Texas Tech University
TTU HomeeLearning Home Doctoral Degrees Doctor of Philosophy in Curriculum and Instruction Doctor of Philosophy in Curriculum and Instruction

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 Science 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 science educators, science education leaders in the K-12 setting, or state leaders in science education. Texas Tech University makes continuing your education possible no matter where "here" is.

Program Outcomes

No more applications should be made at this time, as our space is in the process of being filled.

This PhD in Curriculum and Instruction program with a specialization in science education is designed to produce graduates who can "make a difference" in science education at the local, state, national or international level with skills as:

  • Science education researcher.
  • School-based science education change agent.
  • Advocate for science education policy and practice.
  • Professional development leader.
  • Global science educator.

For each of these five outcomes, students will produce a signature product as part of their coursework. For example, as a global science educator, students will produce instruction that involves students collaborating internationally in their science study and write about this product for publication.

The first 25 students admitted to the second cohort of students in this program will receive a $1000 scholarship to apply to their tuition and fees for their first course in Fall 2013.

Talk to Us

Have questions? A Texas Tech University representative will be happy to contact you. Just complete the form below.


Please enter a first name.

Please enter a last name.

Please enter an email address.

Please enter a phone number.

Please enter a message.


Call Us

Contact the program coordinator by phone.

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

Application Process

No more applications should be made at this time, as our space is in the process of being filled.

The review of applicants will begin on June 1, 2013, to select a cohort of 25 students. Submitting an application before June 1, 2013, is strongly recommended. On a space available basis, applications received after June 1, 2013, will be considered. If space remains, applications received after the start of the Fall 2013 semester will be considered to start the program in Spring 2014. Applications will be considered "complete" without submission of GRE scores; but in all cases GRE scores must be received by the start of the first course taken by an applicant to this program.

  1. Apply to Texas Tech University's Graduate School.
    • Since science 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 science education or closely related field such as curriculum and instruction, elementary, middle or secondary education, or a science field. Applicants must have taken a graduate course in each of three areas: curriculum, instruction, and diversity. Any or all of these three courses may apply to a specific field (e.g., elementary science education) or to education in general. Examples of diversity courses include special education, diversity, or English as a Second Language.

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

Applicants must have completed undergraduate and/or graduate coursework in science consistent with their intended focus level after graduation. For example, applicants intending to work with secondary science teachers are expected to have a stronger science background than those who plan to work with elementary science 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 science education, students will complete 66 hours of coursework as follows:

Year One (2013-2014; 18 credit hours)
Fall 2013
EDCI 5377 Using Technology in Science and Math Education (International Emphasis)
Make up one course deficiency, if needed.
Spring 2014
EDCI 5371 Curriculum and Instruction in Sciences and Math Education (Introduction to Research in Science Education)
EPSY 5380 Introduction to Educational Statistics
Attend National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) international conference in Boston on April 3-6, 2014.
Summer 2014
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 (2014-2015; 18 credit hours)
Fall 2014
EDIT 5370 Foundations of Distance Education
EDCI 7000 Research (Develop International Science Inquiry, the signature product as a global science educator).
Spring 2015
EDCI 5372 Assessment Issues in Science Education
Make up one course deficiency, if needed.
Attend Association for Science Teacher Education (ASTE) international conference in Portland, OR, in January 2014 on a Thursday-Saturday TBA
Summer 2015
EDCI 5306 Popular Media and Culture
EDCI 5386 Constructivist Inquiry Methods
EDCI 6306 Science Education for English Language Learners
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 (2015-2016; 18 credit hours)
Fall 2015
EDCI 5306 Planning Staff Development in Science Education
EDCI 6382 Advanced Field Methods as Constructivist Inquirer
Spring 2016
EDCI 6393 Advanced Practicum applying theory to practice, the signature product as a science education change agent.
EDCI 6393 Advanced Practicum as presenter of science teacher education or professional development, the signature product as a science education teacher leader.
Attend National Association for Research in Science Teaching (NARST) international conference or another activity on a date and at a location TBA in the U.S.
Summer 2016
EDCI 7000 Science Education Policy, the signature product as a science education advocate.
EDCI 7000 Research (Dissertation Proposal)
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.
Written portion of qualifying exam during two week session on campus.
Year Four (2016-2017; 12 credit hours)
Fall 2016
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 2017
EDCI 8000 Dissertation (3 credit hours)
Summer 2017
EDCI 8000 Dissertation (3 credit hours)
Dissertation Defense as the signature product as a science education researcher.
Students who do not complete their dissertations by Summer 2016 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 2014, 2015 and 2016 on the Lubbock campus of Texas Tech University and national conferences of the National Science Teachers Association (April 2014 in Boston), Association for Science Teacher Education (January 2015 in Portland, OR), and National Association for Research in Science Teaching (2016 at TBA). Students must be committed to completing a predetermined set of courses as part of a cohort starting in Fall 2013. 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 science education or closely related field such as curriculum and instruction, elementary, middle or secondary education, or a science field 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.
  • At least three years of successful K-12 science teaching in a public or private school and/or an informal science setting by the start of their first course in the program.
  • 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 science teacher.

Preference will be given to applicants who have significant graduate work in science 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 science 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 ASTE, NARST 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.