Contemporary Learning and Interdisciplinary Research, PhD

NYSED 35223

Through interdisciplinary teaching, learning, and research, the PhD program in Contemporary Learning and Interdisciplinary Research (CLAIR) is committed to finding innovative solutions that address the multifaceted challenges of education in a technologically complex, globalized world. Guided by the belief that education should be transformative, this unique program fosters ethical, versatile, and collaborative scholars who embrace multiple paradigms of inquiry to understand and improve contemporary learning environments. The PhD program in CLAIR follows Fordham University’s Jesuit tradition of rigorous academic endeavor, service to complex urban and metropolitan communities, and dedication to the intellectual, moral, and socioemotional development of the individual. CLAIR epitomizes the Graduate School of Education’s mission to create and nurture an inclusive, dynamic, intellectual, and reflective community that generates knowledge and promotes inquiry and excellence.

CLAIR includes a research core that engages students in authentic research. Through the perspective of multiple paradigms and the use of multiple methodologies, research teams of University faculty and CLAIR students generate new knowledge, test hypotheses, and solve problems related to contemporary learning. 

Graduates of the program are prepared for a variety of roles, including instructional leader, teacher educator, program evaluator, educational researcher, academician, diversity trainer/multicultural educator, and industry professional designing educational materials, curriculum, and assessments.

Matriculation Requirements

Doctoral students are not fully matriculated until they have successfully completed the initial phase of the program. During the semester in which provisional doctoral students expect to complete their 12th to 15th credits of doctoral work, they must obtain permanent matriculation status. In CLAIR, the review is conducted after students have completed at least one course in the research core and at least 15 credits. CLAIR faculty evaluate each student’s portfolio to determine whether permanent matriculation will be granted. Candidates for matriculation must

  • complete at least one course in the research core and 15 credits;
  • hold a 3.7 or higher GPA in CLAIR coursework at the time of review;
  • receive satisfactory evaluations from course instructors on a knowledge, skills, and dispositions assessment;
  • demonstrate competence in APA style;
  • submit an updated personal statement related to research in contemporary learning; and
  • submit a course plan, a specialization focus, and a request for a research mentor.

Applicants seeking admission to the PhD program in CLAIR must meet the general requirements for admission to doctoral study in the Graduate School of Education and these specific requirements:

  • Master’s Degree: Applicants must have a master’s degree from an accredited college or university with a major or concentration in an appropriate field. To qualify for doctoral program, applicants must have earned a minimum graduate cumulative GPA of approximately 3.5 (B+).
  • Graduate Record Examination (GRE)/Miller Analogies Test (MAT): Applicants are required to submit scores, not older than five years, from either the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) or the Miller Analogies Test (MAT). Information about the Graduate Record Examination is available at the Educational Testing Service Graduate Record Examination website at gre.org. Information about the Miller Analogies Test is available from its website at milleranalogies.com.
  • Personal and Professional Goals Appropriate to Program: Applicants must submit a personal statement as part of their application to the program.
  • Academic/Professional References: A minimum of two references are required with the application. The purpose of these references is to establish suitability for doctoral study in this program. Therefore, references should be from persons qualified to assess academic and professional potential. References who can speak to the applicant’s research interests and abilities are also encouraged.
  • Interview: An in-person, phone, or virtual interview will be required.
  • Academic Writing Samples: Applicants are required to submit one academic writing sample with their application.

Students are admitted to the doctoral program on a provisional basis, and their progress is monitored through the matriculation review process and through periodic review by their mentor, adviser, the CLAIR director, and CLAIR faculty.

Program of Study

All students in CLAIR are required to complete 45 credits of coursework prior to achieving candidacy (i.e., beginning dissertation work), which includes a research core, a contemporary learning core, a specialization core, and electives. Specializations are defined with the CLAIR advisor in order to develop content knowledge in a particular field.

Electives must be taken within the CLAIR program or be approved by CLAIR advisers. Students are required to complete an independent research project (Capstone Project) that serves as a comprehensive assessment and the final gateway to doctoral candidacy. Once students achieve candidacy, they are also required to enroll in Dissertation Seminar, which is credit bearing (3 credits/semester enrolled), until they successfully defend the dissertation. The coursework requirements are as follows:

CourseTitleCredits
Research Core
Foundations of Interdisciplinary. Research I & II6
Critique of Research3
Advanced Seminar in Interdisciplinary Research I, II, & III3
Advanced Qualitative Methods3
Advanced Quantitative Methods3
Contemporary Learning Core
Sociopolitical Dimensions of Education3
Specialization
Courses that count toward specialization are selected in consultation with the academic adviser as the student defines the area of focus. Courses may be taken from any GSE division with approval from adviser. (minimum 12 credits)12
Cognates and Electives
Cognates include courses outside of specialization and can be taken from GSE or university courses, research modules, or internship offerings. Students may also take elective courses that enhance an interdisciplinary specialization or focus on research methodology. Courses may be taken from any GSE division or university department with approval from adviser.12
Capstone Project
Must be enrolled for three consecutive semesters. The Capstone Project carries a one-time fee and is non-credit bearing.0
Dissertation Seminar
Must be enrolled for duration of dissertation phase until successfully defended (3 credits every semester enrolled).
Total Credits45

Completion Requirements

To complete the Doctor of Philosophy degree in Contemporary Learning and Interdisciplinary Research (CLAIR), students must meet the GSE general degree completion requirements and these specific program requirements:

  • complete the prescribed program of study, including a minimum of 45 credits (beyond the master’s degree) taken at Fordham Graduate School of Education, under the direction and approval of an adviser
  • maintain a minimum overall graduate GPA of 3.5 (B+ or better)
  • complete and defend a one-year independent, capstone research project (3 consecutive semesters)
  • develop and defend an original dissertation related to contemporary learning and interdisciplinary research with approval of the CLAIR faculty