Doctoral Degrees


PhD in Curriculum & Instruction

The PhD in Curriculum & Instruction is structured to support interdisciplinary studies and individualization for researchers and practitioners. Individuals interested in pursuing a PhD with a specialization should consult one of the program’s faculty members.

The academic course plan for each student is developed in consultation with and approved by the student’s graduate advisory committee. The committee includes the student’s major advisor and at least two additional members of the graduate faculty.

Specializations are available in the following areas:

Curriculum Studies

The specialization in Curriculum Studies is for those who seek academic careers such as researchers or university faculty; leadership positions in educational policy, local or state agencies; or curriculum positions in schools or community learning environments.

Early Childhood Education

The specialization in Early Childhood Education is designed to support advanced study for certified teachers in early childhood education and development and individualization for researchers and practitioners. Students will gain a theoretical and practical understanding of child development, evidenced-based interventions and pedagogy specific to young children, and research and evaluation skills necessary for evaluating the effectiveness of instruction.

English Education

The specialization in English Education prepares students to become national leaders in the field of English education as tenure-track faculty at research universities and teaching colleges, as well as secondary English language arts curriculum specialists for school districts, state and federal departments of education, and private education agencies.

Gifted Education

The specialization in Gift Education offers mentorship and coursework that is based upon Louisiana certification requirements and nationally adopted standards for graduate programs in this field. Successful completion prepares graduate students for classroom teaching, district administration, and high level scholarly research.

Literacy Education

The specialization in Literacy Education is committed to furthering knowledge in literacy and literacy education. Students construct an individualized program of study based on their areas of interest, to develop their understanding and expertise in particular aspects of the field.

Math Education

The specialization in Mathematics Education develops scholars who study teaching, learning, and assessment in mathematics kindergarten through college. The program prepares these scholars to act as stewards of the field of mathematics education, with all its complexity and diversity.

Science Education

The specialization in Science Education is designed to prepare students for leadership in science education. The program includes advanced preparation in science to develop both breadth and depth in science subject matter background. Preparation in research methods in science education, as well as study of recent developments in the broad field of professional education, is included in the program. 

Special Education

The specialization in Special Education prepares leaders with commitments to inclusive education, and who can bring systemic change to educational and community settings specifically focused on issues of access, inclusion, and equity for children and youth (birth-21) with disabilities and their families.

The PhD program in Educational Leadership & Research is designed to meet the professional and personal needs of educational leaders in school districts, higher education institutions, and non-governmental organizations through rigorous coursework. This innovative program combines challenging coursework with collaborative faculty-student research labs to prepare students for successful completion of a dissertation and professional application of leadership, research, and policy skills and knowledge.

Specializations are available in the following areas:

Educational Research Methodology

The specialization in Educational Research Methodology prepares research methods professionals for positions in K-12, higher education, government agencies, research centers and other settings in which expertise in research methods is required. Graduates hold positions as research scientists, evaluators, statisticians, etc. Many pursue careers as faculty in research extensive or teaching universities.

Higher Education Administration

The specialization in Higher Education prepares scholar-practitioners for leadership in colleges and universities as administrators and scholars. Through an examination of higher education theory and practice, the program helps students understand the diverse nature of higher education institutions and their participants. With this understanding, graduates are expected to develop individualized styles of leadership that encompass educational excellence, respect for others, and contextualized practices.

P-12 Educational Leadership

The specialization in P-12 Educational Leadership is designed to further develop the capacity of educational leaders for the diverse and evolving needs of PK-12 educational environments. The program engages students in relevant, demanding curriculum focused on leadership capacity. The program involves high levels of academic rigor, with a relentless commitment to social justice education, and a unique programmatic focus on literacy leadership.


PhD in Kinesiology

Specializations are available in the following areas:

Exercise Physiology

The specialization in Exercise Physiology is a broad, theory-based program with an emphasis on the physiological responses to acute exercise and the adaptations that occur with training that will prepare students for teaching and research careers in exercise physiology in universities, industry, the military, and research institutes. Students, along with the faculty, conduct research that examines the relationship between the histochemical and mechanical properties of skeletal muscle, the role of exercise on mitochondrial function and mitochondrial DNA damage, and the relationship between exercise, inflammatory proteins, and cardiovascular disease. Additionally, focus is given to applied programs that include the influence of ergogenic aids on muscle function and athletic performance, the acute and chronic responses of the cardiorespiratory systems to exercise, the influence of exercise on substrate utilization, and the molecular/biochemical role of exercise in the prevention of chronic disease. 

Motor Behavior

Engaging in research focused on the learning and performance of coordinated movement, the Motor Behavior specialization also prepares students for careers as practitioners, researchers, and scholars.

Pedagogy & Psychological Sciences

The specialization in pedagogy and psychological sciences prepares candidates for successful careers in higher education as well as a broad range of professional positions involving knowledge of research and program development. The program focuses on factors that influence teaching and learning in a broad range of physical activity settings, acquires and advances knowledge regarding the social-cognitive determinants of physical activity and exercise.

Leadership & Human Resource Development

PhD in Leadership & Human Resource Development

The PhD in Leadership & Human Resource Development offers a research-oriented, broad-based program of study that can be modified to fit student interests. The program is strongly grounded in leadership, human resource and organization development, and change management theory. The curriculum is focused on foundational and advanced theory and evidence-based practice to ensure relevance in today's challenging organizational environments.

Because human resource, organization and leadership development are applied fields, the goal of the program is to develop highly skilled and innovative researchers and scholar-practitioners. This effectively prepares students for a wide range of careers ranging from academicians at leading educational institutions, professional consultants, human resource and organization development leaders, and other careers in which advanced research, analytical, and organization change capabilities are required. Recent alumni are employed as tenured or tenure-track faculty, organizational change agents, workforce development consultants, and human resource development/training and development directors.

Social Work

PhD in Social Work

The LSU School of Social Work believes that doctoral education in Social Work must involve first and foremost a passionate commitment to learning, and a specific commitment to the pursuit of new knowledge that can improve the lives of our client populations. The PhD Program prepares the next generation of social work educators, researchers, administrators, and policy-makers to contribute to the creation of the knowledge base of our profession.

Master of Social Work / Juris Doctor Dual Degree Program

The LSU School of Social Work and the LSU Law Center offer a concurrent degree program through which a student may receive both a Juris Doctor (JD) and a Master of Social Work (MSW) degree.  Students successfully completing the concurrent degree program receive two separate degrees: a JD awarded by the Law Center and a MSW awarded by the School of Social Work. Although the two programs remain independent, the concurrent program accelerates the completion of both degrees because of each school’s recognition of credit hours earned for course work completed in the other program.  The Law Center accepts 9 credit hours completed in the School of Social Work as elective credits toward the JD degree and the School of Social Work accepts 9 credit hours completed in the Law Center as elective credits toward the MSW.  The recognition of concurrent credit allows students to earn both degrees in approximately four years of full-time study (including summers). This degree program is only for campus based students. 

Sport Management

PhD in Kinesiology

Sport Management Concentration

The Sport Management concentration at the Louisiana State University is offered by the School of Kinesiology as a degree program which focuses on developing a variety of academic skills to help students become successful in academic and/or scholarly endeavors. Students accepted into the program will receive training toward careers in academia or professional positions of similar or related career fields. Specifically, students will be provided the opportunity to receive and demonstrate critical thinking and research skills through an interdisciplinary approach which centers on the student’s research interests and career ambitions. Building on a foundation of sport management courses, independent studies, and mentoring opportunities with the program’s faculty members, students will, through elective coursework (i.e., cognate area) explore a wide variety of management issues related to the field of sport. Such interests may include areas related to Organizational Behavior and Theory, Facility Management, Law and Legal Applications, Finance and Accounting, Economics, History, and Social Issues to name a few.