Curriculum & Instruction Doctor of Philosophy Degree
The Ph.D. program prepares students for positions in a wide variety of settings. It requires at least three academic years of full- time study and research, or the equivalent over a longer period, beyond the baccalaureate. Students typically complete the program in four years of full-time study. In addition to the requirements described below, students should review the general regulations governing doctoral degrees as outlined in the University at Albany Graduate Bulletin, including the sections on advanced standing and transfer of credit.
Requirements for Admission
In addition to the general University requirements for admission to doctoral study, an applicant should present scores from the aptitude section of the Graduate Record Examination.
An applicant who holds a master's degree with specialization in an appropriate field may apply for admission with advanced standing.
Program of Study (63 credits minimum)
Students follow a program of study planned with their departmental advisors who take into account previous preparation, areas of specialization, and professional objectives. A general description of the program of study follows.
Core Courses (9 credits)
These courses must be taken at the University at Albany by all candidates for the doctoral degree in curriculum and instruction.
Tap 710 Principles of Curriculum Development (3);
Tap 720 Principles of Instruction (3);
Tap 773 Foundations of Research in Curriculum and Instruction (3)
Specialization (15 credits minimum)
The student can determine areas of specialization in consultation with his or her advisor that reflect the student's interests and career goals. At least 15 credits of coursework beyond that used to satisfy the core requirements are required in an area of specialization. The Department offers a flexible array of specilizatoins based on the interests of current faculty and students. Most current students pursue one of four broad areas of study, though students are encouraged to combine elements across these areas and to integrate them with offerings from other departments to develop their own specializations. The four Departmental specializations are (1) Instructional Theory, Design, and Technology; (2) Research and Evaluation in Curriculum and Instruction; (3) Language in Education; and (4) Science and Mathematics Teaching and Learning.
· Instructional Theory, Design, and Technology: This area fosters scholarly expertise in instructional theory, design, and technology for students who intend to assume leadership roles in matters related to instruction in schools, government agencies, professions, research, or industry. The focus is on theories of effective instruction, the design of educational materials, and uses of instructional technology that apply across a variety of contexts, subject matter domains, types of students, and educational tasks.
· Language in Education: This area focuses on research and scholarship in first and second language teaching and learning, including literacy, writing, English, and literature. Related coursework highlights language, thought, and socialization as the underpinnings of literacy development. The area considers contextual as well as cognitive processes of reading and writing, the ways in which contexts affect learning and instruction, and how these understandings can most effectively influence learning, teaching, testing and policy. The TESOL and TEFL concentrations within this area of study focus on conceptual and pragmatic development in more than one language, and computer assisted language learning.
· Science and Mathematics Teaching and Learning: This area fosters scholarly expertise in the research, theory, and practice of science and mathematics teaching and learning. The focus is on developing an understanding of teaching and learning processes and how they interact with disciplinary knowledge in science and/or mathematics to shape educational theory and curricular and instructional practices in research, instruction and evaluation.
· Research and Evaluation in Curriculum and Instruction: This area helps prepare students for research and evaluation positions in higher education, school districts, state and federal government agencies, private industry, and private consulting. Related coursework provides a grounding in the philosophy of educational research and evaluation, an examination of critical issues in research and evaluation, experience with a range of approaches to systematic inquiry, including feminist methodologies, and directed practice in designing, conducting and reporting research and evaluation studies.
Minor Field/Elective Courses (27 credits)
The study of educational theory and practice requires the use of many concepts drawn from the humanities and from the social and behavioral sciences. In conjunction with their advisors, students should plan a coherent set of supporting courses drawn from areas within ETAP, from related departments within the School of Education, and from other departments within the University. Such courses should be selected to support the student's concentration. In some cases a formal minor field may be appropriate, and must be arranged so as to meet the requirements of the relevant academic department.
Inquiry Courses (12 credits minimum)
Research in education draws on a wide variety of research methodologies, including but not limited to historical, philosophical, anthropological, psychological, sociological, and linguistic traditions. Within these traditions, specific methods of inquiry are sometimes roughly divided into those which are primarily quantitative and those that are more qualitative. To insure a breadth of understanding of current research, students should develop: a) familiarity with the premises of inquiry and methodologies of both quantitative and qualitative approaches to educational research; and b) the ability to employ one of these approaches in a manner sufficient to do dissertation research. These requirements can be met through the completion of at least one course in each area (qualitative and quantitative), and at least two additional courses in one area of inquiry (four courses in all).
A wide variety of relevant inquiry-related courses are offered in the Department, in other departments in the School of Education, and in other departments of the University. Specific courses should be chosen in consultation with the student's advisor, keeping in mind the twin goals of familiarity with diverse traditions and the competence to work within a particular tradition.
Research Tool Examination
All students are required to pass a research tool exam. Details of the research tool exam are available from the Department office.
Advancement to candidacy requires successful completion of the Doctoral Qualifying Examination. This is accomplished via faculty evaluation of a portfolio prepared by the student under the guidance of his or her advisor. Details of the Qualifying Examination are available from the Department Office.
Policy on Doctoral Residency
Doctoral students are not required to complete a period of full-time study (residency) in the Department of Educational Theory and Practice. However, the faculty strongly recommends that students enroll for one or two semesters of full-time study while completing their doctoral programs. Full-time study without the obligations of other work allows students to fulfill doctoral degree requirements in a timely way and to have sustained engagement with the faculty of the Department of Educational Theory and Practice and with the larger university community
Admission to Candidacy
The student admitted to advanced study leading to a doctoral degree in Curriculum and Instruction is considered for admission to candidacy upon:
1) Satisfying the residency requirements;
2) Achieving a satisfactory record in courses and seminars;
3) Completing satisfactorily the Research Tool Examination;
4) Passing the Doctoral Qualifying Examination;
5) Receiving approval of the dissertation proposal and submission of such to the School of Education Doctoral Council;
6) Completion of any other University requirements that may be in effect.
Admission to candidacy is not automatic, and a graduate student becomes a candidate for a doctoral degree only with the approval of the Dean of Graduate Studies acting on the recommendation of the Graduate Academic Council and the Dean of the School of Education.
Students must be admitted to candidacy at least one session, exclusive of a summer session, before the acceptance of their dissertation and the completion of all requirements for the doctoral degree.
The dissertation is the culmination of the doctoral program. As such, it must attest to a high degree of scholarly competence. The dissertation must report in accepted scholarly style an original investigation of a problem of significance in the major field of study. It must demonstrate that the candidate is capable of conducting and reporting research and analyses that make a substantial contribution to knowledge in an area relating to educational theory and practice in curriculum and instruction.