Literacy, Language, and Culture


Degrees Offered


The Literacy, Language, and Culture Ph.D. program at Clemson University is grounded in research and inquiry and built on the rich experiences and expertise of its faculty and students who acknowledge the influence of culture on literacy and language practices. We seek strong applicants with potential and drive to serve as innovative leaders in the field of literacy. Applicants with unique personal and professional experiences and diverse perspectives are expected to engage with and be challenged by faculty and fellow doctoral students.

The program provides in-depth, advanced education to individuals who hold a Master’s degree in education and are pursuing careers as researchers and teacher educators at the college and university level. The Ph.D. in Literacy, Language, and Culture prepares knowledgeable and skilled educators who promote equitable and effective instruction to improve literacy and language for students of all ages in a myriad of educational and community contexts.


More information can be found in this graduate handbook.


Program of Study

The program prepares educators and scholars with sophisticated understandings of the relationships among literacy, language, and culture and the ability to use this knowledge to improve learning in in- and out-of-school contexts.

Program graduates will be able to:

  • Review, analyze, and synthesize empirical research and theoretical literature in literacy, language and culture;
  • Apply theories and research to policy and current issues in the field;
  • Use knowledge of cultures’ influence on in- and out-of-school language and literacy practices to
    • capitalize on the cultural and linguistic strengths of learners and their families as resources for literacy teaching and learning; and
    • foster relationships with learners, families, and communities in ways that honor the culturally specific ways of knowing and being in the world;
  • Analyze the relationships among economic and social inequality and literacy and language development;
  • Critique and conduct research relevant to language, literacy and culture.


Application Information

The priority application deadline is January 15. Applicants who wish to be considered for an assistantship must submit a complete application by January 15 in order to be included in the first round of reviews.

If the annual priority deadline is missed, applicants have until April 15 to submit complete applications, but assistantships may not be available during this second round of reviews.

This program only admits for fall terms.

Required Documents

Admission requirements include the following:

  • Admission to the Clemson University Graduate School
  • A Master’s degree is preferred, but not required. Master’s applicants with a GPA of 3.5 on 4.0 scale; bachelor’s degree with a 3.0 on a 4.0 scale. 

Complete application packet:


The School or Program offers a number of graduate assistantships to students each year based on merit. These are offered in the form of stipends and the additional benefit of tuition remission. Students must be enrolled in a minimum of 9 credit hours per semester to qualify for a graduate assistantship and must work a minimum of 10 hours a week as a teaching or research assistant or perform other tasks assigned by the School or Program.


Program Contact(s)

Program Coordinator(s)