Introduction

The Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Curriculum and Instruction prepares graduates for faculty positions at research or teaching universities and for positions as research scientists and post-doctoral fellows at universities or research centers. The Ph.D. program places an emphasis on preparing graduates whose primary interests are to engage in research and scholarship to advance the field of curriculum and instruction. Graduates are prepared to be leaders in the profession by effectively fulfilling responsibilities in the areas of research and scholarship, teaching, and service. Further, the Ph.D. may include electives such as Culturally Responsive Pedagogy, Curriculum and Instruction, Foreign Language Education, Gifted and Talented Education, Language Arts/English Education, Literacy Education, Mathematics Education, Science Education, Social Studies Education, or Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL). Doctoral work includes a majority of credit hours in curriculum and instruction, additional hours in basic and applied research skills, and a dissertation involving original research in the student's specialization. Graduates work closely with an advisor and committee members to tailor a program based on their individual career goals.

Graduate Admission to the School of Education

Graduate programs in education are open to students with acceptable baccalaureate and graduate degrees whose academic records indicate that they can do successful work at the graduate level. Regular admission requires a grade-point average of at least 3.0 on a 4.0 scale in prior degrees. Individual departments may require additional information and may have more stringent admission requirements.

Some departments may offer special provisional admission categories to students who may not qualify under regular admission criteria. Departments that offer provisional admission require a grade-point average of at least 2.5.  Applicants must provide evidence of ability to work successfully at the graduate level, including experience in and commitment to the profession. Exceptions to established policies must be sought individually by petition to the Graduate Division of the School of Education.

See Admission in the Graduate Studies section of the online catalog for more information.

Each department in the School of Education sets its own application deadlines.  Prospective graduate students should contact their departments for more information.

Graduate Admission to the Department of Curriculum and Teaching

In addition to general requirements for admission to graduate study in the School of Education, doctoral programs in Curriculum and Instruction require completion of appropriate undergraduate and graduate degree programs. Materials describing all Curriculum and Instruction programs may be obtained from the department.

Deadlines for doctoral application (domestic and international) are October 1 for early consideration of fall admission the following year, and March 15 for consideration of fall admission the same year.

Admission to the Doctor of Philosophy, Curriculum and Instruction Program (Domestic Applicants)

The following materials must be submitted:

  • A completed domestic online graduate application.
  • 1 official transcript of all previous undergraduate and graduate credit. Doctoral applicants must have earned a Master's degree or equivalent with at least a 3.5 grade-point average on a 4.0 scale.
  • Graduate Record Examination (GRE) general test scores. The scores must be no older than 5 years prior to the application term.  Official scores are required, sent from the testing institution directly to the Office of Graduate Studies.
  • A statement of career goals addressing how this degree will help meet professional aspirations and areas of interest in curriculum and instruction.
  • 3 letters of recommendation; a letter from the master's advisor is appropriate to include.  Each letter should be attached to the online recommendation form when it is submitted by the recommender.
  • Writing sample:  an article, paper or other composition originally written by the applicant. An appropriate length is 8 to 10 pages.
  • A vitae or resume.

Admission to the Doctor of Philosophy, Curriculum and Instruction Program (International Applicants)

The following materials must be submitted:

  • A completed international online graduate application.
  • 2 official transcripts of all undergraduate and graduate credit including degree conferral (1 in the original language and 1 in English translation).  Doctoral applicants must have earned a Master's degree or equivalent with at least a 3.5 grade-point average on a 4.0 scale. The transcripts must contain the following information:

- Completion of course work required for degree

- Degree earned and date the degree was conferred; if this is not on the transcript, applicants must also submit a degree certificate and/or diploma

- Official stamp/seal from the school

  • Graduate Record Examination (GRE) general test scores.  The scores must be no older than 5 years prior to the application term.  Official scores are required, sent from the testing institution directly to the Office of Graduate Studies.
  • A statement of career goals addressing how this degree will help meet professional aspirations and areas of interest in curriculum and instruction.
  • 3 letters of recommendation; a letter from the master's advisor is appropriate to include. Each letter should be attached to the online recommendation form when it is submitted by the recommender.
  • Writing sample:  an article, paper or other composition originally written by the applicant. An appropriate length is 8 to 10 pages.
  • A vitae or resume.
  • A statement of account balance from the applicant's sponsor's bank. This statement must be on bank stationery. There must also be a letter of support from his/her sponsor if the bank statement is not in the applicant's name.
  • For students whose native language is not English, official scores on the TOEFL (IBT) of at least 23 in Listening, Reading and Writing must be submitted for consideration of admission to the Curriculum and Teaching Department. The IELTS (Academic) official score is also accepted, with an overall score of at least 6.5, and scores of at least 6.0 in Listening, Reading and Writing. The PTE (Academic) official score is also accepted, with an overall score of at least 58 and scores of at least 53 in Listening, Reading and Writing.  The TOEFL, IELTS or PTE scores must be less than two years old at the time of admission. TOEFL/IELTS/PTE scores may not be required if the applicant meets the verification of English proficiency requirements as specified below:

Graduation with a baccalaureate degree (or higher) earned in residence from an accredited English-medium U.S. college or university, or a college or university in the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, Ireland, English-speaking province of Canada, or an English-speaking Caribbean country, with instruction conducted in English. Degrees earned online may not be used to verify English proficiency.

Please note: Meeting minimum admission standards does not guarantee admission to the program.

All application materials should be submitted online with the graduate application.  If there are application materials that cannot be uploaded with the online application, they may be emailed or mailed to the department:

The University of Kansas
Department of Curriculum and Teaching
Joseph R. Pearson Hall
1122 W. Campus Road, Room 321
Lawrence, KS 66045

Contact us: ctdepartment@ku.edu

Doctoral aspirants should develop a program plan at the first enrollment or promptly thereafter. The program plan must include:

  • A minimum of 36 graduate credit hours taken at the University of Kansas, exclusive of dissertation credits and the research requirement.  At least 24 of these hours must be in the area of Curriculum and Instruction. A minimum of 18 of these hours must be at the 800-level or above, and at least six of these hours must be outside of the area of study.
  • A minimum of 12 graduate credit hours in Research Skills (basic and applied research skills, including statistics, research design, and related requirements appropriate to the degree)
  • Completion of EDUC 800, Education as a Field of Scholarship
  • Completion of C&T 996, College Teaching Experience.  The doctoral aspirant assists a professor for one semester or may be assigned to teach an undergraduate course under faculty supervision.
  • Completion of the Responsible Conduct of Research requirement
  • 2 semesters, usually consecutive, must be spent in resident study at the University of Kansas.
  • Successful completion of written and oral comprehensive exams
  • Enrollment in dissertation hours.  Please refer to the School of Education Graduate Regulations section of the Graduate Catalog for detailed enrollment requirements.
  • Successful defense and submission for publication of the doctoral dissertation.

A copy of this program should be filed with the Graduate Division of the School of Education.

Although the courses and the research leading to the Ph.D. are necessarily specialized, the attainment of this degree should not be an isolated event in the enterprise of learning.  The aspirant for the Ph.D. is expected to be a well-educated person and should have acquired a broad base of general knowledge, both as preparation for more advanced work and as a means of knowing how curriculum and instruction is related to other fields of human thought.

Note: Contact your department or program for more information about research skills and responsible scholarship, and the current requirements for doctoral students. Current Lawrence and Edwards Campus policies on Doctoral Research Skills and Responsible Scholarship are listed in the KU Policy Library.