The College of Education’s conceptual framework and dispositions lay out a broad plane dedicated to social justice through collaboration and advocacy with and for stakeholders and through leadership in advancing theory and research. The Department of Curriculum & Instruction’s Doctoral Education Framework is situated on that plane and establishes its distinctive topology in relation to those overarching features, focusing upon the epistemic, rhetorical, contextual, and purposive capacities that all doctoral students in C&I, regardless of direction, must develop over time through multiple experiences in the program.

The Doctoral Education Framework also aligns with the university’s vision of doctoral education, which states that students should learn the “special skills for conducting independent, scholarly research of publishable quality” to “demonstrate their potential for careers as independent, publishing scholars.” 

In keeping with both the college’s framework and the university’s vision, the Doctoral Education Framework will guide the design and enactment of the department’s doctoral programs while providing space for the unique experiences and contextual factors that faculty members and doctoral students bring with them to the education process. While allowing for flexibility to address a variety of differences, this framework marks a meeting place where students and faculty can converge to develop students’ capabilities as burgeoning researchers in curriculum and instruction.

*Revised PhD Program Coming Soon

The Department of Curriculum & Instruction is in the process of revising the PhD program. The new program will include 66 total credit hours, including 12 credit hours of sequenced core classes, 18 credit hours of focused area of study, 12 credit hours of research methods, 6 credit hours of Foundations of Education, and 18 credit hours of dissertation. The new program is expected to be approved for fall 2023.

Application Deadlines*

January 5, 2024

*PhD students applying to the program to work on specific grants with faculty may operate on a different schedule.

Figure 1

Curriculum & Instruction Doctoral Education Framework

In the doctoral program, you will create an individualized plan of study to build on your expertise, experiences, and desired direction. You will:

  • Pursue a research agenda of interest to you
  • Build your leadership skills in teaching and scholarship
  • Interact with dedicated educators whose practices are influenced by their research
  • Accomplish a national level of recognition for your work
  • Participate in annual meetings of professional associations
  • Work with experienced grant writers
  • Hone your writing skills to a high level of professional communication
  • Integrate emerging technologies into your professional work

Program Requirements

The Ph.D. requires a minimum of 102 credit hours of graduate study, comprising at least 78 hours of coursework and 24 credit hours of dissertation research. The coursework includes 48 credit hours in a Major Area, including 15 credit hours in the Doctoral Core. An additional 30 credit hours is required in Support Areas, including educational research and foundations. These credit hour requirements exceed the minimums outlined by the Graduate School Catalog.

Transfer Credit

With approval of your major advisor,  some credits from a qualifying master’s degree or Ed.S. degree may be applied toward this degree. Discuss transfer credits with your advisor. 

Areas of Study

Our faculty specialize in a variety of fields in curriculum, teaching, and learning. You can peruse their interests by clicking on their names and navigating to their pages. For more general information, contact Dr. Miguel Mantero, Chair (mmantero@ua.edu).

Early Childhood Education–Birth to Third Grade Specialization
Dr.  Lisa Fowler, Dr. Alison Hooper, Dr. Kailin Kerch, Dr. Holly H. Swain

Elementary Education
Dr. Lori Bruner, Dr. Julianne Coleman, Dr. Lisa Fowler, Dr. Alison Hooper, Dr. Kailin Kerch, Dr. Jee Suh, Dr. Holly H. Swain, 

Secondary Education
Dr. Cory Callahan, Dr. Shannon Davidson, Dr. Latrise Johnson, Dr. Miguel Mantero, Dr. Jon Shemwell, Dr. Tori Smith, Dr. Karen Spector, Dr. Elizabeth Wilson, Dr. Jeremy Zelkowksi

English as an Additional Language
Dr. Miguel Mantero

English Language Arts and Literacy
Dr. Lori Bruner, Dr. Julianne Coleman (Elementary & Middle), Dr. Amy Hutchison, Dr. Latrise Johnson (Middle & Secondary), Dr. Karen Spector (Middle & Secondary), 

Mathematics Education
Dr. Jeremy Zelkowski

Science Education
Dr. Shannon Davidson, Dr. Lisa Fowler, Dr. Jon Shemwell, Dr. Jee Suh

Social Studies Education
Dr. Cory Callahan, Dr. Lisa Matherson, Dr. Elizabeth Wilson

Social Transformation
Dr. Latrise Johnson, Dr. Miguel Mantero, Dr. Tori Smith, Karen Spector

World Languages
Dr. Miguel Mantero

In addition to these areas of study, doctoral plans of study may be tailored to individual interests, provided that we have faculty who can support this work.

Application Materials

Please apply online at the Graduate School’s website. Interested persons with restrictions that prevent the use of our online application or who have questions about applications should contact The University of Alabama, Graduate School, Box 870118, Tuscaloosa, AL 35487-0118; telephone (205) 348-5921 or 1-877-UAGRADS; fax (205) 348-0400; or e-mail gradschool@ua.edu.

  1. Online application form;
  2. Application fee payment;
  3. Statement of Purpose focusing upon areas of research interest and career goals.
  4. Unofficial GRE scores, if required.  GRE is required for graduate assistantships.
  5. Three letters of recommendation that address your potential to pursue scholarly work at the doctoral level in education;
  6. Unofficial transcripts from each institution;
  7. Language scores for non-native English speakers, except for those meeting certain requirements;

In addition to these Graduate School admissions materials, the Curriculum & Instruction doctoral program requires:

  1. Evidence of two years experience in related professions, curriculum design, or learner instruction at any level, in the US or abroad (include this in your resume/CV);
  2. A completed master’s degree with a 3.0/4.0 GPA.
  3. Resume or CV that overviews professional experience and accomplishments.
  4. A GRE score of 300+ is required for a Graduate Assistantship but does not guarantee one.

Not every student whose credentials meet minimum requirements is admitted. Admission requirements are subject to change without prior notice.