Language and Literacy Studies

Doctoral Program

Department of Curriculum and Instruction

The Language and Literacy Studies Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) program focuses on the study of literacy and the English Language Arts. This includes important developmental skills such as reading, writing, and related fields. The program emphasizes the relationships among language, literacy, culture, identity, and social justice.

As one end goal, the Ph.D. program strives to prepare teachers, teacher educators, and researchers who have the commitment and capacity to use literacy as a tool for social change. Degree plans are individually designed to increase your knowledge of curriculum and instructional issues both broadly and in a gradually focused way, based on your background and goals. The program includes coursework in language and literacy studies as well as research methods, foundational courses, and electives within the Department of Curriculum and Instruction. 

Our program includes clinical work within our teacher education programs and many research opportunities, including collaborations with faculty. To ensure that you experience the full quality and range of experiences in the program, one year of residency as a full-time student is strongly encouraged.  Upon graduation, you will be prepared to be professors in colleges and universities, advanced degree teachers of your subject in elementary and secondary schools, and literacy supervisors or coordinators in school districts.

Applicant Requirements

Applicants to the Language & Literacy Studies Ph.D. program must be certified teachers with at least three years of teaching experience. Those seeking employment (e.g., teaching assistantships, undergraduate intern supervisors) during their degree program, PreK-12 teaching experience in the USA is necessary for most of the work opportunities in the department.


General C&I Requirements (Minimum 21 hours)

Specialization Requirements (Minimum 21 hours)

Courses Outside the Department (Minimum: 6 hours)

Dissertation (Minimum 6 hours)

At a Glance

Program Starts: Fall

Deadline to Apply:
December 31

Credit Hours Required: 66

Schedule: Flexible

Program Location: On Campus

GRE Required? No

Photo of Tracey Flores

Program Coordinator
Tracey Flores 

Photo of Denise Davila

Ph.D. Program Advisor
Denise Dávila

How to Apply

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