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College of Education

Curriculum and Instruction, Ph.D.

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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. 

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  • 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 prepared for a position in teacher education or other educational appointments such as working with the department of education, engaging at the district level, educational consulting, working with non-profit education, educational lobbying, educational policy, or related educational organization.
    • The student will be able to critically analyze social, historical, psychological, pedagogical, personal, and policy factors in the development and current practices of curriculum, teaching, and learning.
    • 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, and empirical methods within research in curriculum, teaching, and learning.
    • The student will be able to analyze critically and evaluate research within the field of curriculum, teaching, and learning.
    • The student will be able to conduct scholarly research and contribute to the field of curriculum, teaching, and learning.
  • Admission Requirements

    Admission to the Program
    The Curriculum and Instruction doctoral program admits students for a fall entrance term. 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

    • 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


    Application Requirements

    • 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 - GRE scores accompanying a Ph.D. application will be considered as part of a holistic application review. However, due to current testing challenges, the submission of GRE scores will be optional for Fall 2022 Ph.D. applicants.
      • 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 Zoom interview (meritorious applications only)
    • If students do not have at least 9 hours of graduate credit in their discipline area then they may be required to take additional courses.

     

    Also see additional information concerning supporting materials

  • Program Requirements

    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 state, regional, and/or 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 | Koti Hubbard, Lecturer | Sandra Linder, Professor (Mathematics) | Jill Shelnut, Lecturer

    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, Professor (early childhood) | Andrew Tyminski, Associate Professor (joint appointment elementary and mathematical sciences)

    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) | Brooke Whitworth, Associate 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 Information

    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.

    Online/hyflex students are not eligible for departmental assistantships; however, they may still be eligible for grant assistantships when available.

    To be considered for an assistantship, we encourage applicants to submit their applications by the priority deadline.

  • Program Delivery

    Embedded within a top 30 public university and designed for working professionals and full-time students alike, the Clemson Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction program is offered through a hyflex option and can be completed through traditional face-to-face instruction and synchronous online instruction.

    Our in-person option offers courses via our main Clemson campus. Classes may be offered Monday through Thursday evenings beginning no earlier than 4:30 p.m. EST.

    Our synchronous online option provides students the chance to join our in-person courses virtually. Through the synchronous online option, students have the opportunity to develop relationships with peers and faculty and pursue the degree while maintaining their current employment and living situation.

     

  • Information Sessions & Calendar

    Review our College of Education Graduate Calendar to view upcoming events and information sessions.

  • 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.

Department of Teaching and Learning
Department of Teaching and Learning | 105 Gantt Circle