Ph. D. Programs in Teacher Education
Department Perspective on Ph.D. Programs
Doctoral education is distinct from "going to school." While courses and mastery of
predetermined content are an essential element, so too is participation in larger
professional communities – through research projects, participation in professional
organizations, work in schools and other relevant settings and the like. Perhaps
most importantly, it is essential that students take ownership for their own learning
during the course of a doctoral program, which includes deciding what courses to
take and what other experiences to create for one’s own development. Here we
briefly sketch out the components of the PhD programs within the Department of Teacher
We are committed to creating a diverse community: We believe that diversity of background, experience, expertise, and perspective enriches our scholarship, our practice, and our lives. We seek to attract and retain the best faculty and graduate students possible. We also strive to promote high-quality, equitable education and to generate a sense of professional responsibility for the improvement of education in its multiple dimensions. We also seek both to understand and to reform education: We have an obligation to engage in meaningful research about education. But we also recognize our obligation to move beyond analysis and promote education reform, seeking to improve the conditions of teaching and learning for students and educators alike. This means looking beyond the technical concerns of teaching and learning to the broader social responsibility we bear for promoting social equity in and through education.
Curriculum, Instruction and Teacher Education, Ph. D.
The doctoral program in Curriculum, Instruction and Teacher Education (formerly Curriculum, Teaching and Educational Policy) is designed for persons who are interested in and show promise of becoming scholars and leaders in the domains of curriculum, instruction, and teacher education, and educational policy at the K–12 or college level, or in local, state, regional, national, or international institutions or agencies. The program is characterized by its interdisciplinary and interinstitutional perspectives on problems and issues of educational practice.
Language and Literacy Instruction, Doctoral Option
This Language and Literacy Specialization is designed for persons interested in studying best practices, literacy development, how it influences our socio-cultural identities and much more. Graduates of the Language and Literacy doctoral option will be better prepared to become literacy researchers, teacher educators, educational leaders, policy makers, and classroom teachers. The specialization offers doctoral students the opportunity to work with accomplished researchers who provide mentorship in a range of methodological approaches to critical issues in the literacy field.
Doctoral Specialization in the Economics of Education
The interdisciplinary specialization in Economics of Education at Michigan State University helps students focus on learning the best quantitative methods to answer policy questions in education. Doctoral candidates from four College of Education programs – Educational Policy, K-12 Educational Administration, Measurement and Quantitative Methods, and Curriculum, Instruction and Teacher Education – are eligible for the fellowship program, which includes a graduate assistantship and an annual $30,000 stipend.
Urban Education Graduate Certificate
Graduate students in the College of Education have an opportunity to study issues of urban education in greater depth through the Urban Education Graduate Certificate program. This interdepartmental sequence of courses is primarily for doctoral students who have a particular interest in teaching and conducting research within the contexts of urban communities.