Doctoral Degree in Curriculum and Instruction

A doctoral degree in curriculum and instruction could prepare you to work in schools assessing, designing and implementing teaching programs. The article below introduces you to types of programs and their coursework. Schools offering Education Curriculum & Instruction degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Is a Curriculum and Instruction Doctoral Degree Program Like?

Curriculum and instruction doctoral degree programs prepare you to be a leader and innovator in academic and corporate settings. You can find programs that are geared towards students who want to work in research and teaching at universities or programs intended for students who intend to take on administrative roles in school districts. Typically, you earn a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in a research-focused program or a Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) in a practice-focused program.

Typically, a curriculum and instruction doctoral degree program asks you to undertake research projects that contribute new, relevant knowledge to the field. You present your findings in a dissertation, which is usually required to graduate. Additionally, many programs allow you to tailor your program to your interests. You can often choose a specialization, such as math and science education, English education, elementary education or special education.

Degree LevelDoctoral (Ph.D. Or Ed.D.)
Common CoursesStatistics, quantitative research methods, anthropology, educational technology, multicultural education
Online OptionsOnline programs are available but there are often on-campus requirements
Other RequirementsDissertation
Job Outlook (2016-2026) 15% growth (for postsecondary teachers)
Median Salary (2018) $78,470 (for postsecondary teachers)

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

What Courses Will I Take?

In many cases, your course of study can be tailored to your professional goals. There are often core courses that most students take. These often cover the concepts and models of curriculum instruction and curriculum development. You also gain an understanding of teaching methods and policy planning in curriculum and instruction.

The rest of your coursework focuses on your specialty, research and dissertation. You take courses that give you the knowledge and tools you need to perform your research and write your dissertation. These classes often include statistics and quantitative research methods in education. Coursework may also discuss anthropology in education, multicultural education and educational technologies.

What Will My Dissertation Be Like?

Your dissertation is the culmination of your doctoral studies. Typically, you work closely with a faculty advisor in your curriculum and instruction doctoral program to devise a research plan and subject focus. You spend much of your time in the program researching and studying your dissertation topic. You then present your dissertation and defend it to a committee of faculty in your program. Successful completion of your dissertation is required to graduate.

Can I Earn the Degree Online?

Online doctoral programs in curriculum and instruction are difficult to find. Most programs require you to work closely with instructors, mentors and advisors, and some require you to spend a certain amount of time on campus.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

  • 1. Degree Options:
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