Ph.D. Program Details



The academic coursework is designed to develop the knowledge base necessary for effective research and scholarship development.

Residency Requirement:

Students must complete six credit hours of graduate level coursework over two consecutive semesters. During this period the student is to be involved in full-time academic pursuits. This residency requirement must be fulfilled before comprehensive examinations can take place.

Comprehensive Exams

Upon completion of all coursework, the student is eligible for the comprehensive examination. The comprehensive examination consists of both a written and oral part and test the student's knowledge of the areas of the coursework; ability to reason, evaluate and draw supportable conclusions; and knowledge of current issues and trends within the field.


After successfully passing the comprehensive exams, the student must present a dissertation showing the planning, conduct, and results of original research and scholarly creativity. The purpose of the dissertation is to encourage and ensure the development of broad intellectual capabilities as well as to demonstrate an intensive focus on a problem or research area.

Program Curriculum

The program’s curriculum reflects the needs and aspirations of each student, and prepares researchers, teachers and educational leaders for a variety of positions. Students will specify an area of interest in which classes and research work will be completed and in which he/she expects to become a scholar. This area of focus requires at least 36 graduate credit hours completed at the University of Kansas, exclusive of dissertation credit hours and research skill requirements. The doctoral student, with the assistance of a faculty advisor, will construct a doctoral program plan of coursework and research opportunities.

Course Requirements


Please note, this is a potential plan of study. Please consult with your faculty advisor before enrolling.

Additional Requirements

  • Curriculum & instruction courses: 24 credit hours

  • Content elective courses: 12 credit hours

  • Total (minimum) for program: 72 credit hours

Graduate Admission

Applicants must have a master's degree or equivalent with at least a 3.5 grade point average on a 4.0 scale. International applicants are strongly encouraged to complete the application process well in advance of the application deadlines in order to ensure adequate time for processing of visa-related paperwork. Meeting minimum admission standards does not guarantee admission to the program. Applicants are strongly advised to contact one (or more) of the faculty members in the department prior to applying for the doctoral program.

Application deadlines

March 1
Fall semester application deadline

Application Checklist

Ph.D. in Curriculum & Instruction

Applicants are required to submit the following materials and meet the following requirements before the application deadline:


  • Master’s degree or equivalent

    Master’s degree or equivalent with a GPA of at least 3.5 on a 4.0 scale

  • Online application

    Complete through the KU Office of Graduate Admissions

  • Transcripts

    One official copy of academic transcripts from each college or university attended:

  • English translation of transcripts

    Official transcripts from an international university must include an English translation in addition to an official transcript in the original language;

  • GRE exam scores

    Official copy of scores no older than five years;

  • Resume or CV;

  • Statement of goals

    1-2 page statement indicating how the program relates to future career goals;

  • Writing sample

    An article, academic paper, or other scholarly composition;

  • Online letters of recommendation

    Names and email addresses of persons to be asked to complete letters of recommendation in order to provide a thorough evaluation of one’s abilities at the graduate level;

  • Proof of English proficiency

    Non-native English speakers must demonstrate English proficiency with full proficiency scores:

  • Financial document (international students only)

    Required by U.S. government in order to issue the I-20 or DS-2019:

  • Application fee

    $65 for U.S. residents; $85 for international.

Program Faculty

portrait of Barbara A Bradley
Barbara A. Bradley
Professor, Reading Education, Elementary Education Program Coordinator
portrait of Hyesun Cho
Hyesun Cho
portrait of Kelli Ruth Feldman
Kelli Ruth Feldman
Professor, Associate Dean for Teacher Education and Undergraduate Programs
portrait of Aleda Susan Gay
A. Susan Gay
Associate Professor, Middle Math Education Program Coordinator
portrait of Manuela Gonzalez-Bueno
Dr. Manuela Gonzalez-Bueno
Associate Professor Emeritus, Foreign Language Education Program Coordinator
portrait of Heidi L Hallman
Heidi L. Hallman
Chair, Department of Curriculum and Teaching, Professor, Secondary English Education Program Coordinator
portrait of Dorothy E. Hines
Dorothy E. Hines
Associate Professor in Curriculum & Teaching, Associate Professor of African and African-American Studies
portrait of Carrie L La Voy
Carrie L. La Voy
Teaching Professor
Nicholas Mitchell
Nicholas Mitchell
Assistant Professor
portrait of Kwangok Song
Kwangok Song
Associate Professor
portrait of Steven Hugh White
Steven Hugh White
Associate Professor, Elementary Education - Social Studies