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STEM Education PhD

The STEM Education PhD program at UMass Dartmouth helps address the national shortage of essential STEM educators and the need for better STEM education teaching practices. Doctoral students gain in-depth knowledge, robust interdisciplinary research skills, and a variety of practical experiences. The STEM Education PhD offers concentrations in Mathematics Education and Science Education.

In this doctoral program, you will develop the knowledge and skills needed to:

  • reconstruct, appropriate, and develop mathematical and scientific knowledge
  • explore approaches that emerge from the study of the research literature
  • write original research that represents your own contribution to knowledge
  • use critical-thinking skills to deal with transformation of knowledge
  • formulate and design solutions to complex educational problems


Your research projects involve real-world situations ranging from local schools to higher education departments and other formal and informal learning settings. Your advisors will work with you as you conduct, publish, and present your own research throughout the program.

Doctoral students can explore questions about:

  • how to improve STEM education at the K-12 level
  • how to promote better learning in STEM fields
  • how to engage more K-20 students in STEM-related fields
  • how to prepare teachers to better teach STEM content
  • how to develop materials to support teaching and learning in STEM fields

The Kaput Center

UMass Dartmouth has a long-standing tradition of leadership in STEM with its nationally renowned Kaput Center for Research and Innovation in STEM Education. The Kaput Center fosters a spirit of innovation among the faculty, graduate students and educational and scientific institutions, industry, and federal agencies. All benefit from the expertise of UMassD faculty and graduates and their research.

  • 18 credits of introductory coursework to develop your knowledge of research tools, methodologies and theories
  • 18 credits of preparatory coursework that refines and focuses your understanding of the research process
  • 36 hours of doctoral work, 12 of which are doctoral coursework and 24 credits of dissertation research
travis standing outside with blue skies
Travis Weiland, PhD '17

Accepts tenure-track position at Appalachia State University

A limited number of assistantships are available on a competitive basis. This award is subject to the work needs of the position and department, your satisfactory performance of duties, your academic record, and availability of funds, and may be subject to change.

Changes to Graduate Studies admission requirements

In response to the COVID‐19 pandemic, admission requirements for graduate degree and certificate programs may have changed.
Learn more about changes to requirements

Apply and submit all required application materials to the

Required materials

  • Statement of purpose: 300 - 600 words. Indicate your graduate study objectives, research interests and experience, and business or industry experience if applicable. If you are applying for a teaching or research assistantship, include any special skills or experience that would assist in assistantship decisions.
  • Official transcripts: from all post-secondary institutions attended (regardless if a credential is earned or not). Transcripts should show class rank if available.
  • Official GRE score: sent directly from ETS; copies/scans not accepted. 
  • 3 letters of recommendation
  • Resume.

International students: official TOEFL or IELTS scores sent directly from ETS or testing agency; copies/scans not accepted. Required of any applicant who did not earn a bachelor’s degree or higher degree from an accredited academic institution in the U.S. or accepted English-speaking country. Scores on the TOEFL should be 80 IBT minimum for admission and 100 IBT minimum to be eligible for a teaching assistantship. Scores on the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) should be 6.5 minimum for admission and 7.0 minimum to be eligible for a teaching assistantship.

Assistantships: We award a limited number of graduate assistantships and tuition credit to qualified graduate students each year. This award is subject to the work needs of the position and department, your satisfactory performance of duties, your academic record, and availability of funds, and may be subject to change.

Deadlines and Test Requirements

STEM Education Faculty

Beste Gucler
Chandra Orrill
Shakhnoza Kayumova
Stephen Witzig
Walter Stroup

Explore more about STEM Education

Course schedules and requirements


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