Ed.D. with a Specialization in Curriculum and Instruction Leadership

The Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) program in Curriculum and Instruction (C & I) focuses on the preparation of curriculum and instruction specialists and professionals. The specialization provides an in-depth study of curriculum and instruction as it relates to the influences of history, politics, and culture in shaping schools and society. We critically examine equity, social justice, and agency in contexts that are culturally and linguistically rich to examine the nuances of the relationship between culture and learning; Further students develop a critical and reflexive understanding of who we are as educators and curriculum specialists, and what education has the potential to do/be in this society. Finally, doctoral candidates analytically engage in understanding curriculum and instruction from a global perspective. 

Program Highlights

  • Work full-time while completing coursework and degree requirements part-time
  • Take hybrid courses that blend face-to-face instruction with online instruction
  • Dig deep into issues related to curriculum design, delivery, and monitoring
  • Receive professional experience in both quantitative and qualitative research methods
  • Partner with four full-time professors in research projects and teaching
  • Complete at least one internship and other applied learning experiences
  • Prepare a dissertation involving original, independent research

Program of Study

The Ed.D. Educational Leadership with a concentration in Curriculum and Instruction requires sixty (60) credits of coursework and successful completion of the comprehensive examination and dissertation requirements. The program of study includes leadership core courses, which provide a foundation in leadership and organizational theory and practice. Other courses in the leadership core help students develop skills and knowledge in research methodology. Additionally, students complete concentration core courses, which prepare students for advanced study of and work in education administration. The curriculum is designed connect theory and practice and help students become more effective scholar-practitioners and leaders in educational settings.

Leadership in Curriculum and Instruction Specialization (60 Credit Hours)

Program Core Courses (9 hours) (Required)

  • EDL 601 - Leadership Theory Credits: 3
  • EDL 605 - Social Foundations of Education Credits: 3
  • EDL 609 - Leading Change in Educational Organizations Credits: 3

Research Core (12 hours):

  • EDL 641 - Applied Research (3) 
  • EDL 642 - Program Evaluation (3) 
  • EDL 643 - Quantitative Research (3) 
  • EDL 644 - Qualitative Research (3) 

Specialization Core Courses (18 hours) (Required)

  • EDL 665 - Curriculum Theory (3)
  • EDL 621 - Curriculum Leadership (3)
  • EDL 625 - Curriculum for Equity (3)
  • EDL 646 - Global Perspectives and Comparative Education (3)
  • EDL 648 - Curriculum Controversies and Political Contexts (3)
  • EDL 662 - Curriculum and Instruction Internship (3)
  • EDL 664 - International Internship (3)

Elective Courses (15 credits)

  • Selected in Collaboration with your Advisor

Dissertation Required Courses (6 hours)

  • EDL 603 - Doctoral Seminar (1)
  • EDL 699 - Dissertation (5)

Program Delivery Format

The program delivery format is hybrid, with a combination of synchronous face-to-face instruction and asynchronous online instruction. This typically means that students meet for synchronous face-to-face class sessions bi-weekly. During asynchronous online weeks, students are responsible for completing readings, engaging in discussions with peers, and other activities related to course content. Consistent with our commitment to applied and experiential learning, program faculty strive for a high level of social presence during asynchronous online weeks. The program also features a distance education option for students who reside outside of the Wilmington area. These students attend the synchronous face-to-face class sessions using Zoom, a platform that allows them to be part of the classroom experience virtually.

Information for Prospective Students

We accept students from a variety of backgrounds into the program and actively seek to craft a diverse cohort each year. This diversity of experiences and skills gives students the opportunity to learn inside and out of the classroom and to build professional relationships that can last their entire career. Successful program applicants have a master’s degree in a teaching or curriculum related field or a related discipline. Moreover, successful program applicants are able to demonstrate strong academic performance (3.0 GPA minimum) in undergraduate and graduate coursework. Successful program applicants have three or more years of leadership experience in education, you have the opportunity to define leadership and explain how your positions are reflective of that leadership experience. We also encourage applicants working in the nonprofit sector, policy organizations, and in instructional positions related to curriculum and instruction. Lastly, successful program applicants are able to explain how a doctoral degree fits in their career trajectory and how the educational and professional experiences have prepared them for a rigorous academic program. For more information about applying for the program, please visit this website: https://uncw.edu/ed/el/edd/admissions.html.

Priority Deadline for Fall Admissions: January 15

Program Faculty

  • Donna DeGennaro
  • Amy Garrett Dikkers
  • Julia Lynch
  • Shawn Savage

Program Inquiries

Please direct questions about the program to the Doctoral Coordinator:

Dr. Symphony Oxendine