Jul 24, 2024  
2019-2020 Graduate Catalog 
2019-2020 Graduate Catalog [Not Current Academic Year. Consult with Your Academic Advisor for Your Catalog Year]

Curriculum and Instruction, PhD

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College of Education  > Department of Curriculum and Instruction  > Curriculum and Instruction, PhD

The PhD in Curriculum and Instruction prepares aspiring scholars and researchers to meet today’s challenges to education in multicultural urban settings. The Houston metropolitan area, with over one and a half million K-12 students, is a laboratory of practice for our PhD students from nearby and from around the world. Here, they can engage in inquiry on critical issues and needs germane to education in an increasingly diverse society.

Graduates of the PhD program in Curriculum and Instruction typically pursue the following careers:

  • University faculty members
  • Researchers in educational settings
  • Curriculum design experts
  • Content area and program evaluation directors
  • Advocates for policy improvements

Innovation, diversity and excellence are words that characterize this PhD program at the University of Houston. UH is recognized as one of only three national Tier One Hispanic-serving public research universities. It is also designated as an Asian-American serving institution. It is now welcoming the best and brightest local, national and international students into its PhD program in Curriculum and Instruction.

Specialization Areas 

There are eight areas of emphasis within the Doctor of Education program that reflect specific career aspirations. Questions about a specialization should be directed to the faculty advisor in each of the areas described below.

Art Education.  The doctoral program with specialization in Art Education is designed to prepare graduates for leadership roles in the teaching of art. Course work includes curriculum design, current issues and trends, and new technology in art. Students in the doctoral program are required to complete original research and are encouraged to be involved with professional organizations through publication and presentation. Study in this area prepares students for leadership roles as university teachers, curriculum coordinators for the public schools, and educational leadership in non-school settings such as museum education. 

Early Childhood Education.  The Early Childhood Education emphasis is designed to meet the educational needs of researchers who seek to improve their investigative and instructional skills in early childhood education settings within urban environments. Courses, field experiences, and research studies are complemented with progressively more involved curricula encompassing young children in group settings within public and private settings. Such training is the best possible preparation for careers in higher education, in schools as educational leaders and in child-related agencies. 

Learning, Design, and Technology.  The Learning, Design, and Technology emphasis prepares graduates to be active leaders in the use of instructional technologies in education at all levels, from early childhood through post-secondary, in business and industry, and in other organizations with educational components. The program emphasizes scholarly exploration in the areas of design and development of technology-based resources, curriculum development, teaching, design of learning environments, and assessment of programs and learning outcomes. Doctoral students develop broad understandings of current instructional technology trends and issues, as well as focus on a field of specialty that will provide for rich scholarly exploration in the future. 

Mathematics Education.  The doctoral program with an emphasis in Mathematics Education integrates curriculum and instructional theories, technology, issues of equity and social justice, research, and practice in order to prepare graduates to fill a variety of leadership positions. Graduates have assumed positions as mathematics education researchers, professional developers, mathematics supervisors in school districts, and mathematics teachers at elementary, secondary, and post-secondary levels. The degree offers students with opportunities to investigate mathematics education at all grade levels (pre-school through secondary). 

Reading, Language Arts, and Literature.  The doctoral program in Reading, Language Arts, and Literature concentrates on the effective teaching of reading, writing, and communicating. Literacy development, content area reading, clinical diagnosis, psychology of reading, reading comprehension, and the analysis of reading programs and other curriculum materials in language arts are studied in advanced seminars. In addition, this program provides for advanced study in literature for children and young adults. Graduates from the program are university professors, literacy curriculum specialists, school administrators, and campus literacy coaches. 

Science Education.  The doctoral program with emphasis in Science Education prepares graduates to fill a variety of leadership positions in education. The many graduates have assumed positions as: science education researchers and teacher trainers at universities; science supervisors in school systems; science teachers at pre-college and college levels; educational specialists at zoos, planetariums, and museums; and directors of training programs in business and industry. The degree serves to bridge the career aspirations of the candidate with his or her expertise and experiences. It places emphasis upon research and scholarly activity in the areas of curriculum development, teaching skills and instructional strategies, and theories of learning. A major focus is the improvement of scientific and technological literacy of school-age children and adults in the U.S. 

Social Education.  The doctoral program in Social Studies Education is designed to prepare college instructors, researchers, curriculum leaders, and teachers who are able to draw upon the social and behavioral sciences to understand and investigate problems in education. Program students are encouraged to select course work and learning experiences that are relevant to their own professional academic goals. The student may select a theme that will provide an interdisciplinary basis for his or her program. The program also provides for attention to the teaching of social issues, the social sciences and history as well as to such topics as curriculum construction, controversial issues, the conduct of inquiry, and political socialization.

Teaching and Teacher Education.  This area of emphasis provides the student with an intensive study of curricular and teacher effectiveness. It has been designed to enable educational practitioners -teachers, supervisors, staff developers, administrators, and those who aspire to be involved in curriculum development or teacher preparation and training at the university or college level to engage in stimulating, in-depth study and research with nationally recognized faculty. The experiences have been carefully planned to provide a mixture of knowledge, research, and practical experience. 

Admission Requirements

The College of Education takes into consideration a number of criteria when determining admission, including prior college or university performance, letters of recommendation, standardized test scores and statement of intent. All applicants must abide by the minimum qualifications for admissions to a masters or doctoral program. All graduate applicants (regardless of citizenship status) must demonstrate proficiency in English to obtain admission to the University. For more information, visit http://www.uh.edu/graduate-school/admissions/international-students/english-proficiency.

An applicant is responsible for ensuring that all required materials for the evaluation of admissions are received by the College before the program’s deadline. If the application is not complete by the program’s deadline, it will not be evaluated for the admissions. Full details of the online application process can be found at www.uh.edu/graduate-school/admissions/how-to-apply.

Applicant checklist:

  1. Complete online graduate application including statement of interest, resume/c.v., writing sample, letters of recommendation, and application fee payment.
  2. Official transcripts from all previous college/university work sent to the UH Graduate School.
  3. Official reporting of GRE scores taken in the last five years
  4. International students have additional documentation requirements which can be found at www.uh.edu/graduate-school/admissions/international-students/

Grade Point Average Requirements

Admission requirements for the College of Education require a minimum cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 2.6 for undergraduate coursework or over the last 60 credit hours of coursework. The College requires a minimum cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 for graduate coursework. The College’s admission committees evaluate all credentials submitted by applicants to determine a student’s ability and potential to succeed in graduate study. In addition, the committee is interested in the applicant’s potential to contribute to his/her program of study and the University community as a whole.

Degree Requirements

Credit hours required for this degree: 66.0

Research Core (15.0 hours)

Program Area Emphasis/Electives (21.0 hours)

Research Methods Electives 

After successful completion of the nine-hour introductory sequence (CUIN 8370, 8371, 8372), all doctoral students are required to complete two additional research courses (6 hours) in quantitative or qualitative research methods from the lists below, in consultation with their advisor.

Dissertation (6.0 hours)

Academic Policies

During the first term of the program, all PhD students will receive a reading list of articles and books that are considered required reading for the program. Students are responsible for studying the entire list before they apply for the qualifying examination. Specialization area will provide separate reading lists.

Qualifying Examination

The CUIN doctoral qualifying examination is intended to assess the student’s understanding of educational research methodologies, of the chosen field of study, and of how this chosen field is situated in the broader field of Curriculum and Instruction. It is also intended to assess the student’s capacity to move into the dissertation phase of the program. The CUIN doctoral qualifying examination will be offered only in the fall and spring terms.

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