Ph.D. Concentration



The Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction with a concentration in Early Childhood Education prepares individuals who aspire to become university professors. This requires research training and theory exploration. Much of this training occurs during a residency in which the doctoral student takes a full load of courses and engages in the research culture of the department. The residency is not a living arrangement; rather, it involves is a sustained and full-time academic experience in which doctoral students are apprenticed into academia. 


Students may work as a graduate assistant, teaching undergraduate courses and/or supervising students in field experiences. The student may also work as a Research Assistant on grants and other faculty research projects. Through the residency, students become immersed in the culture of academia and participate in research projects with faculty.

Teaching College Courses

When a doctoral student begins the residency year, there are several structures in place to support his or her teaching experience. 


Prior to the residency year, students will enroll in courses that explore the challenges and issues involved in pre-service teacher education. The student will reflect on his or her instruction, survey the pre-service teacher education literature, and develop an inquiry plan to study her or his own teaching. 


In addition to support from faculty, students may also attend workshops and trainings offered through the Academy for Teaching and Learning Excellence. The Academy for Teaching and Learning Excellence assists faculty, teaching assistants, academic departments, and administrators with the teaching and learning aspects of USF’s mission.