An aerial view of the UVA Rotunda and the Lawn

Curriculum & Instruction: Ed.D. - Doctor of Education

Graduates of this online program are practitioner-scholars who leverage their expertise in curriculum, instruction, and assessment to solve localized educational problems of practice.

At a Glance

Program Results

Ed.D. - Doctor of Education

Curriculum & Instruction

Best Suited To

Working educators anywhere in the world who hold a master's degree and have 4+ years of full-time teaching and/or professional experience in K12 education.

Program Type

  • Part Time


  • Online

Estimated Length

4-7 years 

Application Deadline

February 1 to start next fall  



About This Program

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
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.

Graduates of this program:

  • 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


Program Overview

Admission Requirements

Admission requirements that apply specifically to this program are listed below:


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

Admission Requirements

  1. Two letters of recommendation, at least one of which must come from a recent supervisor.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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

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

Visit our Graduate Admission page for the full admission process.

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 Ed.D. committee. We typically do not transfer credits for Tier II C&I core or research methods courses. 

Graduate Admission

Application for admission is made to the School of Education and Human Development Office of Admission & Enrollment. For more information about the graduate admission process, please visit our Graduate Admission page.

Program Requirements

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

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 Curriculum & Instruction Ed.D. program includes the following five Milestone Assessments. Students must pass each milestone in succession in order to continue to progress through their doctoral studies.

  1. One (1) credit hour of Preliminary Exam
  2. Six (6) credit hours of Field Study
  3. One (1) credit hour of Comprehensive Exam
  4. Three (3) credit hours of Capstone Proposal and Defense
  5. Seven (7) credit hours of Capstone Final Project and Defense

Curriculum & Instruction Course Descriptions

For further details about the specific courses and milestones taken as part of the completion of this degree, visit the Graduate Record website. These web pages represent the official repository for academic program requirements. 

Additional Program Details

In 2024, the UVA School of Education & Human Development is ranked #8 for best graduate schools of education in the country by U.S. News and World Report.

The school also jumped up 18 spots to tie for second best online graduate education program in the country, and is ranked #4 in curriculum and instruction, and #11 in instructional media design for online graduate schools of education.

Ed.D. in Curriculum & Instruction News

A screenshot of an online virtual information session presentation

Information Session Recording

View an information session recording for the Ed.D. in Curriculum & Instruction program.

Information Session Recording

Program Faculty

Kyong Mi Choi

Kyong Mi Choi

  • Associate Professor
Tisha Hayes

Tisha Hayes

  • Professor of Education
  • Director, McGuffey Reading Services
Natasha Heny headshot

Natasha A. Heny

  • Associate Professor
Patricia Jennings

Patricia A. Jennings

  • Professor
  • Ed.D. in Curriculum & Instruction Program Director
Anne Jewett

Anne Jewett

  • Assistant Professor
  • Degree Director, M.Ed. in Curriculum & Instruction program
Wintre Foxworth Johnson

Wintre Foxworth Johnson

  • Assistant Professor
Gail E. Lovette

Gail E. Lovette

  • Assistant Professor
Jennifer S Pease

Jennifer S. Pease

  • Associate Professor
April Salerno

April Salerno

  • Associate Professor of Education, General Faculty
Matthew Wheelock

Matthew Wheelock

  • Associate Professor
  • Innovation Program Area Director

Contact Us


As a member of the State Authorizations Reciprocity Agreement (SARA), 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)). Although California does not participate in SARA, it allows students to enroll in out-of-state programs.

Upon completion of the Doctor of Education 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).