Program Overview

Welcome, prospective students! We are happy you are interested in learning more about the Joint Doctoral Program in Education offered by San Diego State University and Claremont Graduate University.

Our program offers the benefits of a large, comprehensive public university and a small private university with a transdisciplinary emphasis. Learn more about both universities.

Students selected for the program must meet high academic standards and demonstrate a strong probability of success in doctoral studies and in their subsequent careers. Applicants must meet the general requirements for admission to both San Diego State University (SDSU) and Claremont Graduate University (CGU). In addition, strong consideration is given to the match between the applicant’s interests and the resources of the cooperating institutions. A critical consideration is the improvement of education for culturally diverse communities. Practical experience in the field of education is also considered in admission decisions.

Degree Learning Outcomes

The award of the Doctor of Philosophy degree in education through this program will be made on the basis of the candidate’s demonstrated capacities to work effectively with diverse communities by:

  • understanding diversity and its implications for education;
  • critically analyzing and developing educational policy;
  • engaging in systemic organizational change that improves performance and quality of life for all;
  • applying theory and research-based knowledge in transforming communities;
  • using effective educational practices, including tools available through technology, to transform organizations; and
  • contributing to the knowledge base in education.

Program Emphases

Students in the program may choose from the following emphases in their program of study:

  • K12 Education and Equity 
  • Higher Education/ Student Affairs

View a list to example courses offered by our program.

Program Milestones/Curriculum Map

Milestones graphic: description below

  • Proseminar at CGU is required during your first or second fall semester.
  • Transfer your Master's Degree credits to CGU during your first year.
  • During the second year, or during your first 16-24 units, you will file a Program Outline with the Coordinators at both universities.
  • Your coursework must include successful completion of a  Research Tool (course) at each University.
  • Complete your Written Qualifying Examination after 46 cumulative units of coursework.
  • Doctoral Units must be transferred from SDSU to CGU and 62 units must be completed before you can enroll in Capstone at CGU.
  • Once you complete Capstone you begin writing your Proposal Defense, and preparing for your Oral Qualifying Examination.
  • After successfully defending your Proposal you apply for IRB (SDSU or CGU-this is determined by the Program Director). When IRB approved (not before) you can begin collecting data, and writing your Doctoral Dissertation.
  • The above degree learning outcomes articulated above are assessed at each of these milestones.

Important Resources

Map of where our graduates are making a difference

Changing the Face of Education

Where our graduates are making a difference

Frequently Asked Questions

Applicants must have a master’s degree prior to beginning the program.
The program only admits students in the fall semester.
You are required to take a total of 72 units. For this program you will complete 24 units at San Diego State University, 24 units at Claremont Graduate University, and 24 units transferred from a Master’s program. A full time graduate student takes 9 units and a part time graduate student takes 3.0-6.0 units. 

The Ph.D. is awarded on the basis of the candi-
date’s achievement in the following areas:

  • Understanding of diversity and its implications for educators
  • Analysis and development of educational policy
  • Expertise in systemic organizational change
  • Application of theory and research-based
    knowledge to the transformation of communities
  • Use of effective educational practices including tools available through technology
  • Contribution to the knowledge base in education

Students demonstrate these capabilities through coursework, 3 research tools, 3 qualifying exams, and completion of a dissertation under the supervision of a committee composed of faculty from both universities.

Students complete a minimum of 24 units at San Diego State University and 24 units at Claremont Graduate University. In consultation with faculty advisors from Claremont and San Diego State, students develop an individualized program of study appropriate to their particular interests and designed to support their attainment of the expectations intended by the program.

Proseminar and Capstone are bookend courses required at CGU. In addition, 3 research (tools) courses are required. In consultation with faculty advisors from the 2 cooperating universities, students develop an individualized program of study appropriate to their particular interests and designed to support their development.
Students are required to be enrolled at one university each semester but may take courses at both. Students can follow a variety of course taking patterns. It is advised that students begin taking classes at CGU as soon as possible.
If you are enrolled concurrently at both SDSU (home institution) and CGU (host institution). You may receive financial aid from either institution, but not from both institutions during the same semester.
Full-time graduate students can complete the program in 3 to 3.5 years. Part-time graduate students complete the program in 5 to 7 years.
Yes, it's a joint program, and the seals of both universities are imprinted on the diploma.
No. When you register for classes at San Diego State University, you pay SDSU fees. When you register at Claremont Graduate University, you pay CGU fees.