How would this program benefit me in the workplace?

The mission of the Bellarmine Ph.D. in Education and Social Change, consistent with Catholic social justice teachings, is to prepare “change agents” who improve education for children and other citizens living in poverty circumstances. The principles of change management can be applied to any environment. Whether you are employed in the public/private P-12 school system, a non-profit or higher education institution, the Ph.D. in Education & Social Change will teach you how to lead and initiate change in your organization for children and adults in high poverty circumstances.

When does the program start?

The cohort typically begins each fall in early September. If a spring cohort is able to begin, then classes would begin in early January.

When do classes meet?

For the first three program years, classes will meet on Friday 5-10 p.m. and Saturday 8 a.m.-5 p.m. six weekends a semester. The fourth program year will be the dissertation year. Higher Education Administration courses may meet one evening a week. All other concentration courses will be offered in the weekend format only.

How much time would I need to spend outside of class to be prepared for class?

On average, we recommend three hours outside of class time to prepare for each hour of instruction. However, this will vary with the content of the course(s) you are taking each semester.

How does the cross-cultural experience work and where would I get to go?

The goal of this learning experience is to gain an understanding of poverty and the response to poverty from a cross-cultural perspective. All students complete a cross cultural experience involving travel to an international or national destination. Students choose from destination options provided by the program. The purpose of this travel is to examine how poverty is manifested and responded to across five cultural sub-systems: healthcare, financial support systems, resources for housing and homelessness, early childhood development, and K-12 education. Students will have the opportunity to study poverty and the effects first hand in domestic and foreign locations. Currently, we are working on trips to South Dakota, Costa Rica, England and India. The cost for the trip will be in addition to the normal tuition and fees.

How much does the program cost?

Please see our Graduate tuition page for up-to-date tuition and fee information.

Would I be eligible for any financial assistance?

Yes. You will want to file the FAFSA and apply for federal loans at Graduate students are eligible for loans in the amount of $20,500 each academic year while enrolled.

Are there any graduate assistantship or fellowship opportunities available?

No. Bellarmine University does not currently offer graduate assistantship/fellowship opportunities at this time.

Can I visit a class to get a better feel for the program?

Yes. You are welcome to visit a class. To schedule a visit, please contact Jordan Wiehebrink ( in the Office of Graduate Admission.

What have other successful alumni/ae gone on to do after completing the program?

The program was started in the summer of 2011. The first Bellarmine University Ph.D. in Education and Social Change degree was granted in May, 2014.