Doctoral Program (PhD)

engineering students studying.

The Engineering Education PhD Program bridges education research, theory and practice in engineering disciplines across the university and trains engineers to provide innovative educational experiences through practices of experiential learning, inclusion and accessibility, and other best practices in education.


The PhD in Engineering Education program will prepare students to successfully conduct rigorous engineering education research, disseminate the results of that research to other engineering education scholars and translate their findings into classroom practice. The PhD program will provide a thorough introduction to concepts, theories, models, frameworks and pedagogies that are central to engineering education and learning. It will equip students to use a variety of qualitative and quantitative research methods and apply them in their selected area of specialization as they develop their engineering education scholarship and expertise.

Program Director

Adrienne Decker
140C Capen Hall
(716) 645-8963

Learning Outcomes

By the completion of the PhD degree program, students are expected to demonstrate the following primary student learning outcomes:

  • Explain the foundations and describe the history of engineering educational practices.
  • Cite and describe research and theory that establish best practices in engineering education.
  • Identify and implement best practices for instruction and assessment in the classroom in the context of typical types of engineering courses.
  • Read, design and conduct research leading to deeper understanding and innovative utilization of existing knowledge and creation of new knowledge in the field of engineering education.
  • Describe and assess critical issues of accessibility, inclusion and diversity in engineering education from the perspectives of student learning and persistence and the overall engineering education enterprise.
  • Describe and explain graduate-level topics in an engineering content area such as biomedical, chemical and biological, civil, structural, environmental, computer, electrical, industrial, mechanical and aerospace engineering.


Students in the PhD program will be required to complete 72 credit hours (up to 30 hours may be research credits). The curriculum is designed around three focus areas:

  • DEE Foundational Courses
  • Core Engineering Courses: Four courses (12 credits) at the 500 level in an engineering field
  • Theory Course: One course in either learning theory, educational psychology or sociological foundation of education
  • GSE Research Methods Courses
  • Electives from pre-approved courses

Course Overview

Course Subject Credits  
DEE 501* Foundations of Engineering Education 3 Required Minimum of 72 Credits Total
DEE 502* Equity and Inclusion in Engineering Education 3
DEE 504* Introduction to Research in Engineering Education 3
Approved Course Sequence Research Methods 6
Approved Course Sequence Learning Theory, Educational Psychology or Socioligical Foundation of Education 3
DEE 695, 698 and/or 699* Dissertation/Project/Research 12 to 30
Approved Course Sequence Engineering Courses other than DEE 12
  Elective Coursework 12 to 30

* Courses with a DEE prefix do not prepare students to become professional engineers. The PhD in Engineering Education is not a licensure-leading engineering degree program. It does not prepare its graduates for the NYS professional engineering licensure exam. The MS in Engineering Education is not a licensure-leading engineering degree program. 

Employment Opportunities with an Engineering Education PhD

  • Faculty in a department of engineering education
  • Faculty in an engineering department as a discipline based education research faculty member
  • Teaching faculty in engineering at the college level
  • Director of training for corporations, foundations, etc.
  • Policymaker or public servant
  • Staff at a university or college of engineering
  • Director of engineering diversity, equity and inclusion programs
  • Many other jobs that require the thoughtful coordination of engineering and education


Prospective students with a bachelor’s degree in engineering (minimum GPA of 3.0) are invited to apply. The GRE is not required. Admission to the program must be done online via the online Application Management System.

Application Materials

No physical documents should be sent to our office. Everything should be sent electronically and uploaded via the application portal.