Program and Curriculum

A common set of core courses provides a comprehensive understanding of literacy within biological, psychological, linguistic, and social contributions to human development, learning, and motivation. Students in this program will develop an understanding of how changing social and political perspectives and evolving scientific knowledge affect how literacy is defined, taught, assessed and acquired. Core courses will assist students to build upon prior education and experience. They will inform students about designs and methodologies typically employed to research the process of literacy learning and the outcomes of teaching. The program incorporates several components including coursework specific to the core of the program, courses selected to flesh out an area of specialization chosen by the student, and service learning requirements tied to specific courses and a practicum. Students are encouraged to develop skills in professional writing leading to submission of at least one paper for publication in a referred journal prior to sitting for the comprehensive examinations.


The doctoral program requires completion of 60 semester credit hours (post master's) distributed as follows:

component Hours
Literacy Studies Core
    • Foundations of Literacy (6 hours)
    • Language & Literacy (6 hours)
    • Pedagogy (6 hours)
    • Research Design & Data Analysis (6 hours)
    • Practicum (3 hours)
Specializations 12
Electives 09 
Dissertation 12


Estimated Time for Completion

Full-time: approximately 3-4 years | Part-time: approximately 5-6 years

Maximum Time

There is a time limit of ten (10) years to complete all Ph.D. degree requirements. That is, all doctoral coursework as well as the dissertation must be completed within ten (10) years of the first semester of enrollment.