Doctorate in Curriculum and Instruction

Designed to meet the needs of working professionals, this Doctor of Education program cultivates research in curriculum, teaching, and learning that cross disciplinary boundaries. The highly selective program emphasizes inquiry-centered studies to explore cutting-edge education issues in formal and informal learning environments, such as museums. Key features of the program include:

  • Research Practice Teams in partnership with leading international education institutions inside the Washington DC Beltway
  • 48 credit degree that can be completed in three years
  • Hands-on research opportunities from the onset and throughout program
  • Publication and professional conference opportunities
  • Individualized study options
Research Practice Teams

Research of Informal Learning in the Arts and Humanities

Taking place among DC’s world-famous museums and performance spaces, this Research Practice Team (RPT) will engage with arts and humanities and its pedagogies to conduct research of informal learning experiences. A focus of the RPT is on interdisciplinary content and methods, creativity, and the integration of the arts and humanities with other ways and means of inquiry and formal education practices, such as those of PreK-12 schools. The team will explore:

  • What informal learning experiences and approaches do educators and students find to be the most novel and useful both in terms of their everyday lives and in relation to formal education?
  • How might museum and performance art experiences inspire visitors, audiences, and researchers to take social and political action?
  • What do we know and what needs to be developed in terms of arts and humanities integration with other content areas and research?
  • How might permanent and temporary public arts, performances, and humanities content and practices function as public pedagogy?

The RPT experiences will prepare graduates to apply knowledge of teaching, learning, and research in designing, analyzing, and assessing education programs and developing curriculum and instruction both in and out of schools. Individuals in PreK-12, museum education, social sciences, performing and visual arts, government, public administration, and non-profit organizations are encouraged to apply. The work of this RPT will be shared through international conferences and publications in high impact venues.

For more information, please contact Dr. Jonathan Eakle (

Reimagining Curriculum through the Humanities

Engaged with the field of curriculum studies, the Research Practice Team (RPT) will explore the significance of curriculum scholarship and its foundations in the humanities for the practice of education in schools and communities. Curriculum is widely understood as an institutional plan for education. The field of curriculum studies, however, calls for and fosters an understanding of curriculum as a complex human experience with subjective and social dimensions demanding elaboration and reconceptualization. Within this framework, using modes of interpretation and composition specific to the humanities, doctoral students in the RPT will reimagine curriculum and expand its significance, pursuing questions about curriculum in sites of educational practice relevant to their professional lives.

The RPT supports doctoral students as they establish unique lines of inquiry into curriculum theory and educational practice, and it serves as a humanities-oriented educational community. Students contribute to the development of this scholarly community through the shared labor of study, writing, and conversation. Each student engages with humanities scholarship to enhance the understanding of curriculum as content, form, and place of human experience. The RPT will prepare graduates to research and develop curriculum through the purposes, frameworks, and methods of the humanities. Individuals in PreK-12 education, higher education, and community-based education with experience or interest in humanities scholarship (e.g., literary studies, psychoanalytic criticism, theories of race and gender, etc.) are encouraged to apply.

For more information, please contact Dr. Brian Casemore (


A minimum of 48 credits, including 12 credits of core courses, 9 credits in research, and 6-9 credits of internship, and 3-6 credits of electives.

Core Courses

CPED 8325 - Curriculum Theory
CPED 8330 - Foundations of Education Research in Curriculum and Instruction
CPED 8331 - Seminar in Teaching
CPED 8334 - Seminar in Learning

Doctoral Internship (6 to 9 credits)

CPED 8354 - Doctoral Internship: Teacher Education


3 to 6 credits of electives selected in consultation with advisor

Research Courses

EDUC 8120 - Group Comparison Designs and Analyses
EDUC 8122 - Qualitative Research Methods

3 Credits from the following:
EDUC 8100 - Experimental Courses
EDUC 8130 - Survey Research Methods
EDUC 8131 - Case Study Research Methods
EDUC 8140 - Ethnographic Research Methods
EDUC 8142 - Phenomenological Research Methods
EDUC 8142 - Phenomenological Research Methods
EDUC 8144 - Discourse Analysis
EDUC 8170 - Educational Measurement
EDUC 8171 - Predictive Designs and Analyses
EDUC 8172 - Multivariate Analysis
EDUC 8173 - Structural Equation Modeling
EDUC 8174 - Hierarchical Linear Modeling
EDUC 8175 - Item Response Theory
EDUC 8177 - Assessment Engineering


CPED 8998 - Doctoral Seminar in Curriculum and Instruction (taken for 3 credits)
CPED 8999 - Dissertation Research (minimum 12 credits needed to complete requirement)
Approved dissertation proposal required
Successful completion of comprehensive exam required

Associate Professor
(202) 994-9084
Associate Professor
(202) 994-2011
Associate Professor
(202) 994-6821
Associate Professor
(202) 994-0997
Assistant Professor
(202) 994-2007
Associate Professor
(202) 994-1527
Associate Professor
(202) 994-4516
Associate Professor
(202) 994-1542
Career Outlook


This 48-credit program prepares education leaders to apply knowledge of curriculum, teaching, learning, and research to transform practice.

Graduates will:
• Be skilled in collaborating with schools, districts, and institutional partners to create innovative education activities;
• Know how to design and conduct research to transform practice;
• Demonstrate and facilitate professional learning in diverse settings.

Graduates may serve as education specialists, museum educators, researchers, and clinical faculty in universities, government agencies, and education organizations. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment in education, training, and library occupations is expected to grow faster than average from 2019-2029.

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, [Education, Training, and Library Occupations], Retrieved September 2020 from



Program Entry: Fall, Summer
Prerequisites: Master's Degree
Campus: Foggy Bottom, Mount Vernon

Application Requirements

  • Online Application
  • Resume
  • Statement of Purpose directly tied to Research Practice Team or individual faculty member’s research
  • 2 Letters of Recommendation (must be academic)
  • Transcripts (unofficial)
  • Interview with Faculty
  • Application Fee
  • No GRE Required

*Additional application requirements may exist for international applicants
For more information on any of these requirements, please visit our Admissions FAQ page.

We encourage you to submit your application as early as possible. We are accepting Fall 2021 applications on a case-by-case basis. Please contact the admissions team with any questions.

Transformation Begins Here

Learn more about the Doctorate in Curriculum and Instruction program here

In the News

Dr. Jonathan Eakle and doctoral student Erin Bailey (Curriculum and Instruction) published an article in Qualitative Inquiry entitled, “Playing Baroque Lines with Deleuze, Guattari, and Klee in an Art Museum.”

Dr. Jonathon Grooms published an article entitled, "A comparison of argument quality and students’ conceptions of data and evidence for undergraduates experiencing two types of laboratory instruction" in the Journal of Chemical Education.

Dr. Tiffany Sikorski is part of a cross-school team that was just awarded a $300,000 grant from the National Science Foundation for the project, Service Learning Projects to Improve Engineering Students' Civic Engagement and Capacity for Innovation. The project will mentor students in civic responsibility, empathy, and social innovation as part of their learning to be future engineers.

Dr. Jonathon Grooms was mentioned in the GW Today article, "Nomination Process Opens for Second Academic Leadership Academy." Dr. Grooms was one of 16 fellows in the inaugural cohort of the George Washington University Academic Leadership Academy (GWALA) who completed their fellowships in June.

"GSEHD doctoral student Beth Short (Curriculum and Instruction) submitted a paper to the National Association of Research in Science Teaching 2020 Annual International Conference Program Book.

For more information, please request information or contact our admission office at or 202-994-9283.