Contemporary Learning and Interdisciplinary Research (Ph.D.)

45 credits

NYSED 35223

Through interdisciplinary teaching, learning, and research, the Ph.D. 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 Ph.D. 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 3.5 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.

13.9999 - Education, Other.

You can use the CIP code to learn more about career paths associated with this field of study and, for international students, possible post-graduation visa extensions. Learn more about CIP codes and other information resources.

Applicants seeking admission to the Ph.D. 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): Applicants are required to submit scores, not older than five years, from the Graduate Record Examination (GRE). Information about the Graduate Record Examination is available at the Educational Testing Service Graduate Record Examination website at
  • 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.

Note: The CLAIR program is temporarily no longer accepting new applications.

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:

Course Title Credits
Research Core
PSGE 7681Quantitative Research Methods in Psychology and Education I3
PSGE 7682Quantitative Research Methods in Psychology and Education II3
PSGE 7683Qualitative and Single Case Design Research Methods I3
PSGE 7684Qualitative and Single Case Design Research Methods II3
CTGE 6191Critique of Research 3
CLGE 6107CLAIR Proseminar3
Contemporary Learning Core
CTGE 6810Sociopolitical Dimensions of Education3
Any three of the following courses:9
Cognition and Instruction I: Foundations and Basic Processes
Becoming Leaders of Contemporary Learning
Psychology of Media
Structural, Philosophical and Psychological Examinations of Argument
Applied Experience
CLGE 7175Internship in Contemporary Learning and Interdisciplinary Research 13
External course outside of GSE in other units of the University3
Research or content courses selected in consultation with advisor 29
Capstone Project
CLGE 8001
CLGE 8002
Capstone Research Project
and Capstone Research Project 3
Dissertation Seminar
(Not counted towards overall credits for degree.)
Dissertation Seminar: Contemporary Learning and Interdisciplinary Research
Dissertation Seminar: Contemporary Learning and Interdisciplinary Research
Must be enrolled for duration of dissertation phase until successfully defended (3 credits every semester enrolled).
Degree Milestones
CLGE 0900Permanent Matriculation0
CLGE 0999CLAIR Proposal Acceptance0
EDGE 0990Dissertation Oral Defense0
EDGE 0999Dissertation Format Review0
Total Credits45

Students may fulfill this requirement with a combination of 1, 2, and 3-credit internship courses. Students must earn 3 credits of CLGE 7175 Internship in Contemporary Learning and Interdisciplinary Research to complete this requirement.


Students may apply up to three additional credits of CLGE 7175 Internship in Contemporary Learning and Interdisciplinary Research to this requirement, for a total of no more than 6 credits of CLGE 7175.


Students take CLGE 8001 Capstone Research Project for their first semester of Capstone, and then take CLGE 8002 Capstone Research Project at least two subsequent times, until they complete it. To successfully complete this requirement, students must earn a grade of "S" (Satisfactory) in the final time they take CLGE 8002 Capstone Research Project.

Depending on their academic background, some students may be encouraged by Program Director to take CLGE 6106 Academic Writing, which will count towards the credits required for the degree.

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