PhD Curriculum & Instruction: Curriculum Studies

The Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Curriculum & Instruction: Curriculum Theory consists of a minimum of 90 credit hours beyond the bachelors. A minimum of 12 hours must be taken outside the School of Education. Students must pass a general exam (written & oral), a dissertation proposal, write a dissertation, and pass an oral dissertation defense.

The PhD in Curriculum & Instruction is structured to support interdisciplinary studies and individualization for researchers and practitioners. Individuals interested in pursuing a PhD with a specialization should consult one of the program’s faculty members. You have seven years (post-masters or post-EdS) to complete the PhD.

The school-level academic course plan for each student is developed in consultation with and approved by the student’s graduate advisory committee. The committee includes the student’s major advisor and at least two additional members of the graduate faculty.

The curricular requirements for the PhD in Curriculum & Instruction include:

  • 50 hours in the area of specialization (e.g., curriculum studies, foreign language education, or social studies education), including Introduction to Scholarship in Education (ELRC 7299) and Traditions of Inquiry in Education (EDCI 7910).
  • A minimum of nine hours in research methods.
  • 12-18 hours of dissertation research.
  • Admitted students are anticipated to have a master’s degree; students who do not have a master’s degree must complete a 90-hour curriculum required for the PhD.

The student must pass a General exam consisting of written questions and a comprehensive oral exam; write a dissertation proposal and pass an oral defense of the proposal; and write a dissertation, and pass an oral defense of the dissertation.

Required Coursework

Total Credits: 90

These courses must be taken consecutively during the first year of enrollment:

ELRC 7299 Introduction to Scholarship in Education (3)
EDCI  7910 Traditions of Inquiry (3)

ELRC 7006 Educational Statistics (4)
ELRC 7241 Educational Research Methodology (3)
ELRC 7243 Qualitative Methods in Educational Research (3)
EDCI 9000 Dissertation Research (12-15)

EDCI 7901 Curriculum Theory

Plus, at least 3 courses from the following list in consultation with your advisor:

  • EDCI 4800 Teaching in the Multicultural Classroom
  • EDCI 5880 Special Topics in Education
  • EDCI 7824 Elementary School Curriculum
  • EDCI 7825 Secondary School Curriculum
  • EDCI 7904 Education and Cognition
  • ELRC 7600 Issues of Race and Gender in Higher Education
  • EDCI 7821/7822 Problems in Curriculum & Instruction
  • ELRC 7890 Seminar: Educational Administration (Curriculum & College Teaching)
  • EDCI 7903 Curriculum Planning
  • EDCI 7930/7931 Seminar(s) Curriculum & Instruction

Select in consultation with your advisor.

Select in consultation with your advisor. Possibilities include African American Studies, International Studies, Political Science, or Women’s & Gender Studies. 12 to 18 hours, or as required by the minor field, are to be taken. At least one doctoral committee member must represent the minor field.

The remaining courses to complete the program of studies must be selected with the approval of the student’s graduate advisor committee.


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Molly Quinn, PhD 
121C Peabody Hall