The Engineering Education (ENED) doctoral program is designed for students with a background in engineering and an interest in improving the education of engineers. Our vision of engineering education goes beyond curriculum design and pedagogy to include attracting and graduating diverse students with a well-rounded education and a desire to improve society and the environment. ENED graduates will be prepared to conduct research to study significant problems in engineering education, apply research-based instructional strategies in engineering courses, and understand policy implications for student success. The flexible and cross-disciplinary Engineering Education PhD program is designed to allow students to tailor their curriculum and research and to prepare them to achieve their goals in engineering education.

The PhD program is open to first-time graduate students as well as those who hold master’s degrees.

For more information, visit the Engineering Education PhD Program page.


Required Courses and Credits

All Engineering Education PhD students must complete a minimum of 30 credit hours of coursework at the 5000 level or higher, plus 30 credit hours of dissertation credits. Some research advisors will require that their students complete more than 30 course credits, and the department recommends that specific course decisions should be agreed upon through individual faculty/student discussions. Students must receive a minimum grade of B- (2.7) in each class to count towards the degree. Students must also maintain a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher to be in good standing with the graduate school.

Required Courses 1
Engineering or computer science technical courses9
Designated engineering education related courses. Approved courses include but are not limited to ENED and EDUC. 212
Additional relevant credit hours from engineering, education, or other fields (e.g., business, sociology, psychology)9
Total Credit Hours30

Engineering Cognate Area and Education Courses

Engineering Cognate Area
Graduate-level engineering courses at the 5000-level or higher; from departments and programs hosted in CEAS, including AREN, ASEN, BMEN, CHEN, CVEN, CSCI, ECEN, EEEN, EMEN, EVEN and MCEN.9
Education Courses
Graduate-level courses related to engineering education research and teaching at the 5000-level or higher; from EDEN, EDUC, INFO, PHYS, PSYC, SOCY, etc. For example:12
Curriculum for Multicultural Education
Teaching K-12 Mathematics: Geometry & Measurement
Teaching and Learning Computational Thinking
Education Policy and the Law
Gender Issues in Education
African American Education in the United States
Latinx Education Across the Americas
Higher Education in the United States
Psychological Foundations of Education
College Student Development and Counseling Theories
Issues and Methods in Cognitive Science
Leadership in Higher Education
Readings in Learning Sciences and Human Development
Quasi-Experimental Design in Causal Inference in Social Sciences
Theory and Practice of Educational and Psychological Measurement
Educational Evaluation
Policy Issues in Education
Seminar: Curriculum Theories
Ways of Knowing in Educational Research
An Introduction to Quantitative Methods in Educational Research
and Applied Regression Analysis
Qualitative Research Methods in Education
and Qualitative Methods II
Human Development in Cultural, Historical, and Sociopolitical Contexts
Critical Introduction to Learning Theory and Practice, Part 1
Measurement in Survey Research
Foundations of Engineering Education 1
Foundations of Engineering Education 2
Teaching Design
Special Topics in Engineering Education
Graduate Seminar in Engineering Education
ENED 7999
Doctoral Dissertation
Information Visualization
Teaching and Learning Physics
Advanced Cognitive Psychology
Thinking Proseminar
Research Design
Statistics 1: Introduction to Social Statistics
Logics of Qualitative Inquiry
Stats 2: Statistic Analysis
Qualitative Methods
Data III--Advanced Data Analysis
Qualitative Analysis
Statistical Methods and Application I
Statistical Methods and Applications II
Additional Coursework
The remaining credit hours can be related to either the engineering cognate area or education courses as described above as befits the individual student, with the approval of their faculty advisor and dissertation committee.9
Total Credit Hours30

Preliminary Examination

Satisfactory completion of a preliminary examination. Engineering Education PhD students are required to pass a preliminary examination that will include written and/or oral components, per the discretion of a group of 3 or more faculty affiliated with the ENED program in consultation with the student. This is typically completed within the first three semesters after matriculation into the program.

Comprehensive Examination

Satisfactory completion of a comprehensive examination to defend the PhD thesis proposal. The Comprehensive Examination is an important second evaluation step required to advance the student to candidacy for the PhD degree. It is typically completed within the first three years after matriculation to the program and more than one year prior to graduation. It consists of a written research proposal in addition to an oral exam with a selected committee of faculty advisors, both focusing on the proposed course of research.

PhD Dissertation

Satisfactory completion of a minimum of 30 semester hours of dissertation credits. Satisfactory completion and defense of a PhD dissertation under the supervision of a research advisor who is a CU Boulder faculty member affiliated with the ENED program. The dissertation must fulfill all Graduate School requirements. After the dissertation is completed, an oral final examination on the dissertation and related topics is conducted by the student’s doctoral committee.

Time Limit

All degree requirements for the Engineering Education PhD must be completed within six years of the date commencing coursework.