PreK-12 Education (Ph.D.)

NOTE: We are not accepting new students into the Prevention and Intervention concentration. Please check back at a later date. If you have questions about one of our Ph.D. concentrations, please contact the program coordinator.

Degree overview
The PreK-12 Education Ph.D. at the University of Maine is an innovative doctoral program designed to provide students with a cross-disciplinary understanding of educational issues. The unique dual-cohort model prepares future scholars, educational leaders, teacher-educators and policymakers to confront the complicated challenges in modern education, especially in rural settings. Our students are part of two cohorts: a discipline-based cohort in their area of specialization — Literacy Education, Prevention and Intervention studies; and a cross-disciplinary cohort that works collaboratively to seek innovative solutions to everyday educational problems. This model emphasizes the benefits of team learning to show how professionals from different theoretical and practical backgrounds can address everyday problems faced by schools.

Program faculty

Literacy Education
Susan Bennett-Armistead, Associate Professor of Literacy and Correll Professorship of Early Literacy
Debra Lewis Hogate, Maine Partnerships in Comprehensive Literacy Trainer
Richard Kent, Professor of Literacy and Director Emeritus Maine Writing Project
William Dee Nichols, Professor of Literacy
Timothy Reagan, Professor of Applied Linguistics and Foreign Language Education
Mary Rosser, Reading Recovery University Training Center Director and Coordinator of Literacy Professional Development Programs
Jane Wellman-Little, Lecturer

Prevention and Intervention Studies
Jim Artesani, Associate Dean of Graduate Education, Research, and Outreach
Sid Mitchell, Associate Professor of Education

Careers in PreK-12 education
Our graduates are working as administrators, principals and teacher leaders at school districts in Maine and beyond. Individuals with a Ph.D. in PreK-12 education are also prepared for professorships at major research colleges and universities. In addition, our graduates have gone on to work for education policy organizations.

Program delivery
The Ph.D. in PreK-12 education requires 57 graduate credits beyond a master’s degree. Students will develop an initial program of study with their faculty advisor. Before enrolling in their fifth course, students must form a program committee consisting of three or more faculty members to finalize the program of study. The degree culminates with a qualifying paper/comprehensive exam. Program foundation include:

  • Educational foundation (minimum 12 credit hours): All students are required to enroll in a professional seminar course at the beginning of doctoral studies. After that, students may choose three additional courses from a menu of options focusing on the philosophical, psychological and social aspects of education.
  • Research foundation (minimum 15 credit hours): Includes a minimum of six credits in quantitative methods and six credits in qualitative methods. In addition, students must take at least one additional research course related to his or her professional or academic interests.
  • Professional core (minimum 15 credit hours): A series of courses in the student’s discipline area — Literacy or Prevention and Intervention Studies.
  • Research practicum (minimum 6 credit hours): In the fourth year of the program, each student in consultation with their advisor and program committee, will do a two semester research practicum specific to his or her area of specialization. This allows students to develop a literature review and implement field study in that area.
  • Dissertation (minimum of nine credits)

Tuition and fees
For current information about tuition and fees, please visit the Bursar’s office.

To apply
Admission to the Ph.D. in PreK-12 education program is based on several factors, including candidates’ past academic performance, future academic or research goals, as well as program resources. Candidates must posses a master’s degree and gain recommendation by faculty in either the Literacy or Prevention and Intervention Studies programs. An interview may or may not be required. For application deadlines, please check with the program coordinator for your desired concentration. Applications must be submitted through the University of Maine Graduate School. Application requirements:

  • UMaine Graduate School application
  • An essay (300-500 words) on academic and personal goals, including an special interest the candidate would like to pursue now or in the future
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • At least one letter of recommendation from a faculty member
  • Official transcripts
  • Graduate Record Examination scores
  • Interview, if required

Please contact the program coordinator in your specialization area for more information.

Literacy Education: Susan Bennett-Armistead, Ph.D.
Prevention and Intervention Studies: Jim Artesani, Ph.D.

Professional Learning Outcomes and Curriculum Plan information