The Ph.D. Program in the Department of Teaching and Learning prepares highly qualified individuals to serve as educational leaders, researchers, designers and teacher educators whose work will contribute to improving teaching and learning both in and out of schools. The program has a strong focus on diversity and equity and supports faculty and student research in areas such as early development, instructional interventions, innovative use of technology, multilingualism, teacher preparation, family engagement, disability, education policy, and science, technology and mathematics learning. Incoming students are assigned a Supervisory Committee to advise them in developing their Program of Study. With the approval of their Supervisory Committee, doctoral students may apply up to 30 credits from an earned Master’s degree towards the 60 required credits of coursework. Students must also enroll in 12 dissertation credits.

Application Requirements

Admission to all graduate-degree concentrations in the School of Education and Human Development is based on the recommendation of the faculty. Admissions decisions are based on faculty review of the following general requirements that apply to all Graduate Programs in the School as well as specific documents listed under each concentration.

Applicants must:

  • Graduate Record Exam (GRE) requirements may be waived for applications to Spring 2021 and following, pending final approvals. However, if the GRE is required for admissions, applicants must achieve acceptable scores on the GRE taken within the past five years. International applicants whose native language is not English or applicants whose degrees are from a non-U.S. University must pass the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or International English Language Testing Systems (IELTS) and the GRE;
  • provide official transcripts showing completion of a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution and an acceptable undergraduate grade point average. A minimum of 3.0 undergraduate GPA is required. Official transcripts from every institution attended by an applicant, whether or not the applicant completed a degree program at the institution, are required;
  • provide three letters of recommendation that address the issues and meet the criteria established by the program being applied to;
  • provide a personal statement that addresses the mission and purpose of the program being applied to;
  • resume;
  • take part in an admissions interview (required by some programs); and
  • exhibit personal and professional experiences and characteristics that are relevant to the profession and/or field and/or degree program for which the application is being submitted.

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)

In addition to the factors listed as general requirements for all applications to the SEHD’s graduate programs, consideration for admission to the Ph.D. program will include the following:

  • letters of recommendation should address the applicant’s academic potential;
  • available student space in the program;
  • For TAL: availability of faculty advisor willing to mentor the student.

International Applications

All international applications must provide additional information and meet additional requirements as required by the UM Graduate School and the Office of International Student and Scholar Services. For an appropriate link to these requirements, please visit the Graduate School website.

Admission Decision

Once an applicant has been admitted to graduate study, that individual should meet with the faculty advisor who was appointed to serve in that capacity and whose name appears in the admissions letter. This advisor will help the student enroll in courses that are appropriate to the program; to develop and to refine a Program of Study that must be on file in the Office of Graduate Studies by the end of the first academic year of enrollment.

Honor Code/Handbook of Policies and Procedures

The School of Education and Human Development follows the Graduate School’s Honor Code. All students are required to review the Graduate Student Honor Code and the School of Education and Human Development’s Handbook of Policies and Procedures for Graduate Students and submit the signed Acknowledgement of Receipt located on page 3 by the end of their first semester of enrollment.

Curriculum Requirements

Educational Foundations9
Select 9-credits (3 courses) from the following:
Introduction to the Politics of Education, Teaching, and Learning
Education Reform, Policy, and the Social Organization of Schooling
The Social and Cultural Foundation of Education
Issues and Trends in Multicultural Education
Introduction to the Learning Sciences
Core Courses in the Area of Specialization 112
Language Policy and Planning (K-12)
Theories and Research in Languaging and Language Development
Theories and Research in Literacies and Literacy Development
Special Topics in Language and Literacies
Seminar in Reading/Learning Disabilities
Introduction to Science of Learning
Disability and Diversity: Critical Views
Current Issues in Special Education
Research in Special Education
Instructional Design and Technology in STEM Education
Teaching and Teacher Education
STEM Learning
STEM Curriculum and Policy
Assessment in STEM Education
STEM-Education Research Practicum
Diversity and Equity in STEM Education
Research Methods15
Introduction to Research 2
Select 12 additional credit hours of coursework in research methods. 3
Select 6 credit hours of coursework focusing on dimensions of diversity. 3
These credits may be taken within or outside the Department of Teaching and Learning. 3
Professional Seminar3
Professional Seminar
Pre-Candidacy Dissertation Research.
Post-Candidacy Dissertation Research.
Total Credit Hours72

Sample Plan of Study

This is a sample Plan of Study. Your actual course sequence may vary depending on your previous academic experience as well as current course offerings. Students should meet with their academic advisor each semester to determine the appropriate course selection.

Plan of Study Grid
Year One
FallCredit Hours
EPS 700 Quantitative Methods I 3
TAL 710 Introduction to Research 3
TAL 733 Theories and Research in Languaging and Language Development 3
 Credit Hours9
EPS 702 Quantitative Methods II 3
TAL 700 Professional Seminar 1
TAL 703 Issues and Trends in Multicultural Education 3
TAL 731 Language Policy and Planning (K-12) 3
 Credit Hours10
Year Two
EPS 703 Applied Multivariate Statistics 3
TAL 734 Theories and Research in Literacies and Literacy Development 3
TAL 753 Introduction to Science of Learning 3
 Credit Hours9
TAL 700 Professional Seminar 1
TAL 714 or EPS 714 Introduction to Qualitative Methods
or Qualitative Methods I
TAL 754 Disability and Diversity: Critical Views 3
TAL 773 Teaching and Teacher Education 3
 Credit Hours10
Year Three
MLL 702 Bilingualism 3
MLL 703 Topics in Critical Studies of Language 3
TAL 752 Seminar in Reading/Learning Disabilities 3
 Credit Hours9
PSY 624 Social Development 3
SOC 693 Special Topics and Current Issues in Race/Ethnic Relations 3
TAL 690 Topics in Education 3
TAL 700 Professional Seminar 1
 Credit Hours10
Year Four
TAL 755 Current Issues in Special Education 3
TAL 830 Pre-Candidacy Dissertation Research. 3
 Credit Hours6
TAL 830 Pre-Candidacy Dissertation Research. 3
 Credit Hours3
Year Five
TAL 840 Post-Candidacy Dissertation Research. 3
 Credit Hours3
TAL 840 Post-Candidacy Dissertation Research. 3
 Credit Hours3
 Total Credit Hours72


The mission of the School of Education and Human Development is to produce knowledge and prepare the next generation of leaders, researchers, and agents of change and well-being in education and the community. 


The goal of the doctoral program in Teaching and Learning (TAL) is to provide professional preparation for careers in research and teacher education in one of the following three specialty areas: Language, Literacy, and Learning in Multilingual Settings (LLLMS); Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Education; and Special Education (SPED).

All students are expected to develop and demonstrate a high level of competency in their area of specialization, in their knowledge of research methods, and in their knowledge of diversity as it applies to their area of research and practice. We expect that our graduates will go on to work as faculty in Institutions of Higher Education or as educational leaders in school systems, educational foundations, research organizations, and other settings. 

Student Learning Outcomes

  • Students will demonstrate knowledge of the literature on diversity in education, with particular attention to racial, ethnic, linguistic, and cultural diversity.
  • Students will demonstrate in-depth knowledge of their area of specialization, i.e., LLLMS, STEM, or Special Education.
  • Students will demonstrate their knowledge of research methods appropriate to their area of specialization.