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Students will continue their progress beyond the Core under the direction of a Studies Committee that will work to ensure that each student achieves a high standard of disciplinary sophistication in one of three studies specializations:

We believe that in-depth study in one of these studies specializations is necessary to provide students with the specific grounding in a particular research literature and analytical methodology needed for successful dissertation research and career advancement within the profession.

Upon completion of the core courses, students will be expected to pass the First Examination, which will be a rigorous written examination over the content of all five core courses. After passing the First Examination, students will choose their studies specialization and be guided in their further coursework by a Studies Committee. Each Studies Committee will include a majority membership of research specialists in the studies specialization, but also include at least one member of the faculty with primary expertise in a different field. The program Executive Officer will initially designate one Studies Committee for each studies specialization, with additional committees to be formed as the number of students in that area warrants.

Studies Committees will also be responsible for guiding students to develop the broad background needed to include perspectives from both curriculum studies and policy studies in their future research, and to gain needed competence in both qualitative and quantitative research methodologies. Within these broad requirements, Studies Committees will approve elective courses individualized to the developing research interests of the student. One member of the Studies Committee will serve as the student's adviser.

Students' work in their studies specializations will center around a series of Area Seminars that will introduce them to current issues and the current research literature in each of a succession of topics specific to the studies specialization. Students will normally take one area seminar in their studies specialization each term. In addition, or occasionally in place of an area seminar, students in all studies specializations will take program seminars, which will focus on the program's identified research priority areas (see Section 5) and will in all cases emphasize both policy studies and curriculum studies perspectives.

Students will also select at least one course in quantitative and statistical research methods and one in qualitative-interpretive methods, beyond the core, from among the courses offered by other doctoral programs. These courses will be selected so as to provide analytical techniques appropriate to each students own emerging research interests.

Students will complete approximately 24 credits of elective courses, chosen from: recommended courses offered at The Graduate Center across its many doctoral programs; the area and program seminars in Urban Education; and reading courses and special topics courses under the supervision of a member of the doctoral faculty (subject to approval of their Studies Committee).

After the completion of at least 47 credits in the program, including both quantitative and qualitative research methods, students may apply to their Studies Committee to be recommended to take the Second Examination.