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College of Education and Human Services
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Doctor of Education in Curriculum and Instruction

Transforming Teaching. Improving Learning. 

Program Description

The aim of the Doctor of Education (EdD) degree in Curriculum and Instruction is to prepare scholarly practitioners to be innovative leaders who can transform teaching and learning in their schools, districts, and other educational institutions in Northeast Florida. The program is designed for a wide variety of individuals including curriculum specialists or designers, school-based teacher leaders, instructional coaches, administrators who want to increase their knowledge of curriculum and instruction, educational consultants, individuals working in informal educational settings, including museums, and those interested in adult education.


The program is designed to be completed in eight semesters of active coursework and three semesters of dissertation work, though some students may take an extra semester or two to complete the dissertation.

Students take two courses each semester. All courses utilize a hybrid model and meet at times that accommodate the schedules of busy professionals. Seminars and networking events are scheduled throughout the year.

This is a cohort program. Students take courses with the same group of people throughout the program. A cohort program enables students to form friendships and support one another throughout their coursework and the dissertation. It also helps foster a community of learners and enables students to form professional networks.


Students are admitted for the Fall semester.

Early decision applications are due March 1 and regular decision applications are due May 1.

Financial Aid

The College has a modest number of graduate assistantships available each year. Students with graduate assistantships may engage in research with College faculty or co-teach undergraduate courses. Scholarships are also available.

Illuminate Your Future: EdD Information Sessions

Learn how a doctoral degree in Curriculum and Instruction or Educational Leadership can illuminate your future. 

Dr. Kim Cheek and Dr. David Hoppey are hosting virtual Information sessions about the UNF doctoral programs in Curriculum and Instruction and Educational Leadership via Zoom throughout the 2025-2026 school year. These virtual Information sessions are walk-in based, no appointment necessary. All sessions are open to all students, former students and prospective students interested in learning more about these innovative and highly-competitive programs. Dr. Hoppey and Dr. Cheek will be available to answer any admission and program related questions. 

Please stay tuned for the 2025 Spring informational session dates. 


  • Core Courses

    Students take courses in three core areas and an additional area of their choice:

    • a curriculum and instruction core: four courses designed to provide graduates with a deep understanding of curriculum, instructional assessment, policy, and how to design professional learning
    • a research core: six courses that introduce students to educational research, academic writing, quantitative and qualitative research methods; and enables students to complete their dissertation proposal during their course work
    • a foundations core: three courses that situates the program within a framework for equity and social justice
    • cognate: three courses in an area of the student's choice

    Core Courses

    EDG7359 Facilitating and Designing Professional Learning

    This course introduces students to current theories and practices in professional learning and examines the role of leadership in professional learning. The course examines broader relationships between professional learning, education policy, and practice. Students will develop the pre-requisite knowledge, skills, and abilities needed to facilitate, evaluate, and study effective professional learning through inquiry.

    EDG7655 Policy and the Role of the Educational Leader

    This course examines issues related to educational policy and reform from the perspective of educational leaders. Course topics include the history of educational policy development, frameworks for educational policy making, processes for analyzing educational policy, issues regarding the implementation of policy, and methods of policy research and evaluation.

    EDG7351 Advanced Seminar in Instructional Assessment

    This course focuses on evidence-based assessment of learning drawing upon learning and instructional theory and models, of effective teaching. Emphasis will be placed on the use of data for continuous improvement and program evaluation.

    EDG7224 Advanced Perspectives on Curriculum

    This course deepens students' understanding of curriculum and analyzes historical and contemporary theories, issues, and trends from multiple perspectives including social justice and equity.

    Possible Cognate Choices Include:

    • reading and advanced literacy
    • elementary STEM education
    • TESOL
    • TESOL educational technology
    • early childhood education
    • teacher leadership and mentoring
    • the whole child
    • disability services
    • exceptional student education
    • educational leadership
    • educational technology, training, and development
    • higher education administration
    • or create a customized cognate in consultation with the Program Director to fit your exact academic goal
  • Course Sequence

    Fall Year 1

    EDF 7545 - Philosophy of Education

    EDA 7420 - Foundations of Educational Research in Educational Leadership

    Spring Year 1

    EDF 7635 - Cultural and Social Foundations of Education

    EDG7359 Facilitating and Designing Professional Learning

    Summer Year 1

    EDA 7426 - Academic Writing in Education: Framing Problems of Practice

    EDF 7215 - Learning and Instruction throughout the Lifespan

    Fall Year 2

    EDA 7400 - Research in Educational Leadership: Quantitative Methods

    2nd C&I core course - EDG7932 Advanced Seminar in Instructional Assessment

    Spring Year 2

    EDA 7410 - Research in Educational Leadership: Qualitative Methods

    Cognate Course #1

    Summer Year 2

    EDG7224 Advanced Perspectives on Curriculum

    EDG7282 Policy and the Role of the Educational Leader

    Fall Year 3 - Finalize committee chair/committees and developing your pre-proposal

    EDA 7979 - Research Design Seminar 1: Advanced Methods


    Spring Year 3 - IRB and finalize proposals.

    EDA 7421 - Research Design Seminar 2: Proposal Development


    Summer Year 3 - Focus is on data collection/analysis

    EDA 7980 Doctoral Dissertation Research (1-6 hours) - Students register for up to 6 dissertation credits with guidance from the chair of your committee and the program director.

    Fall Year 4 - Focus is on data analysis and final dissertation preparation.

    EDA 7980 Doctoral Dissertation Research (1-6 hours) - Students register for up to 6 dissertation credits with the chair of your committee.

    Spring Year 4 and beyond (if necessary)

    EDA 7980 Doctoral Dissertation Research (1-3 credit hours) - Students register for up to 6 dissertation credits with the chair of your committee.