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The Faculty of Education at the University of Pennsylvania has as the primary goal for its Ph.D. program the preparation of future faculty at research universities that themselves prepare Ph.D.s. We see ourselves and our Ph.D. students as researchers, but researchers with a difference. Ours is an interdisciplinary, professional, practice-oriented field. As such, a primary responsibility of education researchers is knowledge application as well as knowledge production. As education faculty at a research university, we see the integration of educational research and practice as a distinctive model of scholarship — a model which we seek to inspire in our Ph.D. students. We are not training students just to do research, but instead to do research that makes a difference and to work on connecting that research to practice.
While our top priority is preparing our Ph.D. students to assume positions at research universities, some of our graduates will take positions at non-academic or affiliated research institutions or research-oriented government posts at the state, federal, or international level. Our goal for all our Ph.D. graduates is that they find employment, whether in the United States or internationally, in a position where research is a primary responsibility.
Our expectation is that all of our students will apply their research acumen and practical experience to address the most relevant challenges in education.