Curriculum Studies Ed.D.

Degree Requirements: 63 Credit Hours beyond Master’s Including Dissertation, 54 Credit Hours beyond Master’s Excluding Dissertation

Admission Requirements

The following minimum admission requirements must be met:

  1. Complete the work necessary to be eligible for the minimum of a Master’s degree from an accredited graduate institution.
  2. Present a minimum grade point average of 3.50 (4.0 scale) in all graduate work attempted (or other appropriate evidence of scholarly aptitude necessary for doctoral study).
  3. Present current official report from the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) or the Miller’s Analogies Test (MAT) showing competitive scores. International Students who have not earned a degree at an institution of higher education in the United States must also submit the results of the TOEFL Examination.
  4. Submit completed application for admission, required application fee and official transcripts consistent with the College of Graduate Studies admission requirements.
  5. Submit three (3) professional letters of reference.
  6. Submit a completed “Disclosure and Affirmation Form” that addresses misconduct disclosure, criminal background check, the Code of Ethics for Educators, and tort liability insurance.
  7. Complete a writing sample.
  8. Complete an interview, if requested.

Applicants’ credentials will be evaluated by the Ed.D. in Curriculum Studies Admissions Committee in order to identify the candidates in that applicant pool to recommend for admission; admission is competitive. The number of applicants accepted each year will be dependent upon available resources. Applications will be evaluated once per year for Summer admissions. The deadline for applications is January 30. Students seeking a certificate upgrade must identify a concentration (i.e., certification field) on the Ed.D. admission application.


One academic year of continual enrollment.

Time Limit

Doctoral students must pass the Candidacy Exam within five years from the first Ed.D. admission registration term and no later than the last semester of Ed.D. course work or the following semester. All degree requirements must be completed within five (5) years of passing the Candidacy Exam. After successful completion of the Candidacy Exam, students have five years to finish program requirements, including the Dissertation; otherwise, the Candidacy Exam must be retaken.

Program of Study

This degree program consists of work in five areas:

  1. Curriculum Studies Core,
  2. Research and Inquiry Core,
  3. Advanced Doctoral Core (with certification/non-certification options),
  4. Emphasis Area, and
  5. Dissertation.

The first two areas require a combined minimum of 33 credit hours of course work, the third area requires a minimum of 9 credit hours of course work, the fourth area requires a minimum of 12 credit hours, and the fifth area requires a minimum of 9 credit hours. The complete program requires a minimum of 54 credit hours of course work plus 9 credit hours of dissertation.


Students must meet prerequisites required by the program and by certain courses within the program. Prerequisite courses do not apply toward degree requirements. The program prerequisites are:

Credit Hours
EDUC   7130Curriculum, Theories and Design3
EDUF   7130Learning Theories and Applications3
EDUF   7235Multicultural Education3
EDUR   7130Educational Research3
EDUR   8131Educational Statistics I3

Some students might enter the program carrying course work beyond the Master’s degree. Once admitted and a Candidacy Committee Chair is identified, up to 9 credit hours of applicable and appropriate post-Master’s work may apply toward degree requirements with the approval of the student’s Candidacy Committee Chair.

Curriculum Studies Core

This is the nexus of the program. As such, it contains courses to be taken by all doctoral students. The Core intertwines the theoretical, ethical, and historical concepts underpinning curriculum work with advanced theories of design, development, and implementation.

Research and Inquiry Core

This portion of the program is designed to create scholars who might apply their knowledge base to the solving of problems encountered in daily education work. Both components of the Research and Inquiry Core are understood to be essential in the preparation of doctoral students who will engage in meaningful, productive investigations into critical issues in curriculum. The Research component provides for advanced study into specific methodologies and their appropriate applications. The Inquiry component addresses theoretical questions of orientation of various research paradigms so that the doctoral student might make an informed decision as to the general approach (i.e., quantitative or qualitative) he/she will wish to pursue in order to effectively address a topic or problem in curriculum.

Advanced Doctoral Core

This segment of the program of study provides an option to students regarding required courses. Students will select either the certification option (advanced pedagogy coursework) or the non-certification option (advanced Curriculum Studies coursework). Students seeking a certificate upgrade must select the certification option and apply the advanced pedagogy coursework to their certification field.

Emphasis Areas

This program offers four interdisciplinary emphasis areas covering a broad terrain of scholarly inquiry and educational application.

  1. Cultural Curriculum Studies
    This emphasis area provides intensive exposure to critical aspects of the Curriculum Studies field. It also centers on the study of popular culture in its many manifestations and the implications of the ways in which the study of these educational sites impact the social construction of identity and the intersections of popular culture on pedagogy and curriculum theory.
  2. Instructional Improvement
    This emphasis area meets the needs of many practicing professionals including curriculum directors, staff development personnel, instructional coordinators, high school department chairs, and lead teachers as well as others in teaching or administrative positions at the P-12 level or in higher education.
  3. Multicultural/International Studies
    This emphasis area reflects the growing importance of multicultural and international studies at all levels of education. The emphasis area allows examination of the needs of culturally diverse groups, the relationship between culture and academic achievement, and the nature of international schooling.
  4. Teaching and Learning
    This emphasis area, which combines theory and practice, provides a critical examination of enduring and contemporary issues, reform efforts, and practices associated with the teaching and learning process.

Grade Average

To be eligible for graduation, a student must maintain a cumulative 3.25 grade point average. A student will be excluded from the program upon earning grades of “C” or below in two or more courses.

Student Assessment

Students will be assessed regularly throughout the program at a variety of administrative and curricular checkpoints. The official sequence is as follows.

  1. Admission to the program
  2. Course work
  3. Candidacy examinations
  4. Preprospectus defense
  5. Prospectus defense
  6. Dissertation defense

Examinations and Committees

During their tenure in the program, students with their Advisors, will assemble two separate examination committees. The first is the Candidacy Examination Committee, and the second is the Dissertation Committee. Each committee has a distinct mission in the program of the student and specific membership criteria. At least one Curriculum Studies faculty member must be a member of each of the committees described below. The membership of these committees may or may not be comprised of the same individuals. The following is a description of the mission and membership requirements of each committee.

The Candidacy Examination

Following the completion of the prescribed minimum course work and before a student is formally admitted to candidacy for the doctoral degree, the Candidacy Examination must be passed. This examination evaluates both the work to date and the student’s qualifications for advanced research. If a student fails the Candidacy Exam, she/he has one more opportunity to re-take it. If the student fails the second attempt, she/he will be excluded from the program.

The Candidacy Committee

The committee will be comprised of three faculty, each responsible for one of the examination blocks (Core, Research, Advanced Doctoral Core/Emphasis Areas). All committee members must hold Graduate Faculty status. If the committee is larger than three (at the student’s request), there may be only one dissenting vote in order for the candidate to pass. Upon successful completion of the Candidacy Examination, the student is formally admitted to candidacy and will begin work on the dissertation.

The Dissertation Committee

The Preprospectus Defense, Prospectus Defense, and the Dissertation Defense are proctored by at least four members of the Graduate Faculty and conducted in a public forum. The membership is as follows: the Director of the dissertation and three readers, one of whom must be from outside the College of Education. Candidates, in concert with their chair, will choose the individuals of the committee. Three of the four members must approve the dissertation and the final examination in order for the candidate to receive the doctoral degree.

The Preprospectus Defense

The dissertation is simultaneously the last requirement in the program and the first research project as a curriculum scholar. There are two check points in the dissertation process, the first being the Preprospectus Defense. This is to ensure the committee’s agreement with the project and to elicit any preliminary suggestions and/or redirection of question, context, method, and/or analysis.

The Prospectus Defense

This is to provide formal feedback on the first three chapters of the dissertation (or the introduction, theoretical framework, literature review and methodology) before the student begins the “data collections” stage of the dissertation.

The Dissertation Defense

The defense will be undertaken once the project is complete. Although there are traditional formats for dissertations in education, the Department requires no template for construction. There are, however, certain tenets of educational research which should be addressed in some manner in the work depending upon the general theoretical structure (quantitative or qualitative), and the methodological approach chosen from within that theoretical paradigm. The role of the dissertation chair is critical in this process and candidates should carefully choose the individual with whom they wish to work.

Distinguished Off-Campus Scholar

Having a highly respected scholar from another institution or research center serving on a doctoral examination committee can be very valuable. Therefore, a person who is a nationally or internationally recognized scholar may serve as a voting member of a dissertation examination committee for an individual doctoral student. Further information and criteria for such an appointment should be obtained from the dissertation chair or the program director.

Program of Study

NOTE: All electives must be approved by committee chair.


Credit Hours
Program Prerequisites
EDUC   7130Curriculum, Theories and Design3
EDUF   7130Learning Theories and Applications3
EDUF   7235Multicultural Education3
EDUR   7130Educational Research3
EDUR   8131Educational Statistics I3


Credit Hours
Curriculum Studies Core
EDUC   9230Power and Schooling3
EDUC   9631Advanced Seminar in Curriculum Theory3
EDUF   8831Philosophies of Education3
EDUF   9131Ethical Dimensions of Education3
EDUF   9132History of American Curriculum3
EDUF   9234History of American Education3
Research and Inquiry Core
EDUC   9232Forms of Curriculum Inquiry3
EDUC   9636Advanced Seminar in Forms of Curriculum Inquiry3
EDUF   9133Theories of Educational Inquiry3
EDUR   8132Educational Statistics II3
or EDUR   9232 Advanced Qualitative Research
EDUR   9231Qualitative Research in Education3
Advanced Doctoral Core
Select one of the following Options:9
Certification Option (Advanced Pedagogy) 1
Inquiry and Development of Educational Practice 2
Advanced Critical Pedagogy
Advanced Seminar in Instructional Technology 2
Non-Certification Option (Advanced Curriculum Studies)
Select three of the following courses:
Contemporary Curriculum Theorists (may be repeated once for emphasis area/elective credit hour)
Critical Reading in Curriculum (may be repeated once for emphasis area/elective credit hour)
Advanced Seminar in Qualitative Dissertation Writing
Research Seminar in Curriculum Studies (may be repeated once for elective credit hour)
Emphasis Area
Select one of the following Emphasis Areas:12
Cultural Curriculum Studies
Contemporary Curriculum Theorists
Critical Reading in Curriculum
Seminar in Cultural Studies
Instructional Improvement
Curriculum Design and Evaluation
Select two of the following:
Theories of Adolescence
Interaction and Learning
Models of Motivation
Thinking and Problem Solving
Theories of Human Development
Multicultural/International Studies
Global Education
Regional Issues In Multicultural Education
International Study of Educational Practices
Teaching and Learning
Critical Analysis of Schools and Educational Practices
Supervision of Teachers
Advanced Seminar in Teaching and Learning
EDUC   9999Dissertation (minimum of 9 credit hours)1-3
Total Credit Hours63

Candidates are eligible for a certificate upgrade in any Georgia Professional Standards Commission approved certification area.  Students seeking a certificate upgrade must identify a concentration (i.e., certification field) during the Ed.D. admission process in order for the concentration to appear on their transcript.


Students must apply coursework to their certification field.

Other Program Requirements

  • Must successfully complete assessments identified at each program transition point


Department of Curriculum
Foundations, and Reading
Dr. Sabrina Ross
Program Director
P. O. Box 8144
Statesboro, GA 30460
(912) 478-0696
Fax: (912) 478-5382