UWRF to offer doctorate in Montessori Studies

Posted March 18, 2021

UW-River Falls has received approval from the UW System Board of Regents to institute a doctor of education (Ed.D.) degree in its Montessori Studies program.

The program will be the first doctoral degree offered at UWRF and is set to be one of only a few Montessori Studies doctorates offered globally.

Kateri Carver, director of UWRF’s nationally accredited Graduate Montessori Teacher Education Programs, has been working for years to help advance the field at UWRF. Carver said a doctoral program for Montessori Studies was the “brainchild” of Gay Ward, a professor emerita of literacy, early childhood and Montessori Studies at UWRF. Both Carver and Ward saw a need for more innovation and research in their field.

UWRF first received approval from the UW System in July 2018 to begin planning the doctoral program. Approval of the Ed.D presented several hurdles for Carver and the Montessori Studies program. The approval request needed the support of all of the UWRF committees including the Faculty Senate. These committees asked questions related to the capacity for this program, its sustainability as well as the financials necessary.

“Is it gonna be just three years, or is it gonna go on for 25 years, so those are the types of questions that when you go through the governance process, they ask,” said Carver.

The doctoral program will consist of 54 credits that are split up between foundational, elective and dissertation courses, and it is expected to take three years to complete. Each credit costs $725, making the entire program cost around $39,000. Carver said that over 150 people are interested in the program, but there will only be 14 students accepted for the first cohort.