Doctor of Education in Curriculum & Instruction

Program Objectives

The Doctor of Education (EdD) degree in Curriculum and Instruction has been designed to prepare students to teach in teacher education programs across the country in college and university settings. Progress through the degree provides students with opportunities to develop their professional knowledge and skills in the areas of research, teaching, and service.

The graduate faculty is committed to offering multiple avenues for students to reach their goals and expectations for advanced study in teaching, learning, and teacher education. The program takes an integrated approach to pre-service teacher education. The study of the theoretical underpinnings of teacher education are carefully examined in the context of practical experiences in teacher education research, college teaching, and professional service.

Program Flow

After being admitted the student will be assigned a temporary advisor and should then meet with his/her assigned advisor. Actual courses taken during the initial stage will be based on the student's previous academic work and advisor/committee approval.

The EdD program emphasizes the study of disciplinary content knowledge and related theories guided by a scholar-practitioner approach that can be used to devise applied research studies designed to solve practical problems encountered in K-12 school systems. The program is structured to be completed in 3 to 4 years with tuition support for a limited number of residential EdD students.

Program of Study

Core Content ~ 15 Credits
Research - 9 credits; choose from the following:9
Educational Statistics II
Applied Educational Research
Qualitative Educational Research
Quantitative Educational Research
Or Research Electives appropriate to area of specialization & approved by Graduate Advisor
Curriculum & Instruction Core - 3 credits; choose from the following:3
Advanced Educational Psychology
General School Curriculum
History & Philosophy of Education
Philosophical Issues in Education
Or Curriculum & Instruction Electives appropriate to area of specialization & approved by Graduate Advisor
Internships/Apprenticeships - 3 credits; choose one or more of the following:3
Internship (Teaching)
Internship (Supervision)
Internship (Research)
Independent Study
Concentration ~ 15 credits15
Courses selected appropriate to area of specialization & approved by Graduate Advisor
Dissertation ~ 15 credits15
Doctoral Thesis
Total Credits45


Each doctoral student's committee must consist of at least four approved members. The chair and one other approved member must be from the Curriculum & Instruction faculty. Two other approved members will be selected based upon their ability to contribute to the student's studies leading up to and through the dissertation research. These two committee members must have academic credentials in the area of the student's program of study and be approved by the Head of the Department of Education and Dean of The Graduate School. For information regarding graduate representatives, please refer to the Graduate School policy.


The student should carefully select a chair after thorough conversations with those Curriculum & Instruction faculty members that he/she believes might have an interest in his/her doctoral research agenda and/or the ability to work with him/her toward generating a defensible dissertation. The chair will give leadership and approval regarding the balance of the committee's potential membership. The committee, as a whole, is subject to the approval of the Head of the Department of Education. The chair will facilitate program approval, comprehensive exam planning and clarification, proposal hearing, and dissertation defense. Chairs and members of a student's committee are subject to change. Revision to the program of study can be made during the course of study with the chair's approval.

Comprehensive Examinations

As EdD students in Curriculum & Instruction approach the end of their coursework (30 credits completed), and prior to the Dissertation Proposal Meeting, they will contact their committee chair to discuss the content and format of the required written and oral comprehensive examinations. The Written Comprehensive Examination will be composed of one question from each of three primary areas:

  • Educational Foundations (e.g., synthesis of theoretical and empirical literature regarding various aspects of teaching and learning),
  • Educational Research (demonstration of mastery of aspects of both qualitative and quantitative projects such as sampling, validity, reliability, data analysis), and
  • The student’s major area of study (e.g., methods of science education for pre-service teachers). Students who are completing a minor (e.g., History) will answer one additional question in their minor area.

The committee chair will discuss the process with committee members and based upon the members’ area of expertise, designate one member to compose an appropriate question for each of the suggested areas. The members will submit their questions to the chair who will compile them and give them to the student. The Written Comprehensive Examination will be structured as a written take-home exam that is to be completed over the subsequent 1 to 2 week period. Students are required to complete the exam using APA format.

The completed written examination will be submitted to the committee chair and copies will be distributed to the entire doctoral committee for evaluation. Committee members will have two weeks to read and evaluate the content and written competency of the student’s responses. At the end of the two week period, the committee will meet for a two-hour Oral Comprehensive Examination. The chair will facilitate the meeting and determine the order of questioning. At the completion of the questioning and in the absence of the student, the entire committee will discuss their evaluation of the outcome of the examination. The chair will work with the committee to make a determination regarding passing or failing both the written and comprehensive components of the examination.

The comprehensive exams must be completed by the posted Graduate School deadlines.

Additional Doctor of Education Requirements

The Doctor of Education degree must meet the minimum requirements in the For Doctoral Students section of the Graduate School's website. Additional requirements for the EdD degree beyond these minimums are available through the Department of Education. All EdD degree candidates are expected to be familiar with both The Graduate School's degree requirements listed here: and the Department of Education degree requirements listed on the department website.

Contact Information

Program Leader information provided through
Office of Graduate Programs in Education
Phone: 406-994-6786 Email:

Application Process for the Doctorate of Education in Curriculum and Instruction

Applicants are required to complete the online application and submit the following documentation via the Graduate School Online Application System.

  1. Completed Graduate School Application
  2. GPA calculation sheet for Masters Degree (provided during the application process)
  3. Resume/Curriculum Vitae
  4. Documentation of verbal and quantitative skills needed for the degree: Submit official Graduate Record Exam (GRE) scores – Applicants are required to take the General Test of the GRE (the subject exam is not required); minimum Verbal score of 150 and a minimum Quantitative score of 145. Scores should be sent from the testing agency to Montana State University (code 4488).
  5. Academic Transcripts: Applicants must provide Official transcripts verifying all Bachelor’s degree and Master’s degree coursework. Unofficial transcripts may be uploaded during the online application process. Official transcripts must be sent from the Institution directly to the Department of Education Graduate Programs Office, 215 Reid Hall, PO Box 172880, Montana State University, Bozeman, MT 59717.  Electronic transcripts are also acceptable as long as they arrive directly from the applicants’ certifying university.  Please have electronic transcripts sent to
  6. Personal Essay: The essay should be a maximum of 4 pages in length, typed, double spaced, and respond to the following:
    1. Describe your development as an educator, your future career goals, and how you see the completion of a Doctoral Degree in Curriculum & Instruction as helping you achieve your goals.
    2. Describe your personal strengths and interests as an educator and identify the ways in which you believe you could use your strengths to contribute to the cohort of students with whom you will be studying.
    3. Indicate whether you would be studying as a resident close to the MSU campus or via distance education.
    4. Indicate the area of curriculum, instruction, or teacher education in which you would like to conduct research.
  7. Three (3) Professional References
  8. For International Applicants ONLY: In addition to the above, International applicants will be required to submit the following:
    1. English proficiency scores: TOEFL or ACE level 7: Applicants who are not U.S. citizens and not from countries where English is the official language are required to take the Test of English as a Foreign Language and a score a minimum 213 (paper version – 550, 60 for the iBT). This requirement may be waived if the applicant has earned an undergraduate or graduate degree from an institution in the U.S. For more information on the International application process, see this link:
    2. International Applicants must complete an International Student Financial Certificate

Application Deadlines

Below is the deadline by which all of the application materials for the EdD program in Curriculum and Instruction must be submitted via the online application system. Students matriculate into the EdD program in the fall semester only. Applications to the EdD programs are reviewed once per year at the April 1 deadline. Applications received after the deadline may be reviewed for acceptance on a case-by-case basis.

  • Fall Semester:  April 1st

Admission Process

Complete applications will be reviewed by members of the Graduate Admissions Committee who then convene to make final admission decisions. Once a decision has been made the application will be forwarded to The Graduate School for final administrative processing.  Please note that the application review process will begin on the application deadline dates and not before.

Contact Information

Micki MacGregor, Graduate Program Assistant
PO Box 172880, Reid Hall 215
Department of Education, Montana State University
Bozeman, MT 59717-2880 
Phone: 406-994-6786 Email: