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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.

  • Overview

    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.

  • Program Goals
    • 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 Requirements

    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

  • Program Requirements

    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
  • Scholarly Focus - Specialty Concentrations

    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, associate 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

  • Financial

    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.

  • Faculty
    Name Area Phone/Email
    Anderson, Shanita Faculty, M.Ed. in Teaching and Learning 864-656-5115
    SNAND01@clemson.edu
    Bailey, Beatrice Naff Faculty, Middle Level Education, Social Studies 864-650-2987
    cbeatri@clemson.edu
    Bannister, Nicole Faculty, Middle Level Education, Mathematics 864-656-2329
    nbannis@clemson.edu
    Bennett, Luke Faculty, M.Ed. in Teaching and Learning 864-656-5115
    LBENNE6@clemson.edu
    Che, S. Megan Faculty, Secondary Education, Mathematics 864-656-2036
    sche@clemson.edu
    Cridland-Hughes, Susan Faculty, Secondary Education, English 864-656-7647
    scridla@clemson.edu
    Deaton, Cynthia Christine Mi Faculty, Chair, Faculty, Elementary Education, Science Education 864-656-5112
    cdeaton@clemson.edu
    Duncan, Kristen Faculty, Secondary Education, Social Studies 864-656-6639
    KEDUNCA@clemson.edu
    Gomez, Carlos Nicolas Faculty, Secondary Education, Mathematics 864-656-5127
    carlos@clemson.edu
    Hall, Anna Faculty, Early Childhood Education 864-656-0352
    ah2@clemson.edu
    Khan, Nafees M. Faculty, Secondary Education, Educational Foundations 864-656-6639
    nafeesk@clemson.edu
    Leonard, Alison Faculty, Elementary Education, Arts and Creativity 864-656-5117
    aleona2@clemson.edu
    Linder, Sandra Faculty, Early Childhood Education 864-656-5102
    sandram@clemson.edu
    Malloy, Jacquelynn Faculty, Elementary Education, English Language Arts 864-656-6239
    malloy2@clemson.edu
    Shelnut, Jill Faculty, Early Childhood Education 864-656-0327
    JSHELNU@clemson.edu
    Spearman, Mindy Faculty, Elementary Education, Social Studies 864-656-2078
    mjspear@clemson.edu
    Stevens-Smith, Deborah Faculty, Elementary Education, Physical Education 864-656-5124
    stevens@clemson.edu
    Tyminski, Andrew Faculty, Elementary Education, Mathematics 864-656-6967
    amt23@clemson.edu
    Wiles, Daphne Faculty, M.Ed. in Teaching and Learning 864-656-5115
    DAPHNEW@clemson.edu

     

  • Find Out More

    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