Curriculum and Instruction

Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction-Specialization in Elementary Education

This program examines the nature of teaching, learning, and curriculum at the elementary level, including the history, philosophy, and research base for teaching school subjects, both in the United States and internationally. Students gain experience working with pre-service teachers as preparation for a career in teacher education.

Degree Requirements

Major Requirements (36 cr.)
Specialization (24 cr.)

  • The area of specialization must have a clearly identifiable focus and consist of graduate level courses (or the equivalent) and may include courses outside the program specialization area. All courses are subject to approval by the student’s doctoral advisory committee.

Department Seminar (6 cr.)

  • Advanced Curriculum and Instruction seminars (600-700 level) offered.

Early Inquiry Experience and Inquiry Linkage Requirements (6 cr.)

  • J605 Independent Research Experience in Curriculum and Instruction (3 cr.)
  • A course with a strong research component (e.g. J638, J650, Q690 or other course approved by the program committee)(3 cr.)

Inquiry Requirements (9 cr.)

  • Select one course from the following (3 cr.):
    • Y520 Strategies for Educational Inquiry (3 cr.)
    • Y521 Methodological Approaches to Educational Inquiry (3 cr.)*
      • *Although either Y520 or Y521 can meet this requirement, Y521 is highly recommended because it is intended for doctoral students.
  • An additional minimum of six credits must be selected from those approved as Core Inquiry courses. A list of approved inquiry courses may be found at

Minor Requirements (12 cr.)
The minor must have integrity in its own right and must complement the major. The minor field must demonstrate wholeness within itself and contribute to the student's overall doctoral program. Minors are normally formulated within a single program area. However, an interdisciplinary or individualized minor is also possible. Interdisciplinary or individualized minors require a written description of the minor's underlying theme along with a rationale for each course's contribution to that theme through the Minor Justification form. This form should be submitted and approved by the Graduate Studies Office prior to enrolling in the minor courses.

Elective Requirements (6-18 cr.)
A minimum of 6 elective credits must be taken outside the major and the minor. An additional elective may be selected from within the major, the minor, inquiry, or any broad field of study.

Dissertation Requirements (15 cr.)

  • J795 Dissertation Proposal Preparation (3 cr.)
  • J799 Dissertation-Curriculum/Instruction (12 cr.)

Academic Bulletins

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Contact Us

Contact information for:

Additional program information can be found at the Office of Graduate Studies.