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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.

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.

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Call Us

Contact the program coordinator by phone.

  • Name: Dr. Walter Smith
  • Phone: 806.834.3799, ext. 430

Application Process

The review of applicants will begin on March 1, 2015, to select a cohort of 25 students to start credit classes in Fall 2015 preceded by non-credit online orientation during Summer 2015. Submitting an application before March 1, 2015, is strongly recommended. On a space available basis, applications received after March 1, 2015, will be considered. If space remains, applications received after the start of the Fall 2015 semester will be considered to start the program in Spring 2016.

  1. Apply to Texas Tech University's Graduate School.
    • Since STEM education is one of several concentrations within the Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction, on the Graduate School Application Site "Curriculum and Instruction: MEd, PhD" is your "Field of Study" and you can contact walter.smith@ttu.edu as your advisor.
    • Submission of Graduate Records Exam (GRE) scores is required. Information about the GRE can be found at gre.org.
    • International applicants must also submit their Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) score to the Graduate School.
  2. Apply to the College of Education.
    • The College of Education requires the submission of an online application portfolio. Details and guidelines, as well as submission instructions, can be found on the College of Education degree website.
  3. Apply for financial aid and/or general scholarships.

  4. 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 (2015-2016; 18 credit hours)
Summer 2015
Non-credit, online program orientation.
Fall 2015
EDCI 5377 Using Technology in Science and Math Education (International Emphasis)
Make up one course deficiency, if needed.
Spring 2016
EDCI 5371 Curriculum and Instruction in Sciences and Math Education (Introduction to Research in STEM Education)
EPSY 5380 Introduction to Educational Statistics
Attend National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) international conference in Nashville, TN, on March 31 – April 3, 2016, or the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics national conference in Spring 2016, typically in April, at a site TBA.
Summer 2016
EPSY 5381 Intermediate Statistics
EDCI 6331 John Dewey
EDCI 5373 Project-Based Learning in Science
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 (2016-2017; 18 credit hours)
Fall 2016
EDIT 5370 Foundations of Distance Education
EDCI 7000 Research (Develop International Science Inquiry)
Spring 2017
EDCI 5372 Assessment Issues in Science and Math 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 2017
EDCI 5306 Advocacy/Policy
EDCI 5386 Constructivist Inquiry Methods
EDCI 6306  Comparative Education plus Applied Stat
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 and doctoral program advising.
Year Three (2017-2018; 18 credit hours)
Fall 2017
EDCI 5306 Planning Staff Development in Science Education
EDCI 6382 Advanced Field Methods as Constructivist Inquirer
Spring 2018
EDCI 6393 Advanced Practicum applying theory to practice
EDCI 6306 Conducting Research in Science Education
Summer 2018
EDCI 6306  Science 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 (2018-2019; 12 credit hours)
Fall 2018
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 2019
EDCI 8000 Dissertation (3 credit hours)
Summer 2019
EDCI 8000 Dissertation (3 credit hours)
Dissertation Defense and Commencement. Students who do not complete their dissertations by Summer 2019 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 2016, 2017 and 2018 on the Lubbock campus of Texas Tech University and national conferences of the National Science Teachers Association or National Council of Teachers of Mathematics in 2016, Association for Science Teacher Education or Association of Mathematics Teacher Educators in 2017, and a three day session on policy and advocacy in Washington, DC in 2018. Students must be committed to completing a predetermined set of courses as part of a cohort starting in Fall 2015. 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.