Curriculum and Instruction - Doctor of Education

The Curriculum and Instruction Department offers two kinds of doctorates: The Doctorate of Education (Ed. D.) and the Doctorate of Philosophy (Ph. D.).

The Doctorate of Education (EdD) and the Doctorate of Philosophy (PhD) are rigorous degrees requiring an intellectual and personal commitment beyond compare. Both degrees ask for a lifelong commitment to teaching, learning and pedagogy, to research and to service in the areas of the recipient's interests and desires. The academic course of study for both degrees is the same. The EdD doctoral program of study requires a minimum of 66 credit hours (48 hours coursework and 18 hours of dissertation) to complete. The PhD doctoral program requires students to demonstrate competency in the computer tools or second language sequence. (See below in program descriptions). For both programs (EdD and PhD) 66 credit hours is only the minimum and students may be asked to complete additional hours as per their advisor and committee recommendations.

Both degrees require a dissertation based on original research, inextricably grounded with an array of primary and secondary sources. Both degrees have required courses of study, but are additionally individualized based on those scholarly and academic expectations set by the doctoral student in collaboration with their Dissertation Committee.

Focus Areas

Currently there are five Focus Areas for the Doctoral Program.

  1. Bilingual/TESOL
  2. Critical Pedagogies
  3. Early Childhood Education
  4. Educational Learning Technologies
  5. Language, Literacy & Culture

Research Sequence

The Department provides doctoral students with a firm grounding in both quantitative and qualitative research methodologies, while allowing them to then additionally develop an even deeper level of understanding specifically in either methodology, or in mixed methods.


The internships and/or practica are applied experiences constructed through focused theoretical understandings. These understandings will be developed and practiced as a process through a series of interactions with the selected professor of record, research and/or leadership sites, and the intern’s area(s) of continued academic engagement. The academic “habits of mind” to be honed during the internship or practicum must be inclusive of academic interests and the deepening of intellectual propinquity to those curiosities that will enable a rich doctoral experience. The extensive development of an epistemic bibliography during an internship or practicum should continue so as to enrich the doctoral student’s long-term intellectual engagement while synchronically meshing with his or her doctoral plan.

Decisions about the internships/practica are to be made by the Program Chair and Program Committee, and will vary between Focus Areas.

To Apply

  • Apply to the NMSU Graduate School
  • Apply to C&I by sending in your Application Portfolio by December 15th
    • See the sections, “Applying to the Doctoral Program,” “Doctoral Intake Application Instructions” and the “C&I Doctoral Student Checklist” in the Doctoral Handbook.
    • NMSU Doc Portfolio Example – C&I (If the Sample portfolio does not open automatically, try a different browser or try saving the portfolio to your desktop before opening it.)

NOTE:  Potential students who have written successful portfolios will be invited to interview with the Doctoral Qualifying Committee (a committee of C&I faculty)

Once Applicants Are Accepted

  • Attend the applicable Doctoral Orientation Meeting your first semester of classes
  • Meet with your Interim Adviser during your first semester of classes
  • Get to know our faculty
  • Read the Doctoral Handbook and the sections of the NMSU Graduate Catalog that apply to you (this is your responsibility)
  • Follow the Doctoral Program Checklist from the C&I Doctoral Handbook