The Ph.D. in Social Justice Education is 52 credits. All candidates are expected to have a master's degree prior to starting the PhD. To be considered a full-time student, you must be taking at least 6 credits per semester, though some on-campus jobs require you to be taking 9 credits. The program is designed for students to take 3–5 courses each semester. Courses listed in the program of study are all in-person and on-campus.

Of the 52 total credits, 15 are required foundational coursework for all students. EDUC 797C does not count toward the 4 required research methods courses. Individual students can choose to follow the Youth Specialization or College Specialization track, with 6 required theory credits, 12 research credits, 9 elective credits, and 10 dissertation credits to meet the minimum 52 credits required for degree conferral.