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College of Education

Teaching and Learning, Ph.D.

Earn a PhD in curriculum and instruction.jpg

The Teaching and Learning 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 offers students a range of scholarly focus areas including — Art Education, Early Childhood Education, Elementary Education, English Education, Mathematics Education, Secondary Education, Science Education, and Social Studies Education Social Justice, Literacy, Professional Development, Instructional Coaching, Pre-Service & New Teacher Education, and Technology. Working alongside faculty, students design a program of study and research uniquely suited to your areas of interest. The Teaching and Learning 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 teaching and learning 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.

  • 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 Teaching and Learning 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

    Teaching and Learning Ph.D. (56 credit hour minimum):

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

    Core Courses (12 credit hours)
    ED 9320 – Pedagogy & Practice
    ED 9340 – Research Frameworks & Literature Reviews
    ED 9540 – Curriculum Theory
    ED 9700 – Equity & Identity in Education

    Research Courses (12 credit hours)

    EDF 9270 – Quantitative Research Designs and Statistics for Educational Contexts

    EDF 9271 – Quantitative Research Designs and Statistics for Educational Contexts Lab
    EDF 9790 – Qualitative Research in Education

    Must take at least two of the following advanced research courses: EDF 9080, 9710, 9720, 9730, 9740, 9750, 9770, 9780 or 9810.  

    Self-Designed Cognate (12 credit hour minimum)

    Courses will be selected with the committee to design a program of study to meet the individual needs and goals of the student.

    Dissertation Course (18 credit hour minimum)
    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


    • Written dissertation
    • Oral defense
  • 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.

    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 Teaching and Learning 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 or 864-656-5096.

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