headshot of a student standing in front of an array of multicolored hexagons

Create the Future of Education with a DEd in Curriculum and Instruction

If you have your eye on influencing the future of education and increasing your scholarly credentials, IUP’s dynamic DEd in Curriculum and Instruction program will give you the expertise you need. The program will prepare you for a leadership position in education, develop your skills as an instructional specialist, and build on your curriculum development knowledge. 

Why Get a Doctorate of Education in Curriculum and Instruction from IUP

Your cohort will mostly include students with extensive backgrounds in education and classroom teaching, so you’ll be in a community of like-minded educators with experience like yours. Intended for high-achieving teachers and scholars, IUP’s DEd in Curriculum and Instruction program is designed for working professionals with strong commitments to curriculum development and research methods. The program offers maximum flexibility: You’ll be able to complete your degree through an online hybrid/asynchronous approach to instruction.

What You’ll Learn

As you complete your curriculum and instruction degree, you’ll learn to understand and apply educational theory, show your competence in curriculum evaluation, develop your identity as an educator committed to working with diverse populations and conduct independent research that makes a significant impact.

Imagine Your Future

Graduates with a doctorate of education in curriculum and instruction are faculty members in colleges and universities, curriculum developers and specialists in P–12 schools, teacher educators, scholars who contribute to the field, and ethical professionals.

Career opportunities in Curriculum and Instruction, DEd

A DEd in Curriculum and Instruction from IUP prepares you for a leadership position in education, including:

  • Curriculum and instruction specialist in higher education
  • Curriculum specialist in public, private, parochial, and alternative schools
  • Teacher educator in basic education with responsibility for curriculum and the professional development of practicing teachers
  • Teacher educator in colleges of education
  • Faculty member in a college or a university

Classes and Requirements

You’ll join a cohort that you’ll stay with for your entire time at IUP. Together, you’ll follow the same sequence of core courses, allowing you to build relationships and community.

You’ll enroll in six credits of core courses every fall, spring, and summer, and you’ll take 12 credits of electives, so you can specialize in your area of interest.

Full Academic Catalog Listing

The course catalog is the official reference for all our degree and course offerings. Check it out for a full listing of the classes available and requirements for this degree.

  • Loading...

Graduate Assistantships and Scholarships

Graduate assistantships and scholarships are available for students with outstanding professional and academic credentials.

Graduate assistantships are available competitively throughout the coursework stage of the program.

The purpose of the graduate assistantship is to provide mutual professional development opportunities for a graduate student and faculty member. Graduate assistants may aid in the process of:

  • Conducting library research and compiling a literature review
  • Collecting, coding, and analyzing research data
  • Supporting innovative projects in the PSE Department
  • Providing support to a faculty member's teaching and supervision (with the faculty member present)

After applicants have met the university and department admission requirements, students must submit the GA application and a current résumé or curriculum vita as instructed. Please contact the program coordinator with any questions.

Program Mission

The Carnegie Project on the Educational Doctorate (CPED) (2009a, 2009b) summarizes the purpose of the diverse programs that lead to a doctoral degree in education as: "The professional doctorate in education prepares educators for the application of appropriate and specific practices, the generation of new knowledge, and for the stewardship of the profession." More specifically, high-quality doctoral programs in education:

  1. Are framed around questions of equity, ethics, and social justice to bring about solutions to complex problems of practice.
  2. Prepare leaders who can construct and apply knowledge to make a positive difference in the lives of individuals, families, organizations, and communities.
  3. Provide opportunities for candidates to develop and demonstrate collaboration and communication skills to work with diverse communities and to build partnerships.
  4. Provide field-based opportunities to analyze problems of practice and use multiple frames to develop meaningful solutions.
  5. Are grounded in and develop a professional knowledge base that integrates both practical and research knowledge that links theory with systemic and systematic inquiry.
  6. Emphasize the generation, transformation, and use of professional knowledge and practice. (Carnegie Project on the Education Doctorate, 2010)

The Doctor of Education (DEd) in Curriculum and Instruction is a graduate program intended for teacher/scholars who have demonstrated distinguished achievement as practitioners or administrators in the field of education. The DEd is a professional degree conferred upon candidates who have demonstrated the ability to function effectively in the role of teacher educator in college and university settings and have a commitment to the professional development of preservice and inservice teachers. Successful completion of the Doctorate in Curriculum and Instruction signifies that program graduates function effectively as teacher/scholars who understand and apply educational theory, demonstrate competence in curriculum evaluation, fulfill the role of teacher educator committed to working with diverse populations, and conduct independent research that makes a significant contribution to the field of education.

The program leading to a Doctor of Education in Curriculum and Instruction is an applied sequence of courses, experiences, and research for individuals who are seeking to pursue careers in higher education or to become curriculum experts and professional development specialists in public, private, and independent schools.

Those who earn the DEd in Curriculum and Instruction are expected to master four areas:

  1. Educational theory
  2. Teacher education
  3. Curriculum evaluation
  4. Research methods

Program Goals

The program intends to prepare doctoral program graduates who will:

  1. Fulfill the teacher educator's role in ways that reflect the highest standards for academic rigor, intellectual inquiry, and professional integrity.
  2. Study curriculum as a discipline including the design, implementation, and evaluation of programs in education.
  3. Analyze critical issues in curriculum and instruction, both historical and contemporary, as they relate to a broad range of disciplinary specialties in the field.
  4. Understand and apply educational theory and research in a variety of educational contexts, basic through higher education.
  5. Use technology to develop outstanding college-level courses and programs for professionals.
  6. Demonstrate knowledge of adult development, characteristics of adult learners, and appropriate ways of supporting professional growth.
  7. Apply knowledge of learners and curriculum to offer exemplary college-level instruction and supervision to practitioners.
  8. Master the research skills of the teacher/scholar as demonstrated by professional presentations, scholarly writing, and the successful completion of independent dissertation research.
  9. Contribute to the Commonwealth and other educational settings by working effectively and ethically with diverse populations of educators and the children, families, and communities they serve.

Degree Type and Credit Requirements

The degree awarded to students who successfully complete all of the requirements for the degree is the Doctorate in Education (DEd) in Curriculum and Instruction.

The program consists of a minimum of 60 semesterhour credits beyond the master's degree. To the extent that the master's degree program differs from what the Doctoral Screening Committee considers to be a sufficient background for doctoral-level courses in education, the exact number of courses required for completion of the degree may be higher than the 60-credit minimum. Decisions about additional coursework will be made on a case-by-case basis by the Doctoral Screening Committee and the departmental chairperson and communicated to the student prior to enrollment in the DEd Program in Curriculum and Instruction.

Part-Time Study Approach

Part-time (three years to complete required courses) is defined as six credits in the fall, spring, and summer semesters of years one to three. It takes three years to complete non-dissertation coursework with an additional nine credits of dissertation. Part-time study is designed for students who seek to retain their full-time employment. Courses in the online program include a mixture of Saturday synchronous classes (Zoom) and asynchronous instruction. Please see the Course Sequence (below) for the course offerings.

The amount of time that doctoral candidates will take to complete the dissertation varies considerably. However, coursework except for the dissertation will be completed in three years.

DEd in Curriculum and Instruction Course Sequence

*Subject to change

Year One
Fall CURR 918 Qualitative Research Design in Education
Fall CURR 925 Critical Analysis of Issues in Education
Spring CURR 920 Quantitative Research Methods in Education
Spring CURR 905 Implementation and Evaluation of Curriculum
Summer CURR 910 Advanced Topics in Human Development & Learning
Summer CURR 930 Effective Teaching and Supervision
Year Two
Fall CURR 982 Quantitative Data Analysis in Education
Fall CURR 915 Writing for Professional Publication
Spring CURR 935 Democratizing Education: Diversity, Citizenship, & Social Justice
Spring CURR 983 Qualitative and Mixed Methods Research in Education
Summer CURR 940 Emerging Technologies in Education
Summer CURR 951 Innovations in Curriculum and Instruction
Year Three
Fall CURR 960 Comprehensive Evaluation of Educational Programs
Fall Elective course
Spring Elective course
Spring Elective course
Summer Elective course
Years 4+
CURR 995 Dissertation credits (9 required to graduate)

Minimum Credits to Graduate: 60

Faculty and Staff

You’ll work with faculty who represent a wide variety of expertise and experience. Faculty include current and former P–12 teachers and administrators, college administrators, instructional designers, and more.

IUP’s faculty members are conducting research across a broad spectrum of interests, so you’ll learn from instructors currently studying:

  • Adult education
  • Child advocacy and equity issues
  • Child study and assessment of student learning
  • Collaborative teacher preparation programs
  • Creativity
  • Curriculum theory, development, and evaluation
  • Early childhood, elementary, middle school, and secondary education
  • Effective teaching and supervision
  • Field-based learning
  • Gender issues in education
  • Gifted education
  • Instructional design and educational technology
  • Issues in public education
  • Language development and literacy
  • Multicultural education
  • Pedagogy and effective instruction
  • Pre-service teacher preparation and professional development for in-service educators
  • Qualitative and quantitative research methods
  • School law
  • Work with families and communities
  • Writing for professional publications
  • Urban studies

Online Program Schedule

If maximum flexibility fits better with your career and life, our virtual Doctorate of Education program may make the most sense for you. (Your spring semester will look similar, and your summer semester will follow a more condensed schedule.) All of your synchronous classes will be held on Saturdays, regardless of semester. This schedule is for two doctoral-level courses—or six credits.

Your IUP courses will begin around the last week of the month. You will receive readings and assignments asynchronously that you will complete before the first synchronous class sessions in September.

Your course A will meet from 8:00 a.m. to noon on a Saturday toward the beginning of the month and Course B will meet on a different Saturday. You’ll have additional asynchronous work included.

Your course A will meet from 8:00 a.m. to noon on a Saturday and Course B will meet on a different Saturday. You’ll have additional asynchronous work included.

Your course A will meet from 8:00 a.m. to noon on a Saturday and Course B will meet on a different Saturday. You’ll have additional asynchronous work included.

You’ll complete asynchronous work early in the month, and both of your courses will end mid-month.

Asynchronous coursework does not require you to be online at a specific day and time, but you will have deadlines. For example, you may be required to post and reply to an online discussion over the course of a week. There are electives in the program and those courses may follow a different delivery format.

Alumni Success

The 19 members of a recent IUP Curriculum and Instruction cohort have gone on to make a major impact in the field of education. They have published 31 professional journal articles; made 14 local, 17 state, and 17 regional conference presentations and made 21 national and five international conference presentations. Based on our student outcomes alone, IUP’s Doctorate of Education program has earned four commendations from the Pennsylvania Department of Education based on student outcomes.

In an anonymous exit survey, our students had plenty to say about what they gained from their time at IUP.

“It enhances one’s learning regardless of discipline. I feel I will be a better person, a better professional, and a better researcher. I have abilities, knowledge, and expertise I did not have prior to this program.”

“The academic rigor, educational experiences, and exposure as well as talented professors contribute to successful learning.”

“I would recommend this program. I feel that this program was extremely challenging. I take pride in completing the coursework. I would definitely recommend this program to those seeking a challenging, rigorous program to enhance themselves and their careers.

Supervisor of Curriculum and Instruction Advanced Certificate

If you have a teacher certification, you will have the option of earning the Supervisor of Curriculum and Instruction Certificate from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania in conjunction with your studies. This advanced certificate can be pursued by teachers who meet current PDE requirements and all of the following requirements:

  • Have five years of successful teaching experience
  • Have the endorsement of the IUP intern supervisor
  • Hold a valid Instructional II certificate from Pennsylvania
  • Pass the required Praxis Test