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Five Reasons to (Finally) Get Your PhD in Education

Our doctoral faculty spell it out.

Why Get Your PhD?

1.  You’ll fulfill a dream.

So many of us put off our dreams. We assume that waiting another year or two will make the fulfillment of our dreams more possible. But what many professors hear from their doctoral students is, “why did I wait this long?” The exhilaration and sense of community seem to take them by surprise. They assumed it would be hard work—and yes, it is that—but it is also invigorating. Many students come in with self-doubt and end the first year filled with confidence. They discover themselves as thinkers, writers, and doers.

2.  You’ll expand your working knowledge of your educational field of interest.

Education is the very foundation of civilization, democracy, and human evolution. To understand more about its deepest workings is to contribute to an understanding of the very core of our humanness. Education, research, practice—all of which we deeply interrogate and engage in together—encompass ethical, moral, and political journeys aimed at enhancing our democracy as well as our humanity.

3.  You’ll have the opportunity to read and study in depth.

We are living in a time when facts, science, and research itself are under attack. To engage in deep study, particularly the deep study of vital democratic arenas, challenges the present-time status quo in ways nothing else can. To give yourself the gift of deep study is to give yourself the gift of a lifetime.

4.  You’ll give yourself time to research and write on a topic dear to your heart.

At Lesley, we privilege our doctoral students and all that they bring to the table. Unlike most PhD programs in education, which ask students to contribute to the research of their professors, we encourage you to engage in the dissertation research that speaks most deeply to your interests. You have a chance to make a unique contribution to the world of theory and practice on your own terms.

5.  You’ll expand your career potential.

Upon completion of an education PhD program, an extraordinarily high percentage of our students land in professional niches they most aspire to—university deans, professors, policymakers, school leaders, and foundation leaders. When it comes to post-doctoral possibilities, the sky’s the limit.

Close-up of the architectural pillars on Lesley's campus.

Education PhD Program

Lesley’s educational doctoral program is over 30 years old. In September of 1987, we admitted our first cohort of five students. Today, we have about 175 students studying in four specializations. Our last review revealed a retention rate of over 80 percent, compared to the national average of 55 percent. We have an average completion time of 6.5 years, compared to 8.3 years nationwide. And most significantly, 96 percent of our graduates became immediately employed after completing their doctorates, much higher than the nationwide average of 71 percent.

As you contemplate applying to one of our PhD programs, we invite you to ask yourself the question: “What’s the world inviting you to become?” We hope your answer is: “a scholar of educational possibility.” Come be part of our community. 

Caroline Heller, Lesley University PhD Faculty

PhD in Educational Studies Programs