This program leads to a Ph.D. in Teaching and Learning, Policy and Leadership with a specialization in Teacher Education and Professional Development. The Teacher Education and Professional Development specialization is designed to prepare students to become scholars in teacher learning and development. Courses examine research on varying approaches to teacher preparation; explore connections among teacher development, student learning, teacher leadership, curriculum, and school improvement; and analyze the broader socio-political context in which teacher education and professional development programs are embedded. Students explore the pedagogies used in different subject areas and in preparing teachers for ELs or special needs students with a particular focus on culturally relevant teaching at different school levels. Scholarship on teacher learning for under-served populations in urban schools is a strong focus of courses and faculty research. 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 learning organizations. To complement program requirements, students work with their advisors to select a cluster of courses to their specific interests. These courses might be from other specializations within the department: 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 (301) 405-3118 or

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

Financial assistance for graduate study is generally divided into two categories: 

  • Merit-Based Assistance and Need-Based Assistance  
    • Fellowships and Scholarships Loans  
    • Graduate Assistantships 

For more details about the various types of financial assistance offered by the campus please visit the Office of Student Financial Aid 

There are also a number of fellowships and scholarships offered through the College of Education, the University, and through external sources which may provide tuition support and/or living allowance. Students must apply for these awards on their own, but the links that follow provide valuable information on searching for fellowships and scholarships. 

For more information concerning fellowships and scholarships, please visit: 

The College of Education Financial Aid & Scholarship webpage

The University's Scholarships webpage, and 

The Graduate School Student Fellowships & Awards webpage

Applicants are encouraged to contact the Hobson’s online application’s helpdesk for any technical issues.  

For questions related to the admissions process, prospective students may contact  Kay Moon, TLPL Graduate Coordinator, at (301) 405-3118 or For program-specific questions, prospective students may contact Dr. Donna Wiseman at