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
  • Hands-on research opportunities from the onset and throughout program
  • Publication and professional conference opportunities
  • Minimum of 48 credit hours to degree

Research Practice Teams

Supporting Students’ Evidence-based Thinking across the Curriculum

As social issues become more and more complex and increasingly entangle perspectives from science, mathematics, economics, politics, and history, it has never been more important to weigh and consider various sources of evidence when making personal, social, or policy decisions. But what counts as evidence? How can individuals use evidence to make compelling arguments and support their stance on an issue? These are questions that have relevance in current society and also within classrooms across the K-12 curriculum. The Evidence-based Thinking Research Practice Team (RPT) will explore:

  • How do students engage in evidence-based thinking within and across disciplines?
  • How do teachers build capacity in students’ evidence-based thinking skills?
  • How can we build teachers’ capacity to incorporate evidence-based thinking in their classrooms?
  • How can argument-driven instructional approaches support students’ evidence-based thinking?
  • What curricular implications are there for integrating argument-driven practices to support students’ evidence-based thinking?

The work of this RPT will prepare graduates to become educators with deep knowledge of the theory and research backing the design of learning environments and curricula that support students’ use of evidence within diverse disciplines and the associated instructional implications. Participants in the RPT will have the opportunity to collaborate with leading researchers and organizations specializing in supporting students’ evidence-based thinking and related teacher professional learning. The findings generated as part of this RPT will be shared broadly with schools and districts through the creation and dissemination of teacher resources and curriculum supports, publication in high-impact research and practitioner journals, as well as presentations in high visibility teacher and researcher conferences.

For more information, please contact Dr. Jonathon Grooms ( ).

Connecting Science Communities

The GW Graduate School of Education is located amid some of the most renowned science museums and research centers in the world. Though the science research and policy developed in DC has a global reach, little is known about the impact of DC’s science institutions on neighborhoods and communities in their own backyard. The Connecting Science Communities Research Practice Team will conduct the first in-depth study about DC residents’ relationships with science and major science museums in their communities. Working with a team of preeminent university and museum educators and researchers, we will explore:

  • What physical, social, economic, and other resources sustain community science in each of the DC wards?
  • What do DC residents view as major barriers or needs to support their science communities?
  • How do DC science organizations’ resources and programming align with those needs?

The work of this RPT will be shared with science organizations in DC to better align their programming with the needs and interests of DC residents, and ultimately, heighten awareness, inclusivity, and appreciation of science in the nation’s capital. Individuals with experience in museum education, community organizing, data visualization, social media and digital storytelling, anthropology, or science teaching are encouraged to apply.

For more information, please contact Dr. Tiffany-Rose Sikorski ( ). 

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 ( ).


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



Beck, Sylven Associate Professor, Curriculum and Pedagogy
Casemore, Brian Associate Professor, Curriculum and Pedagogy; English
Eakle, Jonathan Associate Professor, Curriculum and Pedagogy
Green, Colin Academic Dean; Associate Professor, Curriculum and Pedagogy
Grooms, Jonathon Assistant Professor, Curriculum and Pedagogy; Science
Kortecamp, Karen Associate Professor, Curriculum and Pedagogy
Pyke, Curtis Associate Professor, Curriculum and Pedagogy; Mathematics
Sikorski, Tiffany Associate Professor, Curriculum and Pedagogy; Science
Tate, Patricia Associate Professor, Curriculum and Pedagogy


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
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.

Applications are currently being accepted for the Fall 2022 start term on a rolling basis. The next deadline to apply is June 30th. If you have questions about submitting your application, please contact our Admission Office at or at 202.994.9283.

Transformation Begins Here

Learn more about the Doctorate in Curriculum and Instruction program here