Admission - Doctor of Philosophy in Education | C&I | SIU

Southern Illinois University



College of Education and Human Services

Admission - Doctor of Philosophy in Education | C&I | SIU

Doctor of Philosophy in Education (Ph.D.)

Each candidate’s program is planned in consultation with a faculty adviser from the program area selected by the student, with consideration for the student’s interests, experience, and program area.

The Doctor of Philosophy in Education degree, with a concentration in Curriculum and Instruction, is designed for teachers and other educational personnel who seek to improve their performance in general and in specialized areas in either the public schools or the private sector. This program is designed for students who desire positions requiring advanced preparation at the highest level with emphasis on theories of curriculum and instruction and in-depth preparation in research.

For example, this program is oriented toward students who aspire to positions with institutions of higher education, state level departments of education in the United States, ministries of education in foreign countries, educational sections of human service agencies, business and industry, and public schools.



The applicant must complete the online application, upload certain documents, and arrange for official transcripts and test scores to be sent to the department. A selection and review committee screens the applicant on the basis of prior graduate work, grade point average, standardized test scores (Graduate Record Examination), research ability, work experience, and recommendation forms.

The TOEFL score is required for international students with fewer than 100 semester hours of U.S. coursework. Visit our International Admission page for more information about International student admissions requirements.

The selection committee recommends admission of the student only if the program area has an appropriate sponsor for the applicant and if a faculty member who is qualified to direct dissertations agrees to serve as chair of the student’s doctoral committee. The admissions committee may possibly recommend a student for admission who shows some deviation from departmental standards if, in the committee’s opinion, the student shows unusual professional promise.

Any prospective doctoral candidate with a grade point average of less than 3.25 and 20 semester hours of doctoral work will not be allowed to continue in the program and will not be re-admitted at a later date. Students must accumulate an overall grade point average of 3.50 for all doctoral work to qualify to take the preliminary examination.

Prior to the completion of 30 semester hours of course work, students meet with their major professors to determine whether or not to continue as doctoral students. Such matters as grade point average, progress in the program, course completion, motivation, general academic scholarship, and skills in writing and research are considered. A report is then made to the doctoral committee and the department chair. Students who are not making satisfactory progress or who violate the regulations of the department, college, or university may be dropped from the program.





The concentration in Curriculum and Instruction has both College of Education and C&I requirements. A minimum of 72 semester hours beyond the master’s degree is required.

The College of Education Professional Core (6 semester hours)

  • EDUC 510 - Introduction to Doctoral Studies in Education
  • EDUC 511 - Doctoral Seminar in Philosophical and Cultural Foundations of Education - OR - EDUC 512 - Doctoral Seminar in Behavioral and Cognitive Foundations of Education.

The C&I requirements include a core of 9 semester hours, at least 24 semester hours in the selected program area; at least 3 research methods courses totaling at least 9 semester hours; and a minimum of 24 semester hours of dissertation.

The Professional Core of courses in C&I (9 semester hours)

  • CI 582 - Advanced Research Methods in Education
  • CI 583 - Instructional Theory, Principles, and Practices
  • CI 584 - Curriculum Theory, Foundations, and Principles

All professional core courses must be completed with a grade of C or better, and an overall grade point average of 3.0 must be obtained for the professional core.

Program Areas Available At The Doctoral Level:

  • Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment (CIA)

           Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment

  • STEM Education

           Learning Systems Design and Technology
           Mathematics Education 
           Science Education          

  • Language, Literacies, and Culture

           Language, Literacies, and Culture
           Social Science Education

  • Human Development and Family Studies (HDFS)

           Human Development and Family Studies
         Early Childhood

  • Teacher Leadership

           Teacher Leadership



All students are required to take EAHE 587 - Introduction to Qualitative Research and QUAN 505 - Introduction to Quantitative Research Methods and one additional cross-departmental graduate-level course in research methodology. This third research course is selected by the doctoral committee in cooperation with the graduate student. Research tools are selected on the basis of their appropriateness for the area of concentration, program area, and type of dissertation research.


The preparation and direction of the preliminary examination are the responsibility of the program area faculty and the student’s doctoral committee. Concepts related to curriculum, instruction, and research/evaluation will be integrated into the preliminary examination. Additional oral and written examinations may be required by the student’s doctoral committee. The examination is offered 3 times a year: Thursday and Friday of the fifth week of each term. A student may take the examination no more than 3 times.

For more information see the C&I Preliminary Examination Guidelines.


Students may not register for more than 6 dissertation hours until they have been advanced to candidacy. Having been admitted to candidacy, students submit prospectuses to their doctoral committees for approval. The dissertation must show high attainment in an independent original, scholarly, and creative effort. The student’s dissertation will be circulated to members of the doctoral committee at least 3 weeks in advance of the proposed defense. The prospectus and the dissertation must be uploaded to the student’s LiveText account.

The Department of Curriculum and Instruction requires an oral examination conducted by the doctoral committee. Oral examinations are open to all interested observers. Notice of the time and place of the examination and the abstract of the dissertation are circulated throughout the department and the University.


  • Have a minimum undergraduate grade point average of 2.7 (4.0 scale) for the last 60 hours of the bachelor’s program and a graduate grade point average of at least 3.25
  • Complete online Graduate School application
  • Pay application fee by credit card online
  • Submit all official transcripts from institutions of higher education attended
  • Submit official transcripts with the bachelor’s and master’s degrees posted
  • Submit writing sample
  • Request 3-5 recommendations
  • Submit an official GRE test score (five years or less)
  • TOEFL (or IELTS) test scores for International students (no more than two years old)
  • Send official transcripts and test scores to: Coordinator of Graduate Studies; Department of Curriculum and Instruction; Southern Illinois University; 625 Wham Drive, MC 4610; Carbondale, IL 62901
  • Ph.D. Policy & Procedures Handbook