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Texas A&M University Corpus Christi - Discover Your Island

Doctoral Program in Curriculum and Instruction

Educational Leadership, Curriculum and Instruction

The Ph.D. Program in Curriculum and Instruction will enable students to assume leadership roles in educational programs nationwide. Students pursuing their doctorate have a choice between two tracks, Literacy Studies or Curriculum Studies. Both tracks are designed primarily for professionals who wish to teach at colleges and universities, to have careers as researchers and scholars, and to fill other major positions in the field of education. The program features coursework, seminars, a residency, comprehensive examinations, and dissertation research. The Doctoral Program in Curriculum and Instruction is designed to help students develop a style of thinking that is grounded in knowledge of professional literature, inquiry, and critical reflection. Major goals of students in the program include the following:

  • To understand successful educational practices and processes
  • To educate and supervise other professionals
  • To apply knowledge through original research
  • To design, conduct, and evaluate qualitative and quantitative research studies in the field of literacy education

Degree Requirements

In this 60-hour degree program, 2 consecutive semesters of enrollment in 9 semester credit hours are required.


  • 12 hours in core curriculum classes
  • 18 hours in research tools
  • 24 hours in a curriculum emphasis (either Literacy Studies or Curriculum Studies)
  • 6 hours of dissertation (repeated as necessary)

For the Literacy Studies track, students whose prior graduate work is not in literacy education will be required to take additional courses beyond the 60 hours.

Candidacy/Comprehensive Examinations
Comprehensive examinations are scheduled after the student has completed all required core, specialization, and research tools courses. Admission to candidacy for the degree requires passing both a written and an oral comprehensive examination.

Dissertation and Final Examination
Students develop the dissertation under the supervision of a dissertation advisor. A final oral examination will focus on, but is not limited to, dissertation work.

Doctoral Application Procedures
For admission to the Doctoral Program in Curriculum and Instruction, candidates must have:

  • An overall grade point average of 3.00
  • A Graduate Record Examination score (taken within the last five years)
  • At least three years of teaching experience
  • At least four letters of recommendation on official letterhead
  • Official transcripts of all undergraduate and graduate coursework indicating completion of a master's degree in a relevant field.
How to apply
Admission to the C&I doctoral program occurs in the fall and spring. For fall admission, application materials must be received by March 25; and, for spring admission, they must be received by October 15.

Click here to begin the application. In addition to this application, some other materials are required.

For questions, contact donna.degaish@tamucc.edu