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

We are currently accepting applications for the following Research Practice Teams.

    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.

    Informal Learning

    Taking place in one of DC’s best known national historic sites, the Research Practice Team (RPT) will engage with its historical and cultural content, and its pedagogies to conduct evaluation and empirical research of informal learning experiences. A particular focus of the RPT is how to best serve the site’s 650,000 annual visitors, many of whom are K-16 students, to the museum and education center. Members of the team will explore visitor encounters with current exhibits and programming and compare those with a reimagined museum to understand visitor learning experiences. Working with a team of preeminent university and museum educators and researchers, we will explore:

  • To what extent visitors perceive their experiences as knowledge-building?
  • What informal learning experiences do visitors find most engaging?
  • What connections might visitors make between past histories and to their everyday
  • What emotions do visitors experience through interacting with the exhibits?
  • Might the museum experience inspire visitors to take social or political action?
  • This RPT will prepare graduates to apply knowledge of teaching and learning and research competencies to analyze and assess programs and develop curriculum and instruction. Individuals in K-16 and museum education, social sciences, 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.

    To learn about other exciting opportunities in the EdD program contact Jonathan Eakle at or (202) 994-6821.


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

Assistant Professor
(202) 994-1713
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


Leading ideas in government, schools and think tanks. A few recent graduates include:

  • US Department of Education

    Dr. Carol O'Donnell, Ed.D. '12, A former public school teacher, Dr. O'Donnell now serves as a Group Leader in the Office of State Support at the US Department of Education in Washington, DC, coordinating the policy and financial resources associated with major grant programs that support States, districts, and schools as they implement programs and initiatives focused on education reform, school improvement, teacher quality, and improved student achievement.

  • Institute of Education Sciences

    Dr. Rob Ochsendorf, Ed.D. '09, Currently a program officer at the Institute of Education Sciences in Washington, DC Rob oversees research grants and helps develop national research priorities focused on math and science education for at risk learners. His experiences at GSEHD were invaluable in helping him develop a deep understanding of the qualities inherent in high quality education research.

  • Metropolitan State University of Denver

    Dr. Philip Bernhard, Ed.D. '12, Currently serving as an Assistant Professor of Secondary Education and Department Chair of Secondary Education, Educational Technology, and K-16 Education at the Metropolitan State University of Denver.

  • Washington International School

    Dr. Jim Reese, Ed.D., '08, The director of studies at Washington International School, Dr. Reese oversees curriculum coordination and professional development of faculty. He also works closely with Project Zero, a research group at Harvard's Graduate School of Education. He credits two GSEHD programs, the M.Ed. in Secondary English and the Ed.D. in Curriculum and Instruction, for preparing him well for his career in education.

  • The George Washington University

    Dr. Lottie Baker, Ed.D. '13, Dr. Baker coordinated an English language curriculum project for police academies in Southeast Asia through a U.S. State Department grant before joining the faculty at GSEHD in 2015.



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.

Transformation Begins Here

Learn more about the Doctorate in Curriculum and Instruction program here

In the News

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.

GSEHD alumna Dr. Maranda Ward (Ed.D., Curriculum and Instruction) was highlighted in GW Today's article, "GW in the Community: Building Pipelines to Success for D.C. Youth." Dr.

Dr. Tiffany Sikorski was quoted in the GW Today story about GSEHD's project with Charles E. Smith Jewish Day School entitled, "GW Helps Local School Develop School-Wide STEM Curriculum."

Dr. Lottie Baker presented a talk at the International Symposium for Languages for Specific Purposes (ISLSP) & CIBER Business Language Conference, held in Charlotte, NC, March 5-7.