Ed.D. in Curriculum & Instruction

Graduates of the EdD program are practitioner-scholars who have the knowledge and skills needed to solve localized educational problems and to provide effective leadership within organizations in the areas of curriculum, instruction, and assessment.

C&I Ed.D. graduates:

  • apply their extensive knowledge of curriculum, instruction, and assessment to their professional practice;

  • utilize systematic inquiry processes to address problems of practice;

  • engage stakeholders in collaborative problem-solving;

  • promote equity through their work.

  • A Cohort of Education Leaders

    Your classmates and faculty mentors represent some of the most diverse, passionate leaders from across the country and around the world. Within this community, you and other practitioner-scholars will combine academic, theoretical, and practical understandings with personal practice and self-reflection to become change leaders in your professional context. 

  • Personalized Pace of Study

    The School of Education and Human Development offers a unique doctoral experience. Every candidate maps out a personalized academic plan that accounts for their professional and life commitments. Our asynchronous, online model allows dedicated practitioners to flexibly earn their degree while working from anywhere in the world.

  • Linking Research and Practice

    Critical reflection, knowledge, and research lead to transformational learning, and when combined with field studies, mentor supervision, collaborative group work, and a variety of technologies, our doctoral candidates build a robust portfolio of practical work.

“As a result of getting my doctorate I am now able to read, understand, and critique educational research in a way that I was unable to do prior to coming back to Curry. After completing my capstone, which broadly focused on educational equity, I also feel I am more prepared to advocate for historically underserved populations. ”

– Victoria Hobson, Ed.D. '19

Program Overview & Requirements

Familiarize yourself with the Ed.D. program prerequisites and admission requirements, as well as the deadlines, typical length of study, and available funding opportunities. We also encourage you to look over the areas of emphasis, which can help shape your time and body of work while in the program.

  • Interested in Learning More?
  • Application Due Dates (Ed.D. studies begin in the fall term)

    For part-time study, online: January 15

    Applicants are responsible for ensuring that all required materials are submitted by the deadline. Incomplete applications will not be read and may be cancelled if left incomplete. Materials should be tracked using the checklist in the application. Decisions are typically made by mid-to-late March.

    Start An Application
  • Prerequisites & Admission Requirements

    The GRE is required for applicants applying to begin in 2023.


    1. Master’s degree from an accredited institution. 
    2. Minimum of four years full-time teaching experience (or equivalent professional experience).

    Admissions Requirements

    1. Two letters of recommendation, at least one of which must come from a recent supervisor.
    2. GRE scores that are no more than 5 years old. Successful applicants typically have scores of at least 153 verbal, 148 quantitative, and 4.5 analytic writing. Unofficial scores are accepted when applying; however, once admitted official scores will be required. 
    3. Goal statement of approximately 2,000 words, please describe your purpose in pursuing an Ed.D. in Curriculum and Instruction, the academic and professional experiences that have prepared you for this program, your professional goals, and at least one professional challenge that you plan to utilize your doctoral studies to help you tackle - and why that challenge motivates you.
    4. A writing sample of 1,500 - 5,000 words that is your original work, makes a clear and compelling argument supported by evidence, and incorporates scholarly sources to support that argument.
    5. A resume or CV that highlights evidence of the following:
      • Positions held with details about role and responsibilities
      • Leadership work with details about your role and responsibilities
      • Professional learning with details about your role and responsibilities
      • Any professional work, learning opportunities, or published articles focused on diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) with details about your role and responsibilities
    Application Checklist Scholarships & Financial Aid Request More Information
  • Typical Length of Study

    The Ed.D. can be earned on a part time basis online.

    • Part-time students typically complete the program in 4-7 years (and cannot take longer than 7 years to do so).

    Students must be enrolled continuously at the University during the fall and spring semesters while working toward the Ed.D. degree. If circumstances require a pause in forward progress, students must petition to take a formal leave of absence from the program. Except in limited circumstances, taking a leave of absence does not extend the time limits for completing the degree.

  • Tuition Rates and Financial Aid

    Federal Financial Aid

    • Tuition Rates for the 2022-2023 Academic Year
      • $599/ credit hour for the fall and spring semesters
      • More details can be found here
    • Federal Financial Aid
      • Students may apply for federal financial aid. Information can be found here

Program Curricula

It is imperative that students remain knowledgeable of the School of Education and Human Development's requirements for the Ed.D. as specified in the Graduate Record of the University of Virginia. These guidelines are detailed extensions of the overall School of Education and Human Development requirements. Ultimately, a student’s doctoral committee is responsible for program approval. ​

  • Degree Summary

    The Ed.D. in Curriculum and Instruction requires a minimum of 72 credit hours, consisting of:

    • Twenty-four (24) credit hours of the C&I Core
    • Minimum of eighteen (18) credit hours of the Research Methods Sequence
    • Twelve (12) credit hours of courses in a supporting Area of Emphasis
    • Six (6) credit hours of Field Study
    • Ten (10) credit hours related to the culminating Capstone Project
    • Two (2) credit hours of examinations


  • C&I Core—24 credit hours

    Students complete 24 credits of coursework in the "C&I Core" to build a solid foundation in both the theoretical frameworks and the practical considerations that inform the development of high-quality curriculum, instruction, and assessment.

    1. Foundation 

      1. EDIS XXXX Foundations in Curriculum and Instruction

      2. EDIS 6220 Assessment of Curriculum K12

    2. Tier 1

      1. EDIS 7025: Teachers as Leaders

      2. EDIS 7035: Professional Knowledge

      3. EDIS 8855: Critical Race Theory and Education

    3. Tier 2

      1. EDIS 8060: Advanced Seminar in Instruction

      2. EDIS 8082: Advanced Seminar in Curriculum

      3. EDIS 8084: Advanced Seminar in Assessment

    For more information about each class, check out the descriptions on UVA’s SIS.

  • Research Methods Sequence—18 credit hours

    EDLF 5301: Academic Writing for Practitioner-Scholars (taken with EDLF 8382)

    EDLF 8382: Educational Inquiry for Practitioners

    EDLF 8383: Qualitative Inquiry with Data Management & Analysis

    EDLF 8384: Lab of Practice of Qualitative Inquiry (taken with EDLF 8383)

    EDLF 8385: Survey Inquiry for Practitioners with Data Management & Analysis

    EDLF 8386: Lab of Practice of Survey Inquiry (taken with EDLF 8385)

    EDLF 8387: Practical Evaluation for Practitioners

    EDIS XXXX: Capstone Seminar

    Note that the three labs listed above – EDLF 5301, 8384, and 8386 – are each 1 credit-hour; the other courses are 3 credit-hours each.

  • Area of Emphasis—12 credit hours

    Students select one of the following Areas of Emphasis and work with their assigned advisors to determine which courses to take.

    Curriculum and Instruction (Choose four classes)

    • EDIS 5025: Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment
    • EDIS 5080: Differentiated Instruction
    • EDIS 5470: ESL Assessment and Curriculum Design
    • EDIS 6200: Principles of Curriculum Design
    • EDIS 6220: Assessment of Curriculum K-12
    • EDIS 6800: Creativity and Problem Solving
    • EDIS 7000: Introduction to Instructional Design
    • EDIS 7230: Curriculum for the Gifted and Talented

    Instructional Technology (Choose four classes)

    • EDIS 5075: Online Instructional Procedures
    • EDIS 7000: Introduction to Instructional Design
    • EDIS 7010: Courseware Tools
    • EDIS 7070: Instructional Materials Design
    • EDIS 7072: Performance Improvement
    • EDIS 7076: Technology Learning Systems and Culture

    Gifted Education (Choose four classes)

    • EDIS 5000: Exceptional Learner
    • EDIS 7220: Introduction to the Gifted
    • EDIS 7230: Curriculum for the Gifted and Talented
    • EDIS 7250: Models and Strategies for Teaching the Gifted
    • EDIS 7270: Differentiation of Instruction for Gifted Learners
    • EDIS 7280: Creativity and Problem Solving

    English as a Second Language (Choose four classes)

    • EDIS 5270: Reading & Writing Instruction for ELLs
    • EDIS 5423: English Linguistics
    • EDIS 5424: Second Language Acquisition
    • EDIS 5428: ESL Methods PreK-12
    • EDIS 5470: ESL Assessment & Curriculum Design
    • EDIS 7700: Foundations of Reading Instruction

    Educational Innovation (Choose four classes)

    • EDIS 6800: Creativity and Problem Solving
    • EDIS 7072: Performance Improvement
    • EDIS 7805: Past as Prologue
    • EDIS 7815: Pro-Seminar: Innovations in Education
    • EDIS 7890: Educational Entrepreneurship in Action-Practicum

    Leadership in Reading and Literacy (Choose four classes)

    Students work with their advisors to select courses that align with their interests. Please contact Dr. Tisha Hayes (llh6e@virginia.edu) with any questions.

    • EDIS 5235 Evidence-Based Practice for Students with Dyslexia 
    • EDIS 5730 Diagnosis and Remediation I: Word-Based Assessment and Intervention 
    • EDIS 5740 Diagnosis and Remediation II: Meaning-Based Assessment and Intervention
    • EDIS 7700 Reading Foundations for Diverse Learners 
    • EDIS 7720 Understanding the Code 
    • EDIS 7730 Reading Assessment and Data-Based Decision Making 
    • EDIS 7751 Literacy Leadership and Coaching 
    • EDIS 8050 Seminar in Reading: Reading Disabilities 
    • EDIS 8984 Practicum: Reading Diagnostic Clinic 
    • EDIS 9740 Internship in College Teaching or Supervision 

    Social and Emotional Learning (Choose four classes)

    • EDIS 5012: Mindfulness for Teachers
    • EDIS 5013: Teaching Mindfulness in Schools
    • EDIS 5014: The Trauma-Sensitive Classroom
    • EDIS 5015: Social and Emotional Learning
    • EDIS 5770: Social, Emotional, and Counseling Issues in Talent Development 
  • Field Study--6 credit hours

    Students complete 6 credit hours of Field Study (EDIS 8970 – Field Study) after the completion of 24 hours of course credits. The internship requires 200 clock hours of applied work focused on a professional setting that is related to the student's developing expertise. Students can complete the internship in 3-credit increments (100 clock hours) over two semesters or during one intensive semester of 6 credits (200 clock hours). Students create a Field Study portfolio, which is juried by faculty as the assessment for this program requirement.

  • Capstone Project—10 credit hours

    Students complete a Capstone Project that encompasses three core components: 1) submitting and defending a written proposal; 2) conducting research and writing your Capstone Project; and 3) defending your Capstone Project.  This work totals a minimum of 10 credit hours and is supervised by the student’s advisor and the student’s Capstone committee. Program completion requires successful passage of the written Capstone and oral defense. Students enroll in a total of 10 Capstone hours and must enroll for a minimum of 3 capstone credits during any semester in which they are working with their committee.

  • Examinations—2 credit hours
    • EDIS 9991-Preliminary Examination (1 credit)
    • EDIS 9991-Comprehensive Examination (1 credit)
  • Transferring Credits

    Up to 24 graduate credits from an accredited institution may be applied toward the Ed.D. (if earned within ten (10) years of admission to the program - within five years for the Leadership in Reading and Literacy courses, and provided the program area determines that the courses are relevant to the doctoral program). Decisions about transferring credits are made by the C&I EdD Committee. We typically do not transfer credits for Tier II C&I Core or Research Methods courses. 

    University of Melbourne students who have completed the Clinical Teaching Master's Degree are also eligible to transfer 24 credits (100 credit points) into the Ed.D. program and can discuss details with their admissions coach and/or advisor. 

Milestone Doctoral Assessments

Student progress, performance, and professional behavior may be evaluated by the program area faculty at any time. Following such evaluations, advisors will notify students about the assessment of their progress in the program and inform them of any deficiencies identified and the required action to remain in good standing. Failure to remediate deficiencies may result in dismissal from the program. The C&I EdD program includes the following five Milestone Assessments. Students must pass each milestone in succession in order to continue to progress through their doctoral studies.

  • Problem of Practice White Paper Proposal

    Students complete the Problem of Practice White Paper Proposal while taking EDLF 8382 Educational Inquiry for Practitioners, which is the first course in the Research Methods Sequence and is typically taken during the first semester of doctoral study.

  • Preliminary Examination

    Full-time students take the preliminary examination after the equivalent of one semester of full-time study; part-time students work with their advisors to determine the best timing for the examination.

    The preliminary examination asks students to define a specific problem of practice (PoP), conduct a literature review about that PoP, and craft a set of recommendations to address that PoP. The purpose of the examination is to ensure student proficiency in key skills of synthesizing research literature, effective writing, and oral presentation necessary for advanced-level doctoral studies.

  • Field Study Portfolio and Presentation

    Full-time students undertake the Field Study after one year of full-time study; part-time students work with their advisors to determine the best timing for the Field Study, which typically takes place after a minimum of 24 credit hours of study.

    The 6-credit Field Study challenges students to perform unpaid field work at a school, district, nonprofit, or other educational setting, where students investigate and address a specific problem of practice (PoP) or other compelling question faced by the partner organization.

    Each student’s culminating task is to create a comprehensive Field Study Portfolio that captures the student’s work at their partner organization and sets forth the Final Product – a piece of curriculum, an academic program, an operational system, etc. – that the student creates to address the chosen POP or other organizational challenge.

  • Comprehensive Examination

    Students complete a comprehensive examination during or immediately following the final semester of their doctoral coursework. Students must pass the comprehensive examination before proposing their capstone research. 

    At the conclusion of their coursework, all students complete a Comprehensive Exam, which asks students to synthesize their coursework and to delve more deeply into the academic literature pertaining to a specific area of interest. Students work with their respective advisors to develop a comprehensive exam question that is of particular interest to the student. Exam questions should focus on one or more key themes that connect to students’ studies in the C&I Core and in their chosen Area of Emphasis. The Comprehensive Exam challenges students to conduct a targeted literature review with two goals in mind: to deepen their learning about specific topics or themes that are of particular interest, and to refine the literature-review skills that will be critical to the final Capstone Project.

  • Capstone Project Assessment

    After completing all required coursework and milestones, Ed.D. students will complete a Capstone proposal and project.

    A capstone project is intended to be of direct benefit to practitioners and, ultimately, the public. It is also a demonstration of a student’s ability to carry out disciplined inquiry and argumentation in accordance with the School of Education and Human Development’s standards of performance, which should prepare students to be leaders in their fields.

    Through the Capstone project, students should demonstrate the capacity to:

    • Consider problems of practice from perspectives other than those derived from their own experience and early training.
    • Challenge prevailing assumptions and beliefs about teaching, learning, leadership, and what it means to be a professional in a democratic society.
    • Make sound, defensible, research-based judgments regarding how current practices can be undertaken more effectively and efficiently.
    • Apply skills of practical inquiry in a rigorous and systematic way to address problems of practice. Such skills should include, but not be limited to, locating and framing problems; acquiring, organizing, and analyzing information; and planning, implementing, and evaluating decisions.
    • Develop recommendations regarding practices, programs, and/or policies.
    • Take into consideration the needs of specific individuals and the characteristics of particular contexts.
    • Effectively communicate the results to appropriate audiences.

School Research By The Numbers

  • 32

    $32.5M Total Research Expense in FY 2020

  • 94

    Sponsored Research Awards in FY 2021

  • 31

    Research Centers and Labs at the School

Ed.D. Global Partnership

Partnering with the University of Melbourne broadens resources, encourages practitioner collaboration, and promotes diversity of thought–all within our online community.

Learn More
  • Public Professional Licensure Disclosures

    As a member of the State Authorizations Reciprocity Agreement, the University of Virginia (UVA) is authorized to provide curriculum in a distance learning environment to students located in all states in the United States except for California. (34 CFR 668.43(a)(6)& 34 CFR 668.72(n)).

    Upon completion of the Ed.D. in Curriculum and Instruction program at the UVA School of Education and Human Development, graduates may be eligible for initial professional licensure in another U.S. state by applying to the licensing board or agency in that state. Please visit the University’s state authorization web pages to make an informed decision regarding which states’ educational requirements for initial licensure are met by this program. (668.43(a)(5) (v)(A) - (C))

    Enrolled students who change their current (or mailing) address to a state other than Virginia should update this information immediately in the Student Information System as it may impact their ability to complete internship, practicum, or clinical hours, use Title IV funds, or meet licensure or certification requirements in the new state. (34 CFR 668.402).

The information contained on this website is for informational purposes only. The Undergraduate Record and Graduate Record represent the official repository for academic program requirements. These publications may be found at http://records.ureg.virginia.edu/index.php.