Plan of Study

The Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction (C I) is intended for candidates who desire to strengthen their abilities to do scholarly work and research in one or more of the C I emphasis areas. Ph.D. candidates are characterized as those individuals who will add to the knowledge base in their fields through intensive, systematic investigations of original questions. In preparation for this work, candidates and their doctoral committee design a series of courses, readings, and experiences that will enhance the candidate’s understandings of the traditions, research, and practices in their field and prepare the candidate to conduct original research. This design becomes a formal document when the doctoral committee members sign the Ph.D. Plan of Study form and submit it to the C I Graduate Office at least one semester prior to a candidate’s comprehensive examination.Requests to revise the Program of Study should be approved by the student's doctoral committee after the candidate and adviser discuss the changes and through the adviser's direct communication with the committee.

The Graduate School has not set a minimum number of course credits for completion of the Ph.D. degree. The C I faculty have agreed in principle that a plan of study will include a distribution of courses and experiences among four categories: C I doctoral core, depth of knowledge (emphasis area), breadth of study (supporting field or fields), and research knowledge and capabilities. The candidate, doctoral adviser, and members of the doctoral committee negotiate the specifics of this plan.

Core Requirements

Core Requirements include two credits of course work. Students must enroll in C I 590 (one credit) during their first year in the doctoral program and typically during the fall semester. This course offers an orientation to the C I doctoral program and fulfills the Scholarship and Research Integrity (SARI) requirement. Students must also enroll in a 590 colloquium (at least one credit) within their chosen emphasis area.

Depth of Knowledge 

Depth of Knowledge can be demonstrated through the successful completion of a combination of courses, readings, and experiences. The specifics of this category are left to the discretion of the emphasis area and the acceptance of the members of the doctoral committee. Doctoral committees typically expect the equivalent of at least 18 credits of course work to indicate depth of knowledge.

Breadth of Study

Breadth of Study represents a student’s efforts to broaden his or her inquiry into a chosen field by including a collection of academic, professional, and foundational work and studies in other departments and colleges across the University. Doctoral committees typically expect the equivalent of at least 15 credits to demonstrate breadth.

Research Knowledge and Capabilities

Research Knowledge and Capabilities are demonstrated through completion of coursework and projects. Ph.D. candidates are expected to demonstrate their abilities to function effectively within at least two research traditions; being able to read, understand, and critique published research; and to create, conduct, evaluate, and report on their original studies to scholarly audiences. The C I faculty recognizes the legitimacy of a wide variety of research traditions, including, but not limited to demographic, ethnographic, experimental, hermeneutic, historical, interpretive, linguistic, narrative, phenomenological, and theoretical. Doctoral committees typically expect at least 12 credits as demonstration of competence in this category.