Doctor of Education in Curriculum & Instruction

Program Objectives

The Doctor of Education (EdD) degree provides graduates the opportunity to develop the rich knowledge base needed to address problems of practice affecting the greater education community. The program offers multiple opportunities to impact diverse educational settings.

The faculty is committed to offering multiple avenues for students to reach their goals and expectations for advanced study in curriculum and instruction.

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

Research - 12 credits; take the following required courses and add one other research course12
Educational Statistics II
Quantitative Educational Research
Qualitative Educational Research
Research Electives are appropriate to area of specialization & approved by Graduate Advisor.
Curriculum & Instruction Core - 9 credits; choose from the following9
General School Curriculum
Construction of Curriculum
History & Philosophy of Education
Philosophical Issues in Education
Advanced Educational Psychology
*Subsitute courses may be approved by graduate advisor.
Internships/Apprenticeships - 3 credits; choose one or more of the following3
Internship (Teaching)
Internship (Supervision)
Internship (Research)
Independent Study
*Subsitute courses may be approved by graduate advisor.
Social Justice - 3 credits; choose from the following3
Critical Race Theory
Leading Social Justice
*Subsitute courses may be approved by graduate advisor.
Required Core Content Courses - 6 credit 6
Doctoral Seminar
Dissertation Seminar
Concentration - 12 credits12
Courses selected appropriate to area of specialization & approved by Graduate Advisor
Dissertation - 15 credits15
Doctoral Thesis
Total Credits60


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.


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:

  • Curriculum, Teaching, and Learning
  • Research
  • Concentration

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 10 day 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 student and 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. Students should refer to the Graduate School's web page at: and the Department of Education Graduate Handbook at for more detailed information on comprehensive exams.

Mode of Course Delivery

Doctoral level courses in Curriculum and Instruction are offered in a variety of modalities including face-to-face in-person courses, synchronous and asynchronous online learning, and a combination of both.  

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 and the Department of Education degree requirements listed on the department website.

Contact Information

Dr. Nicholas Lux, Associate Professor and Program Leader
PO Box 172880, Reid Hall 136
Department of Education, Montana State University
Bozeman, MT 59717-2880 
Phone: 406-994-6581 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 SystemPrior to applying to the Curriculum and Instruction doctoral program applicants must hold a Master's degree.

  1. Completed Graduate School Application
  2. Academic Transcripts: Applicants must provide official transcripts verifying all Bachelors degree and Masters degree coursework (as well as confirmation of bachelor’s and master's degree earned) from the applicant's certifying university. Unofficial transcripts may be uploaded during the application process. Official electronic transcripts may be emailed directly from the Institution to or  Transcripts may also be mailed to the Department of Education Graduate Programs Office, 215 Reid Hall, PO Box 172880, Montana State University, 59717. Transcripts from a degree awarded through MSU do not need to be provided. NOTE: We require an undergraduate and graduate GPA of at least 3.00 (on a 4.00 scale). Transcripts will be evaluated for rigor and academic fit. 
  3. Personal Essay: The essay should be a maximumof 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. 
  4. Writing Sample: Please upload a selected example of writing that demonstrates academic potential such as an artifact that highlights your interests, strengths, context and goals/desires more conducive to holistic review.
  5. Resume/Curriculum Vitae
  6. Three (3) Professional References
  7. For International Applicants ONLY: Please visit the Graduate School International Application Process website for application submission information.

Application Deadline

Below is the deadline by which all 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 1st deadline. Applications received after the deadline may be reviewed for acceptance on a case-by-case basis.

  • Fall Semester:  April 1st

* An early review deadline of February 1st has been set for those applicants wanting to be considered for Graduate Assistantships. Applications must be complete for an early review. A student must be accepted to an education program before requesting a Department of Education Graduate Assistantship.  Graduate Assistantships require students to work on campus 19 hours per week.  For further information regarding teaching assistantships visit webpage:

Admission Process

Complete applications will be reviewed by the Graduate Admissions Committee. 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 at the close of the application deadline and not before. We strongly suggest that doctoral applicants contact faculty with whom their planned research would align.  This will assist us in identifying an appropriate advisor for program applicants and provide us an opportunity to get to know about you.  E-mail addresses of our professors are listed on the Faculty and Staff Directory:

Contact Information

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