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K-12 Studies in Education Specialization Doctor of Philosophy in Education

School of Education

Lead the Way for Academic Success

Let your love for teaching help raise education to a higher level. Capella’s online PhD in Education, K-12 Studies in Education degree is designed for professionals who want to excel as scholar-practitioners. You’ll gain research-based capabilities to help you assimilate new knowledge and apply it in educational settings. In addition to core learning in areas of teacher leadership, instructional strategies, and learning theory, you'll be able to customize your program by choosing coursework and research topics relevant to your current position or career aspirations.

At a Glance

  • Online & In Person
  • 6 Core Courses
  • 6 Specialization Courses
  • 5 Elective Courses
  • 3 Residencies
  • Comprehensive Exam
  • Dissertation

Classes Start November 5th

Ready to get started? We’re ready for you. Chat with an enrollment counselor or apply now to take the first step on the journey toward your future.

Admission Requirements » | $50 Application Fee

What You’ll Learn

Create Effective Learning Environments

Gain a deep understanding of subject matter, its place within the discipline, and its connection to other disciplines.

Advance Teaching Methods

Use multiple models of instruction, resources, management, and teaching strategies to meet the needs of and engage a diverse population of students.

Incorporate Data Analysis

Use data, especially about students, to plan instructional, administrative, counseling, or consultative strategies and activities.

Conduct Field-Based Research

Apply theory, research, and best practices to improve your practice as a teacher, administrator, counselor, or school psychologist.

Communicate Effectively

Write and speak clearly to communicate appropriately with students, their families, and other professionals.

Collaborate Effectively

Engage in critical thinking, analysis, and problem-solving that reflect intellectual standards and incorporate sound reasoning.

Program Features

Our program offers additional benefits you might be interested in.

Become a Scholar-Practitioner

Gain advanced skills in critical thinking, problem-solving, and research.

NCATE Accredited

This program is part of Capella University’s Education Preparation Provider (EPP) Unit, which is accredited based on the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) standards for a period of eight years, from 10/22/2010 to 12/31/2018.

Cost & Learning Format

Online education isn’t one size fits all. We know you’re busy—you need a learning experience tailored to your life, not the other way around. Capella has learning and tuition formats to suit you, however you learn. 

Our original learning format offers extra structure for those who want it.  We'll set the schedule, you meet the deadlines. 

  • Based on the quarter system; 1-3 courses per 10-week quarter
  • 1 semester credit = 1.5 quarter credits
  • Weekly assignments and courseroom discussions
  • Pay for what you take, price varies by courseload or term
$730 per credit, 92 total quarter credits, 16 max transfer credits

Ways to Save

At Capella, we believe your education is an investment in your future. It’s also an investment within your grasp. Your goals are achievable—there are more ways to save than you might think. 

Transfer Credits

We can accept many transfer credits from regionally accredited schools. 


Grants are federal education funds that never need to be paid back. 

Federal Work Study

This program provides part-time jobs to reduce your loan debt amounts. Talk to an enrollment counselor to learn more.

Accredited & Respected

Capella University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Accreditation and recognitions provide the assurance we meet standards for quality of faculty, curriculum, learner services, and fiscal stability. See all of our accreditations and recognitions

Sample Courses

Our PhD in Education, K-12 Studies in Education coursework includes advanced research, educational philosophy, advanced learning theory, and K-12 history and politics. Personalize your program with electives in such areas as adult learning, math, science, leadership, and assessment strategies.

Dissertation Research Seminar

Allows you to work extensively on your dissertation topic, methodology, literature review, and research plan from the beginning of your program. 

Support to Reach the Finish Line

Our doctoral curriculum is designed to give you dedicated support early in your program—so you can be confident in the steps to completing your degree.

Dissertation Mentors

During your dissertation, you’ll be matched with an experienced mentor who will help you stay on track to completing your degree.

Some of the courses you will take:

Course Number Course Title
ED7818 The Future of Teaching and Learning: Issues for the Educational Leader
ED8515 Advanced Action Research for Teacher-Leaders
ED8502 Advanced Learning Theory and Instructional Practice
ED7014 Leading Diverse Schools

Faculty & Support

You’re never going it alone at Capella. Our dedicated faculty and support teams are waiting to guide, help, and advise you through every step of your educational journey.

Enrollment Counselors

These folks are superstars. We hear it from our students (and grads). They’re here to help find a program fit and set you up for success.  


Our distinguished faculty members hold top credentials in their fields. They’re here to teach the knowledge and skills you’ll need, now.

Writing Support

These skilled communicators offer free tutoring services and multiple resources to sharpen your writing skills.

Doctoral Advising

A doctoral degree takes special effort. It's why we offer expert support at every step to keep you moving forward toward your goal.

Relevant Blog Posts

5 Reasons to Incorporate Technology into Your Classroom

Find out how technology engages active learners, facilitates collaboration, and helps teachers succeed.

Move Forward in Your Career

Here are just some of the career options you could explore with our online K-12 studies in education doctoral degree.

Related Job Titles to Explore*

  • Adjunct or part-time faculty
  • Educational consultant
  • Full-time faculty
  • K-12 alternative school teacher
  • K-12 teacher
  • K-12 vocational teacher
  • School curriculum coach

Related Employment Settings to Explore

  • Alternative school
  • Charter school
  • Community college
  • Federal department of education agency
  • K-12 public or private school
  • K-12 vocational school
  • Land-based or online college or university
  • Regional service center
  • School district office
  • State department of education agency

*These are examples intended to serve as a general guide. Some positions may prefer or even require previous experience, licensure, certifications, and/or other designations along with a degree. Because many factors determine what position an individual may attain, Capella cannot guarantee that a graduate will secure any specific job title, a promotion, salary increase, or other career outcome. We encourage you to research requirements for your job target and career goals.

Other Programs to Explore

Is this program close to what you need, but maybe not a perfect fit? The programs below might be interesting. Check them out to find one that suits your academic and professional goals. 

Ready for the Next Step?

Learning online doesn't mean going it alone. Help is here. From faculty, coaches, advisors, and more. Plus a supportive community of students who are as passionate about their careers as you are about yours.