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Programs in Curriculum and Instruction

written by: Dr. Ranee Kaur Banerjee•edited by: Elizabeth Stannard Gromisch•updated: 6/30/2011

Want to learn more about doctoral programs in curriculum and instruction? This article explores what doctoral programs in curriculum and instruction entail and how you can go about finding one to fit your needs and interests.

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    A doctoral program in curriculum and instruction will equip you to design the curriculum of the subjects that you choose as your specialization. Once you have your degree, you will also be able to indicate how you want this curriculum to be taught: the medium of instruction and how you envision the teaching environment, the assessment measures and so on. A doctoral program in curriculum and instruction will make you eligible for a leadership positions in the education sector and you may apply for job positions such as a curriculum supervisor.

    Any program in this area will require you to take at least 60 credits and write a dissertation. A dissertation is an original research project that displays your mastery and expertise in a particular field. Usually, you pick an area that is not only in curriculum and instruction, but that interests you as well. You do not want to pick a topic that you don’t like.

    Before applying into any doctoral program, you need to also have previously obtained a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree in a related field. So, make sure you have an extensive educational background before you think about applying.

    If you really want to get a doctoral degree, make sure you are willing to invest the time. This is the highest degree that you can obtain, so it is not going to be easy. But, think about how much knowledge you will gain, plus, people can call you “doctor” once you are done. You can also put Ed.D. behind your name, which means doctor of education.

    Most colleges and universities require that you take the GRE, the graduate record examination. Since you need a master’s degree, chances are you have already taken them; but if not, start prepping now, because it is not an easy exam. You need to have at least two to three years experience in education. Get ready to send out copies of your transcripts also. Make sure you have at least three people that can provide you with a professional reference letter as well. All programs also require you to write a professional goal statement. You also need to have had at least a GPA of 3.0 or they won’t even consider you.

    If you enroll into a doctoral program in curriculum and instruction, you will have to take courses on the framework, implementation and evaluation of curriculum. Most programs also require at least one or two courses in educational research. Designing instruction is another course. There is also extensive coursework that involves teachers, such as evaluating and supervising teachers. Each school is different, but these are the basics of the courses you will take.

    Finding a good program that fits you and a department where you fit comfortably is crucial for you to have a valuable and enriching experience while you work for your doctoral degree. My advice to you before you enroll into a doctoral program in curriculum and instruction would be to take the time to explore and understand your own interests and motivation; research extensively before short-listing possible schools and finally, make the effort to visit your short-listed schools before you commit to one.

    photo credit: morguefile.com/archive/display/122530