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Literacy Education is an area of concentration in the Instruction and Administration program that leads to a Doctorate in Education (Ed.D.) degree.  The mission of the doctoral program in literacy education is to prepare literacy education scholars who: (a) recognize that literacy development is a life-long process that goes beyond the printed word and includes the critical ability to negotiate literacy in the world; (b) are capable of designing and conducting research that would contribute to knowledge in the education field; and (c) disseminate research-based knowledge to the education community.

Graduates of our program are prepared for employment as: literacy education professors in university contexts, literacy researchers, and literacy leadership roles in school and community contexts.

Our vision is to maintain a rigorous and respected program that advances literacy research locally, regionally, nationally, and internationally and that prepares scholars to support and guide a range of literacy professionals and make substantial contributions to the literacy field.

Through research experiences, coursework, and scholarly mentoring, the literacy doctoral program in the College of Education’s Department of Curriculum and Instruction will prepare literacy scholars to:

  • Extend literacy content knowledge
  • Explore and contribute to theories and theoretical models related to literacy instruction
  • Use theories to analyze, design, and conduct research
  • Critically evaluate past and present research
  • Disseminate knowledge of language and literacy development, and its typical degree of variation, to inform instruction and research
  • Develop the ability to teach and mentor others about literacy (e.g., teach preservice and in-service teachers, provide professional development, educate scholars, and/or inform policymakers).
  • Cultivate professional dispositions (e.g., develop scholarly habits of mind, value diversity, communicate effectively, demonstrate professional ethics, etc.)
  • Demonstrate literacy leadership in varied contexts

Why You Should Enroll

Doctoral students in literacy education are guided by a major professor and an advisory committee throughout their program and enjoy a collegial relationship with program faculty.  All doctoral students complete a minimum of 42 credit hours beyond the master’s degree.  After completing the 42 credit hours, students are required to complete a qualifying examination consisting of written and oral components.  Following successful completion of the qualifying examination, doctoral candidates complete a written dissertation proposal that is defended orally. Doctoral candidates then conduct an original research study, which leads to a written dissertation that is also orally defended.

Literacy Program faculty continuously monitor doctoral students and provide continuous support throughout the program.  Doctoral students also have the opportunity to collaborate with literacy faculty on research projects.

The Literacy Education Doctoral program is approved by the Kentucky Education Professional Standards Board and the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE).


Program Details

Delivery Method:

Credit Hours:

Time to Completion:

Tuition Cost: Refer to Full-time per Credit Hour Rates for Undergraduate Students on the UK Tuition and Mandatory Fees page.

Curriculum Guide

Information coming soon!



Check out the FAQ below or feel free to contact us with any questions you might have regarding this program. We can’t wait to hear from you!



Janice Almasi


(859) 257-1981

Tuition and Fees

For information regarding current program cost please refer to the UK Tuition and Fees page.

Refund Policies

You can find tuition refund policies, deadlines, amounts, and other important information on the UK Student Account Services website.

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