College of Education2016-2017

Department of Teaching and Learning

Curriculum and Instruction, Doctor of Education

This dissertation-based degree is designed for those who seek advanced preparation in teaching and curriculum with the goal of participating professionally in a variety of venues, including public and private schools, community colleges, government, and other agencies.


What Can I Do with a Doctor of Education in Curriculum and Instruction?

This degree is appropriate if you are seeking advanced preparation in teaching and learning and wish to prepare for professional leadership and participation in public or private schools, community colleges, universities, and other agencies.

University Requirements

  • To receive a Doctor of Education Degree (Ed.D.) at Northern Arizona University, you must complete a planned group of courses, from one or more disciplines, ranging from at least 63-90 units of graduate-level courses. Most plans require research, a dissertation, and comprehensive exams. All plans have residency requirements regarding time spent on the Flagstaff campus engaged in full-time study.

    The full policy can be viewed here.


In addition to University Requirements:

  • Complete individual plan requirements.

Minimum Units for Completion 90
Additional Admission Requirements Required
Dissertation Dissertation is required.
Oral Defense Oral Defense is required.
Fieldwork Experience/Internship Required
Research Individualized research is required.
Student Learning Outcomes

  1. Integrate deepened understandings of curriculum and instruction, by explicating and evaluating  the major movements, theories, and methodologies of these fields, situating their sources and articulating the relationships and implications to areas within the education-related venues of the students’ professional orientations.
  2. Clarify the multiple contexts that shape curricular and instructional decision-making, including such areas as: socio-cultural, political, economic, organizational, and historical.  
  3. Articulate how theoretical frameworks in curriculum and instruction can and often should be constructed from successful practice as understood broadly in professional contexts.
  4. Create sustained, coherent arguments or explanations summarizing elements of curriculum and instruction theory and literature with general and professional audiences.
  5. Examine the significant challenges involved in applying curriculum and instruction theory within the students’ professional venues, clarifying the leading edges, exploring the current limits of theory, knowledge, and practice, and how these appear in practice across socio-political contexts. 
  6. Engage the broad range of research methods, modes of inquiry and quantitative and qualitative methods used to investigate questions within curriculum and instruction and to evaluate and apply research findings within their inquiries and dissertations.
  7. Make significant and novel advancements in the understanding of curriculum and instruction designing an original research study of personal or professional interest and importance including: planning, organizing, scheduling, and executing the project.
    • Articulate the theoretical framework for the project (including conducting a literature review to assess the theoretical and methodological contributions previously made to this area)
    • Creatively generate alternative problem-solving ideas, practices, or solutions within the dissertation area.
    • Identify and define appropriate variables and methods of data collection, select and apply quantitative and qualitative research methods appropriate to the research design, and analyze, interpret and explain findings
    • Scrutinize and evaluate various assumptions, evidence, and reasoning throughout the project.
    • Evaluate the effectiveness of the project and its implications to the fields of curriculum and instruction.
    • Present original empirical  research to professional and non-professional audiences, articulating sustained, coherent explanations summarizing work.
    • Conduct a dissertation defense to a community of curriculum and instruction faculty and peers


Additional Admission Requirements
  • Admission requirements over and above admission to NAU are required.
    • NAU Graduate Online application is required for all programs. Details on admission requirements are included in the online application.
    • Undergraduate degree from a regionally accredited institution
    • Grade Point Average (GPA) of 3.00 (scale is 4.00 = "A"), or the equivalent. 
    • Admission to many graduate programs is on a competitive basis, and programs may have higher standards than those established by the Graduate College.
    • Transcripts
    • For details on graduate admission policies, please visit the Graduate Admissions Policy
    • International applicants have additional admission requirements. Please see the International Graduate Admissions Policy 

    Individual program admission requirements include:

    • GRE® revised General Test or Miller Analogies Exam
    • 3 letters of recommendation
    • Writing sample
    • Personal statement or essay
Doctoral Requirements
  • Take the following 90 units:

    • ECI 710, ECI 730, ECI 740 (9 units)
    • Select one course from: EDF 703, EDF 711, EPS 712 (3 units)
    • EDF 672 (3 units)
    • ECI 675, EDR 610, EDR 611, EPS 525 (12 units)
    • One Educational Foundations course numbered 500 or above (3 units)
    • ECI 761, ECI 796, EPS 720 (9 units)
    • Select one course from: EDR 720, EDR 725, EDR 730 (3 units)
    • EPS 625 or EPS 725 (3 units)
    • Planned Focus covering current thought in an area of applied curriculum and instruction. This must include courses in foundational/theoretical/philosophical perspectives, research methodology, and new developments. (18 units)
    • Select one course from: ECI 649, ECI 666, ECI 696, ECI 771. We recommend that this course be outside your focus area. (3 units)
    • ECI 798 (3 units)
    • Additional graduate coursework (12 units)
    • ECI 799, for the research, writing, and oral defense of an approved dissertation. You may end up taking more than the required units you can count toward your degree because you must register for it each semester while you are working on your dissertation. (9 units)
    For more information about residency and other requirements that pertain to this degree, see Doctoral Requirements Policy.

  • Be aware that some courses may have prerequisites that you must also take. For prerequisite information click on the course or see your advisor.

Campus Availability

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