Ph.D. in Curriculum & Instruction: Science Education

student at career fair


The Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction with a specialization in Science Education is structured to support interdisciplinary studies and individualization for researchers and practitioners. Students prepare to be scholars and leaders in the field of science education with advanced course work and research. 

Program Structure

The program requires (90) hours beyond the bachelor’s, at least twelve (12) of which are to be taken outside the School of Education. The major area of study is Curriculum and Instruction.

Required Coursework

Core Courses - 6 hours required

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

  • ELRC 7299: Introduction to Scholarship in Education (Fall)
  • EDCI 7910: Traditions of Inquiry in Education (Spring)

Science Education - Approximately 50 hours required

Approximately fifty (50) hours are to be taken in the student’s area(s) of specialization. Students will develop a plan of study in consultation with and approved by their graduate advisory committee. The following course topics have been offered in the past and are specific to the Science Education area of specialization:

  • EDCI 5880 Assessment in Math and Science (3 credit hours)
  • EDCI 7307 Using Informal Settings to Teach Science and Math (3 credit hours)
  • EDCI 7308 Teaching the Nature of Science (3 credit hours)
  • EDCI 7308 Technology Integration in Science and Math (3 credit hours)
  • EDCI 7921 Inquiry in Science and Mathematics (3 credit hours) 
  • EDCI 7930 Trends and Issues in Science Education (3 credit hours)
  • EDCI 7931 Project-Based Learning in Science and Mathematics (3 credit hours)
  • EDCI 7931 Sociocultural Perspectives in Science and Mathematics (3 credit hours

[Note: Students can take special topics courses (e.g., EDCI 7308, EDCI 7931, etc.) more than one time if the topic is different.]

Research Methodology and Dissertation Research - 21 hours required

A minimum of twenty-one (21) hours are to be taken, including:

  • Dissertation hours (EDCI 9000):  a minimum of twelve (12) hours and a maximum of eighteen (18) hours are to be taken within the 90-hour program. Additional hours may be taken beyond the 18 hours but cannot be used to satisfy the research requirement.
  • Three (3) research courses: ELRC 7006 or equivalent; ELRC 7241 or equivalent; ELRC 7243 or equivalent. Students may use courses from the list below or other courses approved by the major advisor:
    • Generic Methods Courses:
      • HUEC 7090 Research Methods in Human Ecology
      • SOCL 7211 Methods of Social Investigation
      • Or approved equivalent  
    • Qualitative Methods Courses:
      • ANTH 4090 Ethnographic Methodology
      • ELRC 7243 Qualitative Methods in Education
      • Or approved equivalent
    • Quantitative Methods Courses:
      • ELRC 7006 Statistical Principles I
      • ELRC 7016  Statistical Principles II
      • ELRC 7241 Educational Research Methodology
      • ELRC 7242  Experimental and Quasi-Experimental Designs in Ed. Research
      • PSYC 7117 Methodology and Research Design
      • SOCL 7201  Research Methods in Sociology
      • SOCL 7203/POLI 7963  Advanced Research Methods in Social Science 
      • Or approved equivalent

Minor Area of Study (optional) - 12-18 hours optional

Approximately twelve (12) to eighteen (18) hours, or as required by the minor field, are to be taken.  At least one doctoral  committee member must represent the minor field.

Electives (optional) - 12 hours optional 

Up to twelve (12) hours may be taken with the major advisor’s approval.

This program should be completed within seven years of completing the Master's or Education Specialist requirements. 

In the first year of enrollment, students must take ELRC 7299 (Fall) and EDCI 7910 (Spring) consecutively.  Beyond that matriculation requirement, students should meet regularly with their advisors in order to determine what course loads and requirements best suit their individual schedules and professional goals.  



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 Dr. Pam Blanchard

109 Peabody Hall




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