Curriculum and Instruction Ed.D.


Your final step in cementing your status as a superior practitioner in the field of education, whether as a teacher, a scholar or in a service personnel role, is the Ed.D. in Curriculum and Instruction. Our program offers three specializations to match your personal and professional goals and interests: Curriculum Leadership; Literacy Education; and Science, Social Studies and Environmental Education Integration. While focusing on the practical applications of educational research, you also will be prepared to teach at the collegiate level. We offer rolling admissions, so you can start the program when it's convenient for you. We also deliver the program via cohorts throughout our service region, including the main campus in DeKalb.

Why NIU?

While at NIU, you'll study with leaders in your respective discipline; have the opportunity to collaborate with faculty on grant and research projects; become part of a cohort of learners; and focus on educational change and improvement in your respective area.

  • A minimum GPA of 3.20 in previous graduate work.
  • Official GRE/MAT score on the General Test of the GRE or the Miller Analogies Test (MAT).
  • Three letters of recommendation from professors, employers or supervisors.
  • Satisfactory academic and professional progress as indicated by data included in your application for admission to the Graduate School.

Before our final admission decision, you must demonstrate writing competency and participate in a preadmission interview.

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During your program of study, you will:

  • Synthesize and evaluate current and historical scholarly literature and research in curriculum, instruction and professional development.
  • Identify trends, issues and changes in society and educational policy that impact curriculum, instruction and professional development.
  • Apply concepts and theories in curriculum, instruction and professional development in authentic P-20 settings or nonformal education settings.
  • Conduct original scholarly research, including completion of a dissertation.

As an education leader and scholar in your field, you will create the future of education. You will help to develop and implement changes that directly impact classroom practice. As agents of change, you may investigate and propose curriculum reforms; design educational materials that consider theories of cognition, learning, and assessment; or design, develop, and implement professional development for schools and school systems.

  • The Curriculum Leadership specialization focuses on your future role as an educational leader. As an insightful and responsive leader, your program will be focused around investigations of cultural, moral and ethical questions. Your commitment to scholarship and research is required to enable your understanding of the future needs of society, educational institutions and students.
  • A specialization in Literacy Education prepares you to become a knowledgeable practitioner, scholar and leader in the field of literacy. Your coursework will explore literacy research, theory and practice to better understand how language and literacy are learned. Your commitment to scholarship, research and practice is required to improve the status of literacy for all learners.
  • Science, Social Studies and Environmental Education Integration focuses on your future role to provide leadership in formal and nonformal instruction, curriculum development and teacher education. You'll develop a conceptual understanding of curriculum and instruction while focusing on the interdisciplinary field of science, social studies and environmental education.

Foundational Knowledge (6 credits)

  • TLCI 703: Design of Curriculum and Instruction
  • TLCI 704: Research Seminar in Curriculum and Instruction

Research Requirements (15 credits)

You'll work directly with your faculty advisor to complete coursework constituting common requirements in research understandings and skills, learning and development theories, and sociocultural analyses of education.

Area of Specialization (12 credits)

Your faculty advisor will help you determine your course of study.


You'll choose a cognate component from outside your specialization to provide a broader base of knowledge, a supportive professional skill or more sophisticated research competencies.

Doctoral Research and Dissertation (15 to 30 credits)

Graduates of our Ed.D. in Curriculum and Instruction have gone on to become directors of assessment, directors of instruction, faculty, superintendents, provosts and curriculum directors. Places of employment have included colleges, universities, school districts, corporations and non-profit organizations.

Contact Us

Department of Curriculum and Instruction
Nick Slicer, Graduate Advisor

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Complete this short contact form and our advisor will follow-up with specific program information. 

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