This program leads to a Ph.D. in Teaching and Learning, Policy and Leadership with a specialization in Teacher Education and Professional Development (TEPD). The Teacher Education and Professional Development specialization is prepares students to become scholars in teacher learning and development.

Courses examine:

  • research on approaches to teacher preparation;
  • connections among teacher development, student learning, teacher leadership, curriculum, and school improvement;
  • broader socio-political contexts in which TEPD programs are embedded;
  • pedagogies used in different subject areas and in preparing teachers for multilingual or special needs students; and
  • scholarship on teacher learning for under-served populations in urban schools.

Graduates go on to be researchers, teacher educators, and change agents who forge innovative directions in the education of teachers for universities, state departments of education, school districts, and other research and learning organizations. 

To complement program requirements, students work with their advisors to select a cluster of courses specific to their interests. These courses might be from other specializations within the department, including:

  • minority and urban education;
  • technology, learning and leadership;
  • language, literacy and social inquiry;
  • education policy and leadership; or
  • mathematics and science education.

Courses may also come from other areas of study such as international education, sociology, urban studies, or women’s studies.

For information on graduate admission please see the Graduate School's Admissions page for the Department of Teaching, Learning, Policy and Leadership at We accept both full-time and part-time doctoral students.

Select an area of interest from the various offerings in the College of Education to determine the admission requirements and deadlines. 

Applicants who wish to apply to the Ph.D. program with specialization in Teacher Education and Professional development should select Teaching and Learning, Policy and Leadership (TLPL) as their “Intended Program of Study.” Special consideration is given to candidates who have PK-12 teaching experience and/or who have led professional development programs or activities in schools, school systems and other learning organizations.

Please refer to the Guide to Applying for instructions on how to apply for graduate admission. If you have questions or concerns, we ask you to first review our list of  Frequently Asked Questions.  International applicants should visit the International admissions webpage for additional information.

For questions about the application process, or to check on the completion of your application please contact Kay Moon, TLPL Graduate Coordinator, at (301) 405-3118 or

For questions related to the admissions process, prospective students may contact  Kay Moon, TLPL Graduate Coordinator, at

For academic advising on the Ph.D. in Teacher Education and Professional Development, please contact Dr. Donna Wiseman at

The program provides competitive financial support packages for all full-time students.

For questions related to the admissions process, students may contact  Kay Moon, TLPL Graduate Coordinator, at

For program-specific questions, prospective students may contact Dr. Donna Wiseman at