Doctor of Philosophy in Education (PhD)


The PhD is an academic, research degree designed especially for Christian educational administrators, teacher educators, and faculty members serving at the tertiary level. It is accredited by the Adventist Accrediting Association (AAA) and by the Philippine Accrediting Association of Schools, Colleges, and Universities (PAASCU) at Level III.

The program emphasizes the knowledge and skills needed by educational leaders. It incorporates a research orientation and is intended to prepare students for effective decision-making, enabling them to become positive change agents in their institutions. A solid foundation in Adventist educational philosophy prepares students for leadership positions through which they can exert an influence on the future of Christian educational systems.

The PhD program is offered with specialization in the areas of Curriculum and Instruction and Educational Administration. The available cognates for the PhD degree are Curriculum and Instruction, Educational Administration, and TESOL. A customized cognate is also available for those who have a particular area of interest. See more about customized cognate in the PhD curriculum section.

Estimated completion time for the PhD program is approximately 39 months (approximately 24 months for coursework beyond the MA in Education, 3 months to prepare for the comprehensive examination, and approximately 12 months for the PhD dissertation). Prerequisites will increase this estimate.

PhD in Education Essential Learning Points PhD in Education Curriculum and Instruction Competencies PhD in Education Educational Administration Competencies
  • Demonstrates sustained selfless service in the community and society at large
  • Demonstrates sustained selfless service in the community and society at large
  • Initiates opportunities for holistic curricular and instructional leadership growth and change
  • Engages in critical reflection on, and evaluation of, leadership theories and practices to effectively lead in one’s professional and personal sphere of influence

  • Modifies and/or develops leadership models that facilitate growth and change in people and institutions through a sustainable process
  • Produces scholarly outputs that advance knowledge and practices in curriculum and instruction

  • Integrates research-based practices and innovations in curriculum and instruction
  • Produces scholarly outputs that advance knowledge and practices in educational leadership and management

  • Makes significant contribution in educational leadership and management by integrating research-based, theory-driven practices and innovations
Global Perspective
  • Contextualizes inclusive teaching and curriculum and instructional practices
  • Adapts and/or creates models to promote understanding across cultures

  • Builds collaboration among intercultural groups to achieve shared leadership imperatives
  • Exhibits creative and critical thinking skills in curriculum preparation and teaching practices within a Christian perspective
  • Comprehends and applies eternal principles for decision-making in all aspects of life

  • Exhibits creative and critical thinking skills using a formal taxonomy
  • Amalgamates innovative curricular, instructional, and research tools in professional communication

  • Makes significant contributions leading to change through synergy among professional communities
  • Applies innovative communication skills to create unity and increase commitment among stakeholders and strategically uses current technologies where appropriate
  • Models the character of Christ through effective integration of faith, learning, and life
  • Models the character of Christ through effective integration of faith, learning, and life

When to Begin

The best time to start their program is at the beginning of the first semester (August) or at the beginning of the second semester (January) in order to avoid scheduling problems and a delay in the completion of the program.


Admission Requirements

  1. An MA in Education degree or its equivalent (a minimum of 36 semester hours required), with a minimum GPA of 3.50 (on a four-point scale). A prospective student who does not meet the entry-level GPA requirement may be admitted on scholastic probation and given opportunity to meet this requirement by earning a 3.50 GPA at AIIAS during the first 12 semester hours. Alternatively, an applicant with a master’s degree in another discipline can meet entry requirements through an EdS program at AIIAS, with a GPA greater than 3.50. Credit transfer from an AIIAS EdS to an AIIAS PhD does not have the normal limitations, regardless of whether the EdS was completed or abandoned. For an AIIAS PhD, an EdS from outside AIIAS would be subject to the 25% transfer rule, just as for any other program.
  2. Demonstrated English proficiency (see p. 22).
  3. Provide a statement (500-750 words), (a) describing why the applicant desires to pursue a PhD in Education at AIIAS, and (b) the topic or topics they would like to pursue for their dissertation research.
  4. Complete a proctored writing sample to be used as pre-entry assessment.
  5. Participate in an interview, which is a pre-entry assessment.


  1. Graduate Education courses (minimum grade of B), to include the following courses, regardless of the area of emphasis:

Faith and Learning in Christian Education
(Note: Those who earned their bachelor’s and/or master’s degree from an AAA-accredited Adventist higher educational institution may not need to take this course.)
Research Methods, Statistics, Academic Writing
(Note: May need to audit these courses or take a proficiency exam if taken 5 or more years ago).

Additional graduate courses required for the specialization in Curriculum and Instruction:

Instructional Models
Process of Curriculum
Instructional Media
Inclusive Instruction

Additional graduate courses required for the specialization in Educational Administration:

Administrative Finance
School Organization and Law
Principalship and School Improvement
Instructional Media (if cognate is C&I)
Instructional Models (for those from a non-education background, i.e., without an education degree at either the bachelor’s or master’s level)

  1. A master’s thesis or a report of other significant research. In the absence of such prior research, the student is required to complete RESM 685 Research Experience (3 semester hours) to meet this research prerequisite.
  2. Teaching experience, normally a minimum of 3 A letter of verification is required.
  3. At least one religion course (undergraduate or graduate), with a minimum grade of C, from each of the following areas:

Adventist Beliefs
Adventist History or Spirit of Prophecy
Biblical Studies

The following courses are offered as graduate level self-study modules to meet these prerequisites:

CHIS 501 Spirit of Prophecy (2)
NTST 502 Life and Teaching of Jesus (2)
THST 501 Adventist Doctrines (2)

Other Seminary courses may also apply (ask your academic advisor).

  1. For those taking a cognate in TESOL. A pass in one of the standard English proficiency tests prescribed by AIIAS. The required passing score for the test is IELTS 6.5 or equivalent.



To be awarded the PhD degree, a candidate must satisfactorily fulfill the following requirements:

  1. Complete a minimum of 46 semester hours of coursework beyond the MA in Education (600-level or above) with a minimum GPA of 3.50.
  1. Complete a minimum of 3 semester hours of fieldwork.
  2. Pass the written comprehensive examination.
  3. Complete a minimum of 12 semester hours of dissertation credit.
  4. Pass an oral defense of his/her dissertation before the Dissertation Defense Committee.
  5. Publish at least one article in an internationally/nationally indexed journal.
  6. Complete the Service Learning requirement (see p. 64).
  7. Develop an e-portfolio to showcase his/her work in meeting the professional competencies.



A total of 58 semester hours is required for the PhD degree, distributed in the following manner:

Program Structure Credits
Philosophy 4
Specialization 21
Cognate 9
Research 12
Dissertation 12
Total Credits 58


Philosophy Credits
CHPH 872 Philosophy: An Adventist Perspective 3
GSEM 731 Seminar in Worldview and Worldview Change 1
Total Credits 4


Field of Specialization

The PhD student selects one of the following areas of specialization:

Specialization in Curriculum and Instruction Credits
EDCI 720 Teaching and Learning in Higher Education 3
EDCI 730 Advanced Curriculum Theory and Practice 3
EDCI 765 Advanced Instructional Processes 3
EDCI 785 E-Learning 3
EDCI 792 Advanced Fieldwork in Curriculum and Instruction 3
RESM 770 Institutional Evaluation 3
EDCI 895 Directed Research in _____ 3
Total Credits 21


Specialization in Educational Administration Credits
EDAD 730 Financial Management for Educational Institutions 3
EDAD 786 Administration in Higher Education 3
EDAD 792 Advanced Fieldwork in Educational Administration 3
MGMT 725 Change and Crisis Management 3
EDAD 785 E-Learning 3
RESM 770 Institutional Evaluation 3
EDAD 895 Directed Research in _____ 3
Total Credits 21



The PhD in Education student selects at least one of the following cognate areas, distinct from the area of specialization:

Cognate in Curriculum and Instruction1 Credit
EDCI 615 Instructional Models
EDCI 632 Inclusive Instruction 3
EDCI 640 Process of Curriculum 3
Total Credits 9


Cognate in Educational Administration* Credit
EDAD 640 Administrative Finance 3
EDAD 674 School Organization and Law 3
One of the two courses: 3
   EDAD 651 Principalship and School Improvement  
   EDAD 786 Administration in Higher Education  
Total Credits 9


Cognate in TESOL Credit
EDTE 620 Second Language Acquisition
EDTE 622 TESOL Methods for Content-Area Reading and Writing 3
EDTE 628 TESOL Methods in Speaking and Listening 3
Total Credits 9


Customized Cognate

Those students who have a particular area of interest, may design a cognate in consultation with their academic advisor and upon approval of the Education Department. This cognate may include courses from other departments at AIIAS, transfer credits, online courses, or independent research. To fulfill the customized cognate requirement, students must take three courses from the master’s level or two courses from the master’s level and one course from the doctoral level for a total of 9 credits in the chosen cognate area.



Research Credit
RESM 715 Advanced Statistics
RESM 740 Qualitative Research 3
RESM 780 Disciplinary Research in _______ 3

Note: Students must have obtained approval for their topic concept and Dissertation Committee from the department before enrolling in Disciplinary Research. This course must be offered before Applied Qualitative Research or Applied Quantitative Research.

RESM 752 Applied Quantitative Research or RESM 751 Applied Qualitative Research 3
Total Credits 12


Dissertation Credit
EDAD/EDCI 898 PhD Dissertation 12
Total Credits 12


Total Semester Hours 58