Ed.D. in Curriculum & Instruction - Reading Education


The Ed.D. in Reading Education program combines research and practice, building on UVA's nationally recognized reading program to prepare graduates for a range of careers both in and out of academia.

This Ed.D. program prepares graduates for college or university positions in reading education or for positions within school districts with specific responsibilities for elementary, middle, or high school instruction including intervention.

The program includes coursework, a clinical internship, and practical experiences to prepare graduates to:

  1. Produce scholar-practitioner research that adds to the knowledge base of a specific organization and/or program
  2. Educate teachers in the area of curricular expertise and evidence-based practice
  3. Provide effective leadership in the field of reading education.

The program provides the opportunity for students to include a supporting area of study.

Program Details


  • Prerequisites and Admission Requirements

    Applicants must hold an approved master’s degree. Additionally, they must have a minimum of three years full-time teaching experience, at least one recommendation from a current supervisor, and competitive GRE scores . Applications must include a goal statement (1-2 pages) and a writing sample (5 pages) from the applicant's masters program.

    Applicants may submit unofficial test scores and transcripts with their application. However, official test score (taken within 5 years) and official transcripts showing degree conferral are required prior to matriculation.

    Applicants are responsible for ensuring that all required materials are submitted by the deadline. Incomplete applications will not be read and may be cancelled if left incomplete. Materials should be tracked using the checklist in the application.

  • Application Due Date

    December 1 for full-time, on-Grounds study.

    Deadlines for part-time study, on-Grounds or online, are below:

    • Spring entry: November 1
    • Summer entry: March 15
    • Fall entry: April 15

    Application decisions will be available 6 weeks after the deadline.

    Applicants are responsible for ensuring that all required materials are submitted by the deadline. Incomplete applications will not be read and may be cancelled if left incomplete. Materials should be tracked using the checklist in the application.

  • Degree Requirements

    It is imperative that students be knowledgeable of Curry School requirements for the Ed.D. as specified in the Graduate Record of the University of Virginia.  The following guidelines are conceived as detailed extensions of the overall Curry School requirements.  Ultimately, a student’s doctoral program committee is responsible for program approval.

    The Ed.D. degree requires a minimum completion of 78 hours of coursework.  There is a 24-semester hour core requirement in reading.  In addition students must take 18 semester hours in research and 12 semesters hours of electives or courses in a supporting area.  A clinical internship of 6 semester hours must also be completed, with another 6 hours completed in an organizational setting. Students must complete their internship in their major area. 

    Of the Curry classes that are required thirty-six hours must be completed after admission to the doctoral program. Students entering the doctoral program with a strong master’s degree can apply up to 24 hours of credit to their doctoral program, provided the program area faculty judge that courses are relevant to the doctoral program.  Students must maintain a Record of Progress that documents progress in the program.

    Research Methodology Coursework:

    Ed.D. students will take a minimum of 18 hours of research coursework.  Required courses include Foundations of Educational Research, Reading the Research, and Program Evaluation.  Students will also take at least one quantitative class and one qualitative class.

    Doctoral Assessments

    Assessment of student progress will be continuous and multifaceted during a student’s enrollment.

    • Student Annual Report:  Each Ed.D. student will complete an annual report describing his or her growth and accomplishments. The report will guide students in reflecting on their own learning and progress and also allow faculty to assess student progress toward program goals.
    • Preliminary Examination: In the second semester of the first year of study, all full-time Ed.D. students will complete a preliminary exam designed to determine the likelihood of the student’s continued success in doctoral studies.  Part time students will complete the preliminary examination after the completion of 12 credit hours in the program. This exam consists of two parts—a paper on a topic of significance in the field and an in-depth critique of a research report.  In addition an evaluation of the proposed program will be conducted by the examination committee. The Ed.D. Assessment Rubric for Preliminary Examinations will be used to evaluate both the paper and the presentation.
    • Comprehensive Examination: All students will complete a written comprehensive examination to demonstrate understanding of the knowledge base and methodology in an area of curriculum, teaching, and learning and demonstrate readiness to undertake doctoral capstone research.  The examination will be graded independently by at least two faculty members according to the Ed.D. Assessment Rubric for Comprehensive Examinations.
    • Capstone Project:  All Ed.D. students will complete a capstone proposal and project.  The goal of the Ed.D. program is to prepare practitioner-scholars.  Practitioner-scholars are expected to develop and disseminate knowledge for the improvement of practice by drawing on both experience and systematic inquiry.  Given this distinctive role, the purpose of the capstone project is to provide prospective practitioner-scholars with a supervised opportunity to demonstrate the knowledge, skills, and understandings that they have acquired in their course of study.  Ed.D. students are expected to identify a problem of importance to practitioners and apply what they have learned in order to address the problem—use-inspired disciplined inquiry.  The capstone will build on this inquiry to develop and make recommendations regarding practices, programs and/or policies and will communicate the results of this inquiry and development to appropriate audiences.
  • Funding Opportunities

    Departmental funding is available on a competitive basis to full-time students.

    Students may apply for federal financial aid, including work-study. Information about federal aid programs, including applying using the FAFSA, can be found through Student Financial Services. Additional financial aid information can be found on Curry's Financial Aid webpage.

  • Typical Length of Study

    Students will ordinarily complete the program in 3 years of full-time study. Some students may take longer to complete requirements, depending on internships and other responsibilities.  All course work must be taken at the Curry School with exceptions approved by the advisor.

    Ed.D. students may also study on a part-time basis. Part-time students must complete at least one academic semester of their program as a full-time graduate student (12 hours).

    Semester of Entry:

    Full-time students enter in the fall semester.  They must be enrolled continuously at the University during the fall and spring semesters while working toward the Ed.D. degree. If students are not taking courses or working with a committee they may maintain enrollment by paying a University non-resident fee through the Office of Admission in the Curry School. Failure to maintain continuous enrollment will require students to reapply for admission. Students must be enrolled for dissertation hours during any semester in which they are working with their committee.

    Ed.D. students may also study on a part-time basis.

    Full or Part Time:

    This degree can be earned on a full-or part-time basis.

  • Course Overview

    Core Requirements

    1)  A minimum of 24 semester hours of reading and reading-related coursework is required.

    • EDIS 7886 Seminar: Comprehension of Text
    • EDIS 8500 Seminar: Early Literacy Acquisition
    • EDIS 7883 Seminar: Reading Disabilities
    • EDIS 7887 Seminar: Models of Reading
    • EDIS 7800 Fundamentals of Curriculum
    • EDLF 7605 Anthropology of Education
    • EDLF 8500 Education and Diversity
    • EDLF 7606 Comparative Education

    2)  Coursework in Research

    A minimum of 18 semester hours of coursework is required.  Students must take at least 2 quantitative and 2 qualitative classes.  Among the courses which could be considered are:

    • EDLF 7300 Foundations of Ed Research         
    • EDLF 7310 Educational Statistics-Stat I
    • EDIS 7852 Reading/Interpreting the Research                     
    • EDLF 8300 Experimental Design-Stat II
    • EDLF 7402 Program Evaluation                         
    • EDLF 7404 Qualitative Analysis
    • EDLF 8310 Correlation & Regression—Stat III
    • EDLF 8440 Advanced Qual Analysis
    • EDLF 8450 Qualitative Analysis with Computers
    • EDLF 7403 Survey Design and Instrument Construction

    3)  Electives OR Coursework in One Supporting AreaA minimum of 12 semester hours is required.  Coursework is determined in concert with your program committee. 

    4)  Other Requirements

    • Internship—A minimum of 12 semester hours must be completed (6 hours in clinical internship; 6 hours in organizational internship).
    • Preliminary Examination
    • Comprehensive Examination
    • Capstone Project or DIssertation—A minimum of 12 semester hours must be completed.

The information contained on this website is for informational purposes only. The Undergraduate Record and Graduate Record represent the official repository for academic program requirements. These publications may be found at http://records.ureg.virginia.edu/index.php.