Ph.D. in Education - Early Childhood | Curriculum and Instruction

Southern Illinois University



College of Education and Human Services

Doctor of Philosophy in Education (Ph.D.)

The doctoral program is designed to give students expertise in Early Childhood Education, but with more emphasis on research and the study and application of theory. Many of these students generally go on to teach in higher education.


A total of 72 semester hours is required in order to complete the degree. Students will take 15 credit hours of required COEHS and C&I core courses (see list below). Students will also enroll in an additional 25 credit hours in the early childhood education. Students will also be required to complete 24 credit hours of doctoral dissertation coursework and complete at least 9 credit hours of research tool courses.

College of Education Professional Core (6 credit hours)
EDUC 510 - Introduction to Doctoral Studies in Education
– and –
EDUC 511 - Doctoral Seminar in Philosophical and Cultural Foundations of Education
- or - EDUC 512 - Doctoral Seminar in Behavioral and Cognitive Foundations of Education

Research Tools Courses (9 credit hours)
QUAN 505 - Introduction to Quantitative Research
EAHE 587 - Introduction to Qualitative Research
Your Choice of a Cross-Departmental Research Course (3 credit hours)

C&I Professional Core (9 credit hours)
CI 582 - Advanced Research Methods in Education
CI 583 - Instructional Theory, Principles, and Practices
CI 584 - Curriculum Theory, Foundations, and Principles

Early Childhood Education (25 credit hours, includes electives)
Select two from the following required courses:
CI 514 - Advanced Child Development
CI 518 - Critical Issues in Early Childhood Education
CI 527 - Advanced Family Studies
CI 513 - Emergent Literacy

For more information about the early childhood education and elective courses, download the Doctoral Curriculum Guide below.

VIEW CURRICULUM GUIDE | Early Childhood Education - Ph.D.

For a complete and detailed list of the C&I doctoral program requirements, visit the College of Education and Human Services’ Ph.D. degree requirement page.