You can be successful in pursuing a Ph.D. in education when armed with a little bit of information and a solid plan. A Ph.D. in education can afford you opportunities as an instructor, researcher or educational policy maker. Knowing the process of degree completion and time frame can allow you to tackle a Ph.D. and achieve success more quickly than you might have thought.

Time Frame

According to U.C. Davis School of Education, the typical time frame for you to complete a Ph.D. in education is approximately five years. While degree programs may differ and your choice of specializations may tack on a few semesters, the time that you will take to complete the doctoral degree will be similar to that of a bachelor's degree.

Most universities do place limits on the maximum time allowed for you to finish as well. According to George Mason University, it is typical for a five-year maximum to be placed on completion of your course requirements and comprehensive assessment. An additional five years will be afforded to you for completion of the dissertation process, ultimately leading to your completion and awarding of the Ph.D. degree.

Course Requirements

Course requirements will vary depending on the university and the specific specialization that you choose; however, plan on completing a minimum of 60 credits. According to U.C. Davis School of Education, specializations may range from literacy studies to educational policy, so specific course requirements will vary. You should expect to complete courses in education research, research methodology, teaching practices, pedagogy, curriculum development and design, assessment and education policy.

Comprehensive Assessment

After you complete the course requirements, you will complete a comprehensive assessment that will measure your level of mastery of the program. The comprehensive assessment may take the form of a written or oral exam and should be completed within the first five years of enrollment in the degree program, according to George Mason University. Successful completion of the comprehensive exam is required for you to continue on to the dissertation process -- the final process in obtaining your Ph.D in education.

Dissertation Process

The dissertation process may take you up to five years, according to George Mason and U.C. Davis School of Education. For the dissertation, you will design and conduct a study related to some aspect of education. Your work must make a unique contribution to the field. You will then write a final report of the dissertation study, which is typically submitted for publication. The final part of the dissertation process will require you to defend your dissertation study before a committee. The committee will decide whether your dissertation is accepted or rejected. Once the decision to accept your dissertation is made, you will be awarded the Ph.D. in education degree.

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