It draws upon the works of key scholars in organizational, administrative and policy studies to articulate the philosophical, theoretical and methodolgical frameworks that inform scholarship and practice. These frameworkds situate the major issues and debates confronting educational systems within their larger socio-political and socio-cultural contexts.

3) Social/Cultural/Political Contexts of Education: Education occurs in a dynamic, complex, and contested milieu. The Social/Cultural/Political Contexts of Education field of study critically explors the interplay between culture and education from caried historical, philisophical, and theoretical perspectives with the intent of fostering emancipatory research and democratic practice. Consideration is given but not limited to social constructs of race, class, gender, sexuality, and ability/disability, and how they intersect and influence educational experiences.

Applicants to the program must declare a field of study prior to admission to the program.


Doctoral candidates must be familiar with the academic regulations governing graduate studies at the home university.

Course Requirements

(a) Doctoral Seminar I (80-602) and Doctoral Seminar II (80-604);
(b)The Specialized Elective (80-651). Candidates may meet this requirement through a graduate level course offered at any of the participating institutions;
(c) One Joint Ph.D. Specialization Elective Course (one of 80-621, 80-631, 80-641)
(d) Research Proposal Colloquium (80-669) (via distance education). (Prerequisite: must have completed two terms of full-time residency or equivalent.)

Comprehensive Portfolio

The Comprehensive Portfolio (80-680) requires doctoral candidates to demonstrate their potential as scholars through the satisfactory completion of authentic tasks. The criteria used by the dissertation supervisory committee to set tasks and assess a candidate's performance are:

(a)an understanding of the concepts, theories, and issues in the field of study;
(b)a knowledge of current literature and research methods in the field of study;
(c)the ability to analyze and synthesize current literature on a specific problem within the field of study;
(d)an understanding of and ability to critique research in the field of study and research paradigms.

The tasks candidates are expected to complete include the dissertation research proposal, and three other tasks. Candidates must defend their portfolios.

The candidate's defence will be evaluated by the dissertation supervisory committee and at least one other member of the core faculty selected by the Program Director. Candidates are required to present their completed portfolio to an audience in a forum such as the Core Seminar.

Candidates may not begin their dissertation research until the portfolio requirements have been completed successfully.


The Dissertation supervisory committee will involve faculty from at least two participating universities, including whenever possible and reasonable, a member from the university closest to the candidate's home to serve as co-supervisor in cases where the supervisor is at some distance. The regulations and procedures governing the preparation of theses and conduct of examinations will be those of the supervisor's university.


Candidates must meet a minimum residency of four terms. Two terms of residency may be fulfilled by completion of the Core Seminars I and II. The other two terms of residency must be consecutive. It is strongly recommended that candidates complete two of the terms of residency after they have defended their comprehensive portfolio and are authorized to commence their doctoral research. Credit for residency may be given, with the approval of the Program Committee and the home university, for research carried out off-campus.

Candidates are required to maintain continuous registration. They shall complete the requirements for the degree within a minimum of three years and a maximum of six years.

Recommendations for a time extension or leave of absence are subject to the regulations and procedures at the home university and must be approved in advance by the supervisor and the Joint Program Committee.


Core Seminars

80-602. Doctoral Seminar I: Research, Theories, and Issues
80-604. Doctoral Seminar II: Research, Theories, and Issues

Specialization Elective Courses

Policy and Leadership
80-621. Educational Leadership and Policy Studies

Sociocultural Contexts of Education
80-631. Social/Cultural/Political Contexts of Education

Cognition and Learning
80-641. Conceptual Bases for Cognition and Learning

Other Required Courses
80-651. The Specialized Elective
80-669. Research Proposal Colloquium
80-680. Comprehensive Portfolio
80-798. Doctoral Dissertation