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Doctoral Program in Education

school Degree

Doctor in Education

schedule Duration

8 semesters

edit Application dates

16/08/2023 - 15/09/2023

date_range Classes start

March 2024

account_circle Modality

On-Campus

attach_money Tuition

$5.706.000 (annually)

Program Description

The Doctoral Program in Education offers a formative experience, combining theoretical and methodological courses and doctoral supervision with a thesis director. Course length is eight semesters. Upon completing the second year, students formally become Doctoral Candidates and are awarded a Master’s degree in Education Science.

The Program provides doctoral immersion and supervision at the hands of faculty members in an array of disciplines, such as teaching, didactic practices (science, mathematics, history, language, etc.), educational psychology, linguistics, statistics, philosophy of education, history of education, the economy of education, public policies, sociology of education, among others.

Years of Accreditation

  • Four years, through April 12, 2021

Program Objectives

To train Doctors of Philosophy in Education, conceived as researchers with a high capacity for reflection, knowledge generation, and evaluation of educational policies and practices, capable of conducting independent research on relevant problems of the academic field rigorously and originally.

Learning Outcomes

By the general and specific objectives of the Program, graduates of the Doctoral Program in Education will be able to:

  • Carry out independent research allowing them to generate relevant knowledge for the field of education.
  • Understand fundamental problems of the education sector, backed by theories and paradigms provided by various areas of expertise to support the improvement of educational practices and policies.
  • Discerningly appropriate new knowledge in education to develop new theoretical-practical proposals relevant to current academic needs.
  • Get involved in creating and coordinating research teams, displaying knowledge of research designs, methods, integrity, and ethics.
  • Contribute personally to the creative generation, dissemination, and communication of knowledge, through oral and written media such as publications and presentations in scientific events with a diverse audience.
  • Add to the current knowledge and understanding of trends, conceptualizations, and theories in a specific field of education.

Research Areas

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School teaching and learning 

This area develops research, training and transfer in the following areas: Discipline Literacy (Social Sciences, Language, Experimental Sciences, Mathematics), Discipline Teaching and Learning (Social Sciences, Language, Experimental Sciences, Mathematics), Cross-cutting skills for learning, Classroom interactions and practices, Information and Communication Technologies; Multi-modality, Teaching practices, Innovation and use of technology, and Academic language.

Teaching and learning in early childhood. 

This area researches, shapes, and develops transfer in the development and learning of the foundation skills of early childhood (0 to 6 years): initial literacy (reading, writing and mathematics), executive function, self-regulation, and socio-emotional development. It also studies the factors that influence them, such as social interaction, learning environments and effective pedagogical practices.

Higher education

This area researches, shapes and develops transfer in the interaction between higher education policies and institutional strategies and actions, from the perspective of access, teaching and learning, program innovation, and organizational structures.

Teacher training and professional development

This area involves research, training, and transfer in the following areas: Professional Know-How, Pedagogical Subject Knowledge, Teaching Assessment, Continuous Teacher Training, Teacher Trainer, Initial Teacher Training, Professional Practice, Reflections and Notions of Teachers, Tutoring and Mentoring.

Educational Measurement and Assessment

This area generates knowledge by using several analyses approaches (quantitative, qualitative, and mixed research methods) contributing to decision-making in the educational system. It deals with the development and validation of measurement tools, learning assessment, school processes analysis and assessment, educational programs implementation and impact assessment, among others.

Foundations and purposes of education.

This area conducts research on the foundations and purposes of education, based on understanding the human being inhabiting this world. This intention is expressed from different perspectives intertwined in every educational action, such as the intersubjective dimension of knowledge and the construction of the pedagogical space. Identifying such approaches entails the study of the following: pedagogical authority, the school’s physical and aesthetic environment, the ethical and democratic skills of teachers and students, environmental education as part of civic education, as well as school climate and violence, among others. In short, this area aims to explore questions that account for the applicability and relevance of strategic thinking in education regarding challenges of the 21st century.

Policies, equity and differences in education, leadership, and school improvement

This area consists of research development, training, and transfer with two focal points. The first one focuses on the influence of the political context, the design of public policies, and school organizations in educational quality and equity, with a particular emphasis on improvement processes and leadership impact on the various school system levels. The second one focuses on contemporary theories of inclusive education, which seek to go beyond traditional sectorization of work related to school differences, and the various identity markers (gender/sexuality, race/ethnicity, social class, age, ability, etc.).

Application Requirements

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  1. BA or MA Degree awarded by a Chilean University. In the case of having academic degrees of foreign origin, their equivalence will be governed by the provisions of the university’s General Regulations for Doctoral Studies.
  2. Certified academic and professional background that accounts for the previous education and work experience of the applicant as per the program’s education requirements.
  3. Written Statement of Purpose explaining the applicants’ interest in the program and their academic objectives to proceed with doctoral studies, including the commitments of dedication that they are subscribing.
  4. Applicants must commit full time dedication during at least the first two years of the program in activities related to doctoral training, and at least half-time until the completion and submittal of their doctoral thesis.
  5. Knowledge of the English language, enough to proficiently understand written international papers, books, documents, and databases. If applicants do not have certification, the University, through the Graduate School, will be in charge of evaluating the student and indicating the courses to be taken in order to achieve the competencies necessary to obtain the doctoral degree.
  6. At least two letters of recommendation.
  7. Certificate of the applicants’ graduation ranking or the percentile in which they were at the time of graduation, both for undergraduate and master’s degrees, if applicable.
  8. A written research proposal, consistent with the current research areas of the School, backed by a faculty member of the Doctoral program.

Graduation Requirements

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  • To have passed the study plan.
  • To have the research and original text of the thesis approved by the thesis committee, according to the Instructions for the presentation of doctoral thesis, in one of its two modalities:
    1. Conventional thesis or
    2. Thesis by compendium of publications

In addition, in order to obtain the doctoral degree, students must:

  • Have fulfilled the requirements for graduation.
  • Have spent a minimum of four semesters in the Program.
  • Have passed the thesis defense exam to obtain the doctoral degree, according to the modality for which the students have opted (conventional thesis or compendium of scientific articles).
  • Be the main author of at least one scientific article accepted in a journal indexed in the main collection of Web of Science in any quartile or SCOPUS in quartiles 1 and 2 of SJR (Scopus data), registered as a non-credit activity (EDU4062), in the case of thesis in conventional mode or, have submitted a compendium that articulates the results of at least three research articles of their authorship, one of them published and registered as a non-credit activity (EDU4062), according to the publication and indexing requirements stipulated in Article 22 of these regulations, in the case of thesis in the compendium modality.
  • Have attended a mainstream conference, registered as a non-credit activity (EDU4064) after advancement to candidacy, with an approved paper as first authors. The student’s conference affiliation should be the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile.
  • Have completed a research stay/internship abroad, registered as a non-credit activity (EDU4063) after advancement to candidacy, with teams working on topics relevant to their thesis. In duly justified cases of force majeure, the Doctoral Committee shall be empowered to analyze and consider exceptional cases, in order to waive this requirement.
  • Have passed at least three transversal skills workshops (CDP), one of which must be of an ethical nature.
  • Have accredited advanced English language proficiency at an advanced level, equivalent to the top score of the B2 band (independent user) according to the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages and in accordance with the operationalization protocol established by the Doctoral program Direction of the Office of the Vice President for Research.
  • Have carried out at least two annual follow-up activities while the students were in regular status within the Program.

In addition to the academic requirements mentioned above, at the time of applying for the degree of Doctoral program in Education, students must not be registered as a debtor of any kind with the University, must have formally submitted the corresponding copies of the final document of the doctoral thesis, including the modifications requested by the Doctoral Thesis Committee, and must have deposited them in the UC Repository in accordance with the instructions established by the UC Library System (SIBUC).

Unidades académicas

For further information, please visit the website for this Doctoral Program

For further information, please visit the website for this Doctoral Program

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