Curriculum and Instruction (PhD)

Admission Requirements

Application Deadlines

There are three annual admission deadlines. Depending on specific individual goals and situations, different deadlines may be more relevant for you.

Fall semester start, full-time status with Graduate Assistantship funding possibilities:

  • November 1

Graduate Assistantships (GA) and University Fellowships are competitive and awarded to full-time students for the fall semester well in advance--as early as mid-January for Fellowships--and typically by late March or April for Graduate Assistantships. Applications for both should be submitted by the November 1 deadline.

Specify the subsequent fall semester as your intended start date on the application. Indicate interest in assistantships on your Statement of Purpose.

Part-time doctoral student work or otherwise not interested in Graduate Assistantship funding:

  • November 1 - Spring semester start (or later semester as indicated on application)
  • February 15 - Summer semester start (or later semester as indicated on application)
  • May 1 - Fall and Late Summer semester start (or later semester as indicated on application)

Members of the Curriculum and Instruction PhD admissions committee evaluate all applications after the appropriate admission deadline. Admission decisions are made by the professional judgment of the admissions committee according to established criteria. Admission to the program is competitive and preference is given to applicants who have strong academic records, experiences, and abilities that show demonstrated excellence in professional performance and research potential. All applicants will be notified in writing regarding their admission; typically this notification occurs approximately three weeks after the admissions deadline.

To be considered for admission, all materials must be submitted prior to the admission committee's review. If materials are incomplete, applicants will be notified and may submit again during the next review.

See the Application Process Overview [PDF] document for details.

Admission Materials

  • Graduate Application (online University of Louisville Graduate Application)
  • Three Letters of Recommendation [PDF] (see Directions for Applying for more information). If you have recommendation letters on file from a previous University of Louisville program application, you will need three new letters of recommendation for this application that speak to your potential in a doctoral program. In addition to the standard University form linked above, please have these individuals submit letters with supporting details for the recommendation. At least one of the three recommendation letters you choose should come from someone familiar with the rigor and requirements of a doctoral program.
  • TOEFL/IELTS/Duoling scores for non-native speakers of English (if needed - see Directions for Applying for more information)
  • Transcripts from each college you have attended other than the University of Louisville. Have all official non-University of Louisville transcripts sent to the Graduate School.
  • Statement of Purpose. The Statement of Purpose should address the applicant’s interest in doctoral study, intentions with regard to full-time or part-time study, and identification of at least one faculty member who may be a good fit to serve as the Ph.D. advisor. Additional details about the exact content of each part can be found on the program website.
  • Writing Sample. The writing sample should be an academic essay (no more than 4 pages, double-spaced, not including references) that provides a clear statement about initial research interest(s) and goals and information about an educational problem or issue that drives the pursuit for a Ph.D. degree. Additional details about the content of the essay can be found on the program website.
  • Resume or Curriculum Vitae [PDF]

Degree Requirements

Master's Degree Prerequisite + 60 Credit Hours PhD Coursework Minimum

The student and program committee must develop courses, programs, and experiences that clearly identify and address the following areas:  research, teaching and teacher education, stewardship of the profession and knowledge of discipline.   These areas of emphasis must have descriptive competencies that the student should attain and the committee can assess.

Specialty Components
EDAP 711Doctoral Professional Seminar: First Year3
or EDSP 711 Doctoral Professional Seminar: First Year
Area of Emphasis
30 credit hours selected with Program Committee approval30
Research Methodology
LEAD 601Applied Statistics (see note) 13
LEAD 704Qualitative Field Research Methods3
Research Electives
Field survey research, additional qualitative and/or quantitative methodologies, etc. 2, 36
Doctoral/Dissertation Research
EDAP 795Doctoral Research15
or EDSP 795 Doctoral Research
Minimum Total Hours60

Students with relevant statistical background should take LEAD 701.


Selected with Program Committee approval and within program guidelines/framework


LEAD 600 may not be used for these courses