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Ph.D. Curriculum and Instruction

The Curriculum and Instruction Doctoral Program is designed for individuals who seek to investigate learning and teaching from birth, as well as the dynamics within and surrounding educational school systems. The Ph.D. program is deliberate in providing rich opportunities to work with and learn from expert faculty and other Ph.D. seeking students. This program offers four specialty concentrations—Early Childhood Education, Mathematics Education, Science Education, and Social Studies & Educational Foundations. Working alongside faculty, students design a program of study and research uniquely suited to your areas of interest. The Curriculum and Instruction Ph.D. program prepares critically reflective professionals who are dedicated to access and equity, providing theoretical and practical training for a wide-variety of leadership positions in colleges and universities, policy, and school districts.

The Doctor of Philosophy degree in curriculum and instruction is a research degree designed to prepare the student to become a scholar who can discover, integrate and apply knowledge, as well as communicate and disseminate it. The intent of the program is to prepare the student to make a significant original contribution to knowledge in a specialized field. The program prepares students in one of the following specialty concentrations: early childhood education, mathematics education, science education, or social studies and educational foundations. In addition, students may choose from a range of scholarly focus areas including:

  • Early childhood learning and development
  • Informal education
  • STEM
  • International-global education
  • Learning technologies and educational psychology
  • Legal and policy issues in education
  • Mixed methods and design-based research
  • Motivation and learning
  • Professional development and educational quality
  • Qualitative research methodologies
  • Research, evaluation, measurement and statistics
  • Social, historical and philosophical foundations of education
  • Social justice and educational equity
  • Sustainability education

All students — regardless of the specialty concentration and/or areas of scholarly focus — are expected to work with faculty to design programs uniquely suited to their areas of interest.

  • The student will be able to critically analyze social, historical, psychological, personal and policy factors in the development and current practices of curriculum and instruction.
  • The student will acquire an understanding of the research processes within the field of curriculum and instruction, including practical design, analysis and reporting.
  • The student will understand how to use historical, correlational, descriptive, experimental and qualitative methods within research in curriculum and instruction.
  • The student will be able to analyze critically and evaluate research within the field of curriculum and instruction.
  • The student will be able to conduct scholarly research and contribute to the field of curriculum and instruction.

Admission to the Program
Curriculum and Instruction applicants may begin the program each fall or spring. Only complete applications are considered for admission. To ensure consideration for an assistantship or University Fellowship, applicants are encouraged to apply by the priority deadline.

Application Deadlines
All application materials must be submitted by the following deadlines:

Fall entrance:

  • January 15, priority deadline
    • Applications will be reviewed and considered for assistantships
  • April 15, traditional deadline
    • Applications will be reviewed, but assistantships may or may not be available

Spring entrance:

  • August 15, priority deadline
    • Applications will be reviewed and considered for assistantships
  • October 1, traditional deadline
    • Applications will be reviewed, but assistantships may or may not be available

Application Requirements
To be considered for the program, applicants must:

  • Have a minimum of two years teaching experience or the equivalent
  • Have completed a master’s degree with a GPA of 3.5 on a 4.0 scale
  • Submit a Graduate School application which requires:
    • Unofficial transcripts (Official transcript will be required if you are accepted into the program.)
    • Competitive GRE scores
    • A current resume
    • Two letters of recommendation
    • A letter of intent - Writing sample that communicates the applicant's professional philosophy and goals, research interests and purpose for seeking the doctorate. The letter should be two to three pages in length.
    • Official TOEFL/IELTS scores for international students
  • Participate in an on-campus or Skype interview (meritorious applications only)

Additional information concerning supporting materials can be found at: https://www.clemson.edu/graduate/admissions/preparing-to-apply/supporting-materials.html

For more detailed program information, please refer to the program handbook.

Curriculum and Instruction Ph.D. (65 credit hours minimum):

Core Courses (minimum 21 credit hours)
Core knowledge consists of constructs in educational foundations and curriculum and instruction. Core knowledge should be demonstrated in the following areas: curriculum, instruction, assessment and research.

ED 9540 Curriculum Theory
EDF 9550 Theoretical Bases of Instruction
EDF 9080 Advanced Educational Tests and Measurement
EDF 9270 Quantitative Research Designs and Statistics for Educational Contexts
EDF 9770 Multiple Regression / General Linear Model in Educational Research
EDF 9790 Qualitative Research in Education

In addition, must take at least one of the following advanced research courses: EDF 9710, 9720, 9730, 9740, 9750, 9780 or 9810. 

Area of Specialization (minimum 24 credit hours)
Students study in a focused area of Curriculum and Instruction, chosen from: Early Childhood Education, Mathematics Education, Science Education, Social Studies Education or Educational Foundations. The faculty of a specialty area determines specific courses and minimum requirements, to include:

  • Early Childhood Education
    • EDEC 9100 Foundations of Early Childhood Education
    • EDEC 9200 Paradigms and Policy in Early Childhood Research
    • EDEC 9300 Early Childhood Research in Educational Settings
    • EDEC 9400 Seminar in Early Childhood Education
    • ED (EDF) 9940 Directed Research
    • ED (EDF) 9800 Internship in Curriculum and Instruction
    • An additional 6 credit hours approved by the doctoral committee
  • Mathematics Education
    • EDSC 8420 Advanced Studies in the Teaching of Secondary School Mathematics
    • EDSC 8470 Current Literature in Mathematics Teaching
    • EDSC 8910 Directed Internship
    • An additional 15 credit hours approved by the doctoral committee
  • Science Education
    • EDSC 8430 Advanced Studies in the Teaching of Secondary School Science
    • EDSC 8480 Current Literature in Science Teaching
    • EDSC 8910 Directed Internship
    • An additional 15 credit hours approved by the doctoral committee
  • Social Studies Education
    • EDSC 8440 Advanced Studies in the Teaching of Secondary School Social Studies
    • EDSC 8490 Current Literature in Social Studies Teaching
    • EDSC 8910 Directed Internship 
    • An additional 15 credit hours approved by the doctoral committee
  • Educational Foundations
    • ED 9060 Identity, Schooling, and Democratic Education
    • EDF/EDL 8000 Philosophy, Schooling, and Educational Policy
    • ED 9600 History and Philosophy of African American Education
    • ED 9610 History of American Education
    • EDF 9200 Philosophy of Educational Research
    • EDL 8200 Politics of Education
    • EDLT 9000 Sociocultural Theories of Learning

Doctoral Seminars (2 credit hours)
ED 9030 Introductory Doctoral Seminar I
ED 9040 Introductory Doctoral Seminar II

Dissertation course (minimum 18 credit hours)
ED 9910 Doctoral Dissertation Research

Program Benchmark Expectations and Assessments

Professional Competence (documented by advisory committee). These competencies will be fulfilled before the student is awarded the doctoral degree.

  • Students will teach a college/university undergraduate class and/or demonstrate competency in instructional methods as they relate to higher education.
  • Students will conduct national presentations as a primary presenter and/or demonstrate competency in scholarly communication within a professional setting.
  • Students will submit manuscripts for publication (national level preferred) as a primary author and/or demonstrate competency in scholarly writing in an external resource.

Comprehensive Examination

  • The comprehensive examination consists of two components: a written response and an oral defense. Multiple formats for the written response are possible, but all students are required to complete an oral defense of their written responses.
  • An examination plan (necessary for alternative formats) approved by the advisory committee.

Dissertation Proposal

  • Written proposal
  • Oral defense

Dissertation

  • Written dissertation
  • Oral defense

Overview
While students must select from one of the special concentration areas listed below, they are also encouraged to work with faculty to design programs uniquely fitted to their areas of interest.

Early Childhood Education | Mathematics Education | Science Education | Social Studies | Educational Foundations


Early Childhood Education
In-depth knowledge of the early childhood education field with an understanding of the learning and instructional needs of young children (birth to age 8), including design, implementation and evaluation of curriculum; effective instructional methods; current issues and trends affecting teaching and/or learning; and competence in basic and applied research and evaluation.

Associated Faculty
Anna Hall, associate professor | Sandra Linder, associate professor (Mathematics)

Selected Courses
EDEC 9100
Foundations of Early Childhood Education
EDEC 9200 Paradigms and Policy in Early Childhood Research
EDEC 9300 Early Childhood Research in Educational Settings
EDEC 9400 Seminar in Early Childhood Education


Mathematics Education
Students completing an emphasis in mathematics education will develop a knowledge base in current mathematics education issues, research and classroom applications, and be able to select and pursue appropriate research topics in mathematics education.

Associated Faculty
Nicole Bannister, assistant professor (middle level) | S. Megan Che, associate professor (secondary) | Sandra Linder, associate professor (early childhood) | Andrew Tyminski, associate professor (joint appointment elementary and mathematical sciences) | Carlos Nicolas Gomez, assistant professor (secondary)

Selected Courses
EDSC 8420
Advanced Studies in the Teaching of Secondary School Mathematics
EDSC 8470 Current Literature in Mathematics Education
ED 9010 Classics in Mathematics Education


Science Education
Students completing an emphasis in science education will demonstrate an understanding of how the science process and content are most effectively learned, the components of state-of-the-art curriculum models and the utilization of the most effective research methodologies designed to expand the theory base.

Associated Faculty
Michelle Cook, associate professor (secondary) | Cynthia Deaton, associate professor (elementary) | Jeff C. Marshall, professor (secondary)

Selected Courses
EDSC 8430
Advanced Studies in the Teaching of Secondary School Science
EDSC 8480 Current Literature in Science Education


Social Studies and Educational Foundations
Students completing an emphasis in social studies education will develop a knowledge base in current social studies issues, research and classroom applications, and be able to select and pursue appropriate research topics in social studies.

Associated Faculty
Beatrice Bailey, professor (secondary) | Mindy Spearman, associate professor (elementary) | Nafees M. Khan, assistant professor (secondary) | Kristen E. Duncan, assistant professor (secondary)

Selected Courses
EDSC 8440 Advanced Studies in the Teaching of Secondary School Social Studies
EDSC 8490 Current Literature in Social Studies Education
EDF 8700 Identity and Democracy in U.S. Public Schools
EDF 8720 History of American Education

Tuition and Fees

Explore information on tuition and fees using the Student Financial Services’ tuition and fee calculator. (Be sure to choose the ‘graduate’ tab at the top of the page.)

Financial Aid

For information regarding Financial Aid, please contact the office of Student Financial Aid.

Assistantships

A limited number of graduate assistantships are available each year through the department, and they tend to be competitive. Assistantships are available to full-time students (enrolled in at least nine credit hours per semester) and typically require a 20-hour per week work commitment. To be considered for an assistantship, we encourage applicants to submit their applications by the priority deadline.

For more information regarding the program or questions associated with applying to this program, please contact Julie Jones at jgambre@clemson.edu or 864-656-5096.

View the Brochure

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Program Handbook


Download the CURI Handbook