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Changes to Spring Academic Calendar Fordham is modifying its academic calendar in anticipation of a national resurgence of the COVID-19 pandemic this winter. Full Details

Contemporary Learning and Interdisciplinary Research (CLAIR)

Female Student Smiles in Classroom

Degree: PhD

Start Semester: Fall

Campus: Lincoln Center


Career Path: The program prepares graduates to be competitive in diverse settings and fields in which education is at the fore, including non-profits, businesses, the media, museums, the arts, and schools. 

The Contemporary Learning and Interdisciplinary Research (CLAIR) PhD program caters to students in search of cutting edge, cross-disciplinary solutions to current and anticipated issues in the very nature and delivery of education. The program structures that search through coursework in quantitative and qualitative research methods, and in principles of learning, instruction, and appreciation and promotion of diversity. Students also partake in internships to gain first-hand experience of the different venues in which education occurs.

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.

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.


Application Deadline: March 15

Browse the Admissions section for more about the application and financial aid processes.

Application Requirements

  • Online Application
  • Applicants must have a Master's degree with a minimum 3.5 GPA
  • Official transcripts
  • GRE Score*
  • C.V. or Resume
  • Personal Statements (Part 1: Your background in teaching, learning, and research and how it relates to the CLAIR program; Part 2: Your research interests)
  • Two Letters of Recommendation

*NOTE: Acknowledging the differential impact of the recent COVID-19 health pandemic and in line with our steadfast commitment to social justice advocacy through our teaching, research, practice and policies, the CLAIR program of Fordham University's Graduate School of Education has decided to treat the GRE test requirement as optional for admissions for the fall 2021 application cycle.


Browse course schedules and descriptions.

Program Curriculum

Contemporary Learning and Interdisciplinary Research (CLAIR) students must complete
a total of 45 coursework credits plus a Dissertation.

Research Core: 18 credits
• PSGE 7681/7682 - Intro to Quantitative Research I and II (6 credits, full year)
• PSGE 7683/7684 - Intro to Qualitative Research and Single N Design (6 credits, full year)
• CLGE 6191 - Critique of Research (3 credits)
• Pro-Seminar (to be taken during the first year)

Content Core: 12 credits
• CTGE 6810 - Sociopolitical Dimensions of Learning (3 credits) AND three of the
following four courses:
- PSGE 6308 - Cognition and Instruction
- CLGE 6555 - Becoming Leaders of Contemporary Learning
- PSGE 6325 - Psychology of Media
- CLGE 6545 - Structural, Philosophical and Psychological Examinations of Argument

Applied Experience: 3 credits
• External Internship (to be selected in consultation with advisor)

Electives: 12 credits
• External course outside GSE in other units of Fordham (3 credits) AND
• Research or content courses (three) selected in consultation with advisor. Part of this
requirement may be fulfilled through a 3-credit Advanced Internship. (9 credits)

Required non-course credits (does not contribute to the required 45 credits): 6 credits
• Capstone project: 0 credits
• Dissertation seminar: 6 credits


GSE Admissions

CLAIR Program Director
Dr. Molly Ness