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Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics Education

A program that attracts students from around the world, the PhD in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Education offers students individually tailored programs that meet their research and leadership goals. Students are immersed in research throughout their studies and have opportunities to work with scientists, engineers and mathematicians on ground-breaking projects in the Columbus area, Ohio, the United States and across the globe.

The work towards a PhD in STEM Education was definitely challenging. From the perspective of the discipline, there was much to learn about the literature and methodologies to obtain the fundamental knowledge and skills of a mathematics education scholar. At the personal level, when seeking research interests that would be worth the endeavor of a whole career, informed guidance, opportunities to explore new ideas, and encouragement at a much needed time could not be more important. I was fortunate enough to find all the support when pursuing my degree at Ohio State. I couldn’t ask for more.
Yating Liu, PhD, 2013
Assistant Professor, Mathematics Education, Old Dominion University


Ranked among the best in the country, the PhD program in STEM Education at Ohio State University attracts students worldwide. With faculty who are both longstanding and emerging leaders in their fields, students are presented with numerous educational and research opportunities. 

PhD candidates are immersed in research from the beginning to the end of their programs as they take courses, work on funded projects and complete research apprenticeships with faculty members. They are encouraged and provided support to engage in scholarly endeavors including presenting and participating at national and international conferences and publishing in collaboration with faculty. Almost all students accepted to the doctoral program in STEM Education receive fellowships or assistantships that cover tuition and fees and provide a monthly stipend. 

The program also allows for students to collaborate with scientists, engineers and mathematicians both on and off campus – and even internationally. Easily available to STEM Education PhD candidates are opportunities for involvement in activities at the Center for Life Sciences, Mathematics Learning Center, Ohio Resource Center, Ross Program, Byrd Polar Research Center, OSU Weinland Park Center and the Engineering Education Innovation Center, to name a few.

The foundational base of the STEM Education program provides grounding in cognitive development, learning, teaching and the social contexts they occur. To this foundation are added research techniques and experiences that prepare students to pursue their own investigations in STEM education and complete courses in their own chosen specialization.

As students progress through the program, they have options to strengthen their STEM content specialties and develop their STEM education areas of specialization.  Students also develop elective cognates in areas that mesh with their PhD pathways and support their professional aspirations.

Candidates in STEM education can select courses in the departments of Teaching and Learning and Educational Studies, STEM content areas and supporting coursework such as statistics, psychology and educational technology.  The program has a commitment to urban education, equity and diversity issues and high needs schools.  STEM education students who are interested in these areas have ample opportunities to enroll in courses relevant to them.

Specialization Areas:  
Mathematics Education, Science Education, Engineering Education, Technology Education, and Integrated STEM Education

Science Education

Doctoral studies in our science education program are solidly grounded in the sciences and flexible to accommodate a broad range of prior experiences and professional aspirations.

Our program can be tailored to meet your goals, whether you seek to specialize in life science, Earth science, chemistry, or physics. Or you can develop expertise in such areas as environmental education, evolution education, astronomy education, integrated STEM education or some interdisciplinary specialty.

Science education courses include: History of Science Education; Teaching and Teacher Education: Science; Thinking, Learning and Assessment in Science Education; and The Nature of Science and Implications for Science Teaching.

Technology and Engineering Education

Doctoral studies in our technology and engineering education program provide a solid core of research and curriculum skills. Our program can be tailored to meet your goals, whether you seek to pursue a career in engineering education, technology education, integrated STEM education or some interdisciplinary specialty.

Engineering education related courses include: College Teaching in Engineering, Technology and Engineering Education Curriculum Planning; Designing Multimedia Instruction; and Concept Inventories in STEM Education.

Mathematics Education

Doctoral students in mathematics education take a set of core courses, dealing with history of mathematics education research and practice, learning, teaching, and assessment. They also select electives from other areas within and outside the College of Education and Human Ecology.

Additionally, students complete research experiences under the supervision of faculty. These research experiences not only provide doctoral students opportunities to collaborate with faculty members but also give them chances to engage in scholarly writing early in their careers. 

Mathematics education courses deal with such topics as Multiple Representations, Discourse Analysis, Connections across K-16 Curricula, Cognitively Guided Instruction, Conceptual and Procedural Knowledge, Problem Solving and Learning Progressions.

Career Paths

Students with a PhD in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics Education go on to diverse paths in their professional careers. Students pursue positions as:

  • teacher educators and researchers at universities
  • professional development specialists or coordinators in school districts or agencies
  • institutional or agency leaders involving policy decisions or program development, including many within international settings
  • faculty positions in mathematics and sciences at universities and colleges
  • leaders within informal learning centers, such as science centers, zoos, and natural history museums
  • curriculum developers
  • educational leaders in professional organizations
  • engineering educators and researchers at universities


Deadline to Apply: 
December 1
Program Start: 
Autumn semester
Prerequisites/Pre-major Requirements: 
Master’s degree. For GRE requirements, please contact TLAS at
Minimum Program Hours: 
80 (up to 30 hours can transfer)

Minimum course requirements: 2 department core courses (8 hours), 8 specialization courses (24 hours), research methods (12 hours), research apprenticeship (6 hours), dissertation (6 hours), breadth requirement (3 hours)
Other requirements: Research apprenticeship, candidacy exam, dissertation
Academic opportunities: Graduate associateships, scholarships, university fellowships

View the Curriculum Sheet


Columbus Campus Faculty

Michael Battista, PhD, EHE Distinguished Professor, Mathematics Education and STEM Convener
Patricia Brosnan, PhD, Associate Professor and Interim Associate Department Chair, Mathematics Education
Theodore Chao, PhD, Assistant Professor, Mathematics Education
Lin Ding, PhD, Associate Professor, Science Education
Azita Manouchehri, PhD, Professor, Mathematics Education
Arnulfo Perez, PhD, Assistant Professor, Mathematics Education
Paul Post, PhD, Assistant Professor, Technology and Engineering Education and STEM Convener
Mandy McCormick Smith, PhD, Assistant Professor, Science Education
Sheryl Sorby, PhD, Professor, Engineering Education
Sophia Jeong, PhD, Assistant Professor, Science Education
Ashlyn Pierson, PhD, Assistant Professor, Science Education

Regional Campus Faculty

Aina Appova, PhD, Associate Professor, Mathematics Education
Terri Bucci, PhD, Associate Professor, Mathematics Education
Diana Erchick, PhD, Professor, Mathematics Education
Hea-Jin Lee, PhD, Associate Professor, Mathematics Education