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

For TLPL advising information, please contact Kay Moon, TLPL Graduate Coordinator, at

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

The doctoral curriculum typically requires at least three years of graduate study beyond the master’s degree. Most students admitted to the doctoral program already have a master’s degree. If a student does not have a master’s degree, an advisor develops an individualized plan that aligns master’s level and doctoral level coursework for the student. Students are expected to integrate into the campus scholarly community, and to be available on a full-time basis.   

Integrated Department Core: All new TLPL PhD students join a two course sequence (6 semester hours) in foundations of inquiry and practice with other department specialization students from Education Policy and Leadership, Language, Literacy and Social Inquiry, Mathematics and Science Education, Minority and Urban Education, Teacher Education and Professional Development, and Technology, Learning and Leadership.  

Specialization Core: Candidates take at least 6 semester hoursin TEPD. An additional 24 semester hours (typically eight courses) is selected in consultation with the advisor. These courses generally take the form of doctoral seminars taught by program faculty and may include doctoral level courses from other departments.

Intermediate and Advanced Methods: Students are required to take at least 12 credit hours of research methods courses, including one qualitative and one quantitative methods course. Students may take research methods courses in TLPL, Human Development and Quantitative Methods (HDQM), or other academic departments. 

Doctoral Seminars: Doctoral students in TEPD may enrol in a one-credit seminar with other students in their area of focus to explore topics of interest with faculty and other students, develop their knowledge of the field, explore policy issues that pertain to the field, and apprentice into the broader research community.

Specialization in Teacher Education and Professional Development 

I.  TLPL Department Core (6 cr) 

  • TLPL 794: Foundations of Education Inquiry: Core I 
  • TLPL 795: Foundations of Education Inquiry: Core II 

II.  Intermediate & Advanced Methods (12 cr)

Example courses:

  • TLPL 790: Seminar in Mixed Methods Research in Education
  • TLPL 791: Qualitative Research I: Design and Fieldwork 
  • TLPL 792: Qualitative Research II: Analysis and Interpretation of Data 
  • TLPL 860: Seminar on Case Study Methods 
  • TLPL 762: Phenomenological Inquiry I 
  • TLPL 763: Phenomenological Inquiry II 
  • EDMS 646: Quantitative Analysis II 
  • EDMS 651: Applied Regression Analysis 
  • EDMS 657:: Factor Analysis 
  • EDMS 722: Structural Modeling 
  • TLPL 765: Quantitative Applications for Education Policy Analysis 
  • TLPL 788 X: Special Topics in Education: Cost Analysis 
  • SURV 699K: Multilevel Analysis of Survey Data 

III.  Specialization Credits (30 cr) 

Specialization Core (6 cr) 
  • TLPL 772: Teaching, Professional Development, and School Change 
  • TLPL 788: Pedagogy of Teacher Education
Electives (24 cr) 

Students work with their advisor to develop a program of study that includes at least one teacher education-focused course in another TLPL specialization, or another department in the College of Education.


IV.  Dissertation Research (12 cr)

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

Deadlines vary by degree and program.  Please refer to the Graduate School's application information.


Graduate students in the College of Education are responsible for meeting University and the Graduate School policy, and for meeting Program requirements.  See the Graduate Catalog and Graduate Policies governing graduate education at the University of Maryland. The schedule adjustment policy is available from the Office of the Registrar and provides information on adding and dropping courses, penalties, and refund schedules.


Graduate students are required to submit various forms at specific points in the program and as part of the degree clearance process. Please refer to Steps Toward Graduation to determine the steps and forms that are required. To access forms used by graduate students visit the Graduate Studies Forms page in Student Services.