Graduate opportunities

The Curriculum and Instruction doctoral program at the University of North Texas is a research-intensive program that enables you to:

  • Gain an integrative perspective on education
  • Receive a firm grounding in educational theory, pedagogical practice and research methodology
  • Engage in educational efforts focused on social justice and equity
  • Develop research agendas to pursue your professional career
  • Prepare to be a leader in research and pedagogy

The Doctor of Philosophy degree in Curriculum and Instruction prepares graduates for careers as scholars, researchers or teacher educators in higher education or to hold research-oriented leadership positions.

Concentrations are available in Curriculum Studies, Early Childhood Studies or Language and Literacy Studies.

Our faculty members have a wide range of interests in their specialization areas. Their research interests span from curriculum integration to technology to language and literacy issues, all across a diverse range of grade levels and populations.

Outstanding student support

UNT provides a wide variety of services exclusively to graduate students. The Graduate Student Writing Support office can help you with writing, and the Center for Interdisciplinary Research offers assistance with statistical research.

The Toulouse Graduate School® offers several professional development workshops, including a Dissertation Boot Camp. Many of the workshops are available online for your convenience.

Concentration areas

Curriculum Studies focuses on the dynamic, historical and cultural aspects of the educational experience. Special attention goes to the connections between theory and practice, the role of politics and policies relevant to school curricula, contrasting approaches to curriculum evaluation and reconceptualization, and critical analysis of curricular paradigms. The program emphasizes understanding curriculum, learning and teaching in various facets.

Early Childhood Studies develops critical educational leaders, researchers, and facilitators of social change for children, their families and their teachers and caregivers. Research and scholarship are created to increase equity, social justice and life or education opportunities for those who are younger. Graduates prepare for diverse teaching, research and administrative responsibilities.

Language and Literacy Studies focuses on theories, practices and policies associated with language and literacy in preparing scholars, researchers and educational leaders. The program improves educational practice through generating new knowledge and service to education institutions, governmental agencies and practitioners at all levels of education. Committed to theory-driven research that informs effective practice, faculty members acknowledge the complex role of language and culture in literacy as they mentor literacy leaders.

Attending UNT

Admission requirements

You must meet the admission requirements for the graduate school. For graduate school requirements, visit the UNT degree catalog or the grad school website.

Once admitted, provide the items below to the Curriculum and Instruction program by email to the Department of Teacher Education and Administration.

  • Three letters of recommendation from individuals who can address your ability to pursue doctoral-level studies and potential for contributing to a field of study
  • Detailed statement of purpose describing research interests, plans and purpose for pursuing a Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction
  • Curriculum vitae

You're expected to have competitive GRE scores and at least a 550 on the TOEFL if your native language is not English. Admission decisions are based on a holistic review of all materials. Completed applications should be received by Feb. 1 to ensure consideration for any scholarships or department assistantships. Late applications will be considered for admission.

Degree requirements

  • 12 credit hours of Curriculum and Instruction core courses
  • 18 credit hours of courses in a concentration
  • 15 credit hours of research courses
  • 6 credit hours of electives
  • 9 credit hours of dissertation

Financial assistance

The department offers teaching fellowships and teaching and research assistantships. The fellowships and assistantships provide valuable experience teaching in higher education, participating in research and supporting the department's work.

Salaries for fellowships and assistantships are competitive. Out-of-state and international students who receive assistantships are eligible to pay in-state tuition rates. Information about other financial assistance programs is available at the financial aid website.

The College of Education also provides financial awards for graduate students who travel to present research at professional meetings.


Dina C. Castro, Professor and Velma E. Schmidt Endowed Chair in Early Childhood Education; Ph.D., University of North Carolina. Quality and equity in the education of bilingual, culturally and ethnically diverse children; bilingual development; teacher professional development; factors affecting the well-being of immigrant children.

Diyu Chen, Senior Lecturer; Ed.D., Harvard University. The early development of cognition and emotion; early childhood education and curriculum; early literacy and math concept development; parent-child interactions; cultural perspectives.

Lisbeth Dixon-Krauss, Professor and Associate Dean of the College of Education; Ph.D., University of Florida. Applications of socio-cultural theory to literacy development and instruction; current practices and issues in teacher education.

Colleen Eddy, Associate Professor; Ed.D., Baylor University. Middle/secondary mathematics teacher education; formative assessment; teacher efficacy; algebra/algebraic reasoning.

Ricardo González-Carriedo, Assistant Professor; Ph.D., Arizona State University. Education of bilingual and bicultural students; second language learning and literacy development among culturally and linguistically diverse students.

Pamela Esprívalo Harrell, Professor, Ed.D.; University of Houston. Science teacher quality and teacher effectiveness.

Mei W. Hoyt, Assistant Professor; Ph.D., Texas A&M University. Curriculum studies with a focus on digital media and embodiment; teacher education and new technologies; multicultural education; cross-cultural studies.

Kelley King, Associate Professor; Ph.D., University of Texas at Austin. Education for democracy and global citizenship; history of public schooling in the U.S.; qualitative research methods, including oral history, life history, narrative inquiry and auto/biography.

James D. Laney, Professor and Department Chair; Ed.D., University of California-Los Angeles. Generative teaching-learning theory; general social studies education; economic education; financial education and financial justice education; aging education; arts integration.

Janelle Mathis, Professor and Assistant Chair for Graduate Programs; Ph.D., University of Arizona. Multicultural/international children's literature; critical content analysis of children's literature; social semiotics as significant in culturally relevant instruction.

Nancy Nelson, Professor; Ph.D., University of Texas at Austin. Processes and practices of written communication; academic authorship; global literacy; intercultural dialogue; research traditions

Sarah Smitherman Pratt, Assistant Professor; Ph.D., Louisiana State University. Intersection of mathematics education and curriculum theory; complexity theories as they relate to complex conversations in education.

Karthigeyan Subramaniam, Associate Professor and Curriculum and Instruction Doctoral Program Coordinator; Ph.D., University of Otago (New Zealand). Science teacher education; educational technology; teacher beliefs, conceptions and pedagogical content knowledge; qualitative and mixed methods.

Jeanne Tunks, Associate Professor; Ph.D., University of North Texas. Effects of tutoring in mathematics; influencing the perception of students as math learners; algebraic thinking at the elementary school level and its effect on future algebra success.

Carol Wickstrom, Professor; Ph.D., Texas Woman's University. Classroom discourse as related to pre-service teacher education; reflection; portfolio assessment; writing instruction and professional development as Director of North Star of Texas Writing Project.

Jamaal R. Young, Assistant Professor; Ph.D., Texas A&M University. Culturally responsive mathematics teaching, particularly related to the educational needs of African American children; multicultural STEM project-based learning.

Jemimah Young, Assistant Professor; Ph.D., Texas A&M University. Secondary social studies education; the role of African American women in the academy; building communities of practice around cultural studies.

Report content errors on this page to