Doctor of Philosophy in Curriculum and Instruction

Texas Tech University's College of Education offers a doctorate in Curriculum and Instruction with a specialization in STEM Education which enables place-bound professional educators the opportunity to advance their education. This hybrid program includes online courses and face-to-face summer intensive sessions to prepare professional educators to become university STEM educators, STEM education leaders in the K-12 setting, or state leaders in STEM education. Texas Tech University makes continuing your education possible no matter where "here" is. Please contact the College of Education to inquire about the next cohort start date.

Program Outcomes

This PhD in Curriculum and Instruction program with a specialization in STEM education is designed to produce graduates with skills as (1) global STEM educators and (2) pragmatic researchers in STEM education who can “make a difference” for K-12 students. To signify these two distinctive outcomes, this program is referred to as Global PRiSE.

As global STEM educators, students in Global PRiSE work with K-12 teachers to learn to engage their students in international collaborations where the students from multiple countries are reliant on each other to solve the instructional task, such as an engineering problem solving exercise. As pragmatic researchers, students in Global PRiSE will become K-12 change agents for improved STEM teaching, advocates for sound K-12 STEM policy at the local, state and national levels, and researcher about K-12 STEM education, especially STEM education carried out in a global context.

We define technology in STEM in the same way as the International Technology and Engineering Association (ITEEA) which focuses on courses such as those that train welders or electricians or educate youth about the effect of technology on society.

Application Process

The review of applicants will begin on March 1, 2016, to select a cohort of 25 students to start credit classes in Fall 2016 preceded by non-credit online orientation during Summer 2016. Submitting an application before March 1, 2016, is strongly recommended. On a space available basis, applications received after March 1, 2016, will be considered. If space remains, applications received after the start of the Fall 2016 semester will be considered to start the program in Spring 2017.

  1. Create your TTUGradConnect account online.
    On TTUGradConnect, you will be able to receive customized emails regarding your program of interest, upload unofficial copies of your application materials (live beginning December 1st if an application has been received), and view your application status in real-time.
  2. Apply as a new, first-time applicant online via ApplyTexas. If you have applied to Texas Tech Graduate School before, please complete the Graduate Application Change Form, and send that form to graduate.admissions@ttu.edu.
    1. Pay your application fee: $60 initial application fee or $50 for each subsequent application (including changes of entry date, add/change program requests, or readmission requests). Application fees for new, first-time applications may be paid via ApplyTexas at the time of application submission or by credit card on our website.
  3. Submit the following supplemental materials.
    • Resume
    • Applicant Statement
    • Writing Sample
    • Three Professional Recommendations
    • GRE scores - the scores must be from within the last 5 years. Please request that ETS send the official score report to Texas Tech (institution code 6827)

      Until the TTUGradConnect site is fully functional in December 2015, please submit your application materials directly to graduate.admissions@ttu.edu. DO NOT submit your documents via regular airmail or express mail delivery, as this will significantly delay the processing of your application.

  4. Check your status online via your TTUGradConnect account.
  5. Apply for financial aid and/or general scholarships.
  6. Upon acceptance to the Graduate School and the College of Education, you will work with a faculty advisor to develop a degree plan.

Program Requirements

Prerequisites

Applicants must have a master's degree from an accredited institution in STEM, science, technology, engineering or mathematics education or closely related field such as curriculum and instruction, elementary, middle or secondary education, mathematics or a science field.

By the start of their first course in the program, applicants must have had at least three years of successful teaching of science, technology, engineering, mathematics or a combination of two or more of these fields in a public or private school at the elementary, middle and/or secondary level or an informal setting, such as a zoo or museum.

Applicants must have completed undergraduate and/or graduate coursework in their STEM field (one or more of the sciences, mathematics, engineering or technology) consistent with their intended focus level after graduation. For example, applicants intending to work with secondary mathematics teachers are expected to have a stronger mathematics background than those who plan to work with elementary mathematics teachers.

Prerequisites not completed at the time of admission must be completed by the end of the second year of doctoral study.

Course Requirements

In order to achieve the outcomes of this doctoral program in STEM education, students will complete 66 hours of coursework as follows:

Year One (2016-2017; 18 credit hours)
Summer 2016
Non-credit, online program orientation.
Fall 2016
ESTM 6377 Global STEM Education
Make up one course deficiency, if needed.
Spring 2017
ESTM 6370 Research in STEM Education
EDCI 5306 Seminar in Curriculum and Instruction: Quantitative Methods I
Attend national conference of ISTE (International Society of Technology in Education) in June 2017 at a site TBA.
Summer 2017
EDCI 5306 Seminar in Curriculum and Instruction: eLearning in the Classroom
EDCI 6331 John Dewey
ESTM 6373 Advanced Theory of Inquiry in STEM Education
Attend a two week session (dates TBA between approximately July 10 and August 10) for the face-to-face portion of coursework and advising about the doctoral program.
Year Two (2017-2018; 18 credit hours)
Fall 2017
EDCI 6306 Advanced Seminar in Curriculum and Instruction: Quantitative Methods II
ESTM 6378 Applications of Global Science Education
Spring 2018
ESTM 6372 Applied Assessment in STEM Education
Make up one course deficiency, if needed.
Attend Association for Science Teacher Education (ASTE) or Association of Mathematics Teacher Educators (AMTE) national conference, typically on a Thursday-Saturday in January (ASTE) or February (AMTE) at a site TBA.
Summer 2018
ESTM 6371 Effective Policy Advocacy in STEM Education
EDCI 5386 Constructivist Inquiry Methods
ESTM 6374  International STEM Education Assessment, Policy and Practice
Attend a two week session (dates TBA between approximately July 10 and August 10) for the face-to-face portion of coursework and advising about the doctoral program.
Year Three (2018-2019; 18 credit hours)
Fall 2018
ESTM 6375 Staff Development in Science Education
EDCI 6382 Advanced Field Methods as Constructivist Inquirer
Spring 2019
EDCI 6393 Advanced Practicum as a Global STEM Professional Developer
EDCI 6379 Applied Research in STEM Education
Summer 2019
EDCI 6393 Advanced Practicum applying theory to practice as advocate for research-based STEM education policy
EDCI 7000 Research (Dissertation Proposal)
Attend a three day policy/advocacy session in Washington, typically in June.
Attend a two week session on campus in Lubbock (dates TBA between approximately July 10 and August 10) for the face-to-face portion of coursework, doctoral program advising and written portion of the qualifying examination.
Year Four (2019-2020; 12 credit hours)
Fall 2019
EDCI 8000 Dissertation (6 credit hours)
Oral portion of qualifying exam in August-September. Students who do not successfully pass their qualifying exam may be required to enroll in additional coursework. Formal presentation of dissertation proposal in October-December.
Spring 2020
EDCI 8000 Dissertation (3 credit hours)
Summer 2020
EDCI 8000 Dissertation (3 credit hours)
Dissertation Defense and Commencement. Students who do not complete their dissertations by Summer 2020 will continue to enroll in dissertation research each semester for at least 3 credits until completion of their degree.

Program Delivery

The majority of the 66 hours of coursework will be completed online but students will be required to attend as a group three intensive two-week mid-July sessions in 2017, 2018 and 2019 on the Lubbock campus of Texas Tech University and national conferences of the International Society of Technology in Education in 2017, Association for Science Teacher Education or Association of Mathematics Teacher Educators in 2018, and a three day session on policy and advocacy in Washington, DC in 2019. Students must be committed to completing a predetermined set of courses as part of a cohort starting in Fall 2016. Additionally, students will be expected to complete coursework and additional expectations as outlined in the program requirements.

Admission Criteria

Interested applicants should have:

  • A master's degree from an accredited institution in education in a STEM field (science, technology, engineering, mathematics or a combination of two or more of these fields) or closely related field such as curriculum and instruction, elementary, middle or secondary education, or one of the sciences, engineering, technology or mathematics with a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher.
  • Completed a graduate course in each of three areas: curriculum, instruction and diversity.
  • An acceptable set of GRE scores.
  • By the start of their first course in the program, applicants must have had at least three years of successful teaching of science, technology, engineering, mathematics or a combination of two or more of these fields in a public or private school at the elementary, middle and/or secondary level or an informal setting, such as a zoo or museum.
  • A minimum of three references from professionals in the field of education. At least one of the references must speak to the strength of the applicant as a STEM teacher.

Preference will be given to applicants who have significant graduate work in STEM education. Applicants' undergraduate and/or graduate coursework should be commensurate with the grade level – elementary, middle or secondary – at which they plan to work; applicants planning to work at the secondary level are expected to have studied STEM to a greater extent than those who plan to work at lower levels.

Additional Expectations

In addition to meeting programmatic and degree requirements, students are expected to actively contribute to the profession. Students will be advised to do many of the following activities either as part of a course or as a separate activity:

  • Presenting at a national or international professional conference, such as AMTE, ASTE, AERA, NCTM or NSTA.
  • Submitting research manuscripts for publication.
  • Submitting book reviews for publication.
  • Contributing to the writing of a grant proposal.
  • Serving as a reviewer of conference proposals.
  • Serving as a reviewer of a journal article.

Contact Us

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Call Us

Contact the program coordinator by phone.

  • Name: Dr. Walter Smith
  • Phone: 806.834.3799