Jan 27, 2021  
2012-2013 Graduate Bulletin 
2012-2013 Graduate Bulletin [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Education (Curriculum & Instruction - Elementary Education), Ph.D.

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The Department of Curriculum, Instruction, and Special Education offers the Doctor of Philosophy degree with a major in education with an emphasis in elementary education or an emphasis in special education. The department also offers the Doctor of Philosophy degree with a major in Instructional Technology

The doctoral program with an emphasis in elementary education provides for specialization in either early childhood education or in reading. A student choosing an emphasis in elementary education, with or without a specialization in either early childhood education or in reading, must complete the requisite coursework in that area prior to beginning doctoral study.

All doctoral programs consist of a minimum of 54-69 graduate semester hours beyond the master’s degree. A doctoral comprehensive examination is required.

Students should consult the departmental guidelines, Admission Requirements, Procedures Section , and the General Academic Requirements  section of the Graduate Bulletin.

Admission Requirements

Admission to doctoral programs offered in the content areas of curriculum and instruction is selective. To be considered for regular admission to a doctoral degree program, an applicant must have

  1. an academic record reflecting a superior undergraduate and graduate grade point average. GPAs of 3.0 on previous graduate work;
  2. official results from the Graduate Record Examination (GRE), a national standardized achievement/aptitude test predictive of the ability to complete a graduate program successfully; (All sections)
  3. three letters of recommendation sent to the department from professionals in the field of education who are qualified to assess the applicant’s readiness for graduate study;
  4. a letter of intent (describe reasons for pursuing a doctoral degree); also serves as a writing sample;
  5. a professional resumé; and
  6. a copy of educator license.

Admission Deadlines

The department reviews qualified applicants for graduate work throughout the academic year. Applications adhering to these dates will receive notification on the specified date as mentioned.

  Semester Application Deadline Notification Date

  Fall First Monday in April First Monday in May
  Spring First Monday in September First Monday in October
  Summer First Monday in March First Monday in April

Individuals who have submitted applications which qualified for admission, but who were not selected for enrollment in a given semester, are encouraged to request that their application remain active for future consideration.

Members of underrepresented groups are strongly encouraged to apply.

Admission to doctoral programs offered in the content area of curriculum and instruction is contingent on the approval of the Departmental Graduate Committee, the department chair, and the dean of the college. An applicant who fails to meet the above criteria for regular admission may be considered for conditional admission on an individual basis.

Students accepted on a conditional basis MUST obtain a 3.50 GPA or better on their first nine (9) hours of specified coursework 600 level or higher or on all coursework taken while completing this
9-hour requirement. It is the responsibility of the student to inform the department chair or graduate coordinator when conditional status is to be removed; additional requirements may be enforced based on deficiencies.

All students must register for and complete the doctoral qualifying examination prior to the completion of their first twelve (12) hours of doctoral coursework. Based on the outcome of the qualifiers, students may have additional coursework assigned to their plan of study. Students must have a 3.0 GPA to graduate.

Teaching Experience Requirement

No student will be eligible to receive a doctoral degree until he or she has completed at least three years of teaching experience appropriate for the emphasis area: elementary or special education.

Plan of Study. Students must submit their signed, official Plan of Study form to the Graduate School by the end of the first semester they are enrolled. The Plan of Study forms are available at www.usm.edu/graduateschool/planofstudy.php - click on the "Plans of Study" link.

Responsible Conduct of Research Training

All faculty holding regular or associate graduate faculty status, must complete RCR training modules required by the Graduate School and their departments. All graduate students must complete the RCR training modules required by the Graduate School and their departments the first semester they are enrolled in graduate school. The RCR policy and training information are found on the Graduate School web page – www.usm.edu/graduateschool. Contact the Dean of the Graduate School if you have any questions regarding the policy or training information.


Students must meet the residency requirements specified in this Bulletin. The doctoral residency requirement for curriculum, instruction, and special education content requires twenty-four (24) continuous hours of graduate study on campus within two consecutive semesters (fall, spring), excluding summer.

Continuous Enrollment Requirement: Students must meet the requirements specified in the front section of this Bulletin for continuous enrollment.

Comprehenisve Exam

A comprehensive exam is required for all doctoral students and must be passed before proceeding to the dissertation. A 3.0 GPA is required for graduation.

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