Graduate students in the Literacy Education program will study with professionally active, knowledgeable Literacy Education faculty members, who have diverse backgrounds, interests, and experiences in research, teaching, and service. In addition, there are Affiliated Faculty members in other departments, within and outside the College of Education, who provide coursework and advising for graduate students in areas such as Communication Disorders; Cultural and Linguistic Diversity; Communications; American Indian Studies; English as a Second Language; College Teaching; and Special, Foreign Language, Math, Science, and Counselor Education.
Graduate students will take advanced coursework in Literacy Education, collaborate with faculty on grants and research projects, and have the opportunity to teach and supervise students in undergraduate literacy education courses. In addition to acquiring a breadth of knowledge in foundational areas in literacy education, students will have an opportunity to focus on specific areas in literacy education, such as Emergent Literacy, Family Literacy, Early Childhood Literacy, Elementary Grade Literacy, Adolescent Literacy, Disciplinary Literacy, Children’s and Young Adult Literature, English Education, Literacy Teacher Education, New Literacies, Evaluation and Instruction of Students with Reading Difficulties, Literacy Education for English Learners, and Literacy Education for Culturally Diverse Students.
Competitive graduate assistantships are available to support students throughout their studies, enabling them to be immersed in the academic and scholarly environment as they work with faculty on research projects, collaborate on papers for presentation and publication, and teach courses and supervise students in the undergraduate teacher education program.
To learn more about the Curriculum and Instruction PhD in Literacy Education, please visit our page links and program documents below:
For students to be considered for admission to the PhD in Literacy Education program, they must:
- Submit all application materials. Please note: Preference will be given to applicants who apply on or before February 1 each year for the following year.
Supporting materials include:
- A current resume or vita;
- A detailed letter that expresses why the applicant wishes to pursue a PhD in Literacy Education, including the applicant’s career goals; the applicant’s prior experiences in literacy or literacy education (e.g., relevant teaching or other educational experiences); previous university degrees, programs, certificates, or emphases related to literacy; potential areas of focus in a literacy doctoral program; potential research interests; and any other information the applicant considers to be relevant to her or his admission;
- Three Letters of Recommendation from those who can speak to the applicant’s intellect, scholarly abilities, teaching ability, or other qualifications for doctoral study. These letters typically would be former professors, supervisors, or administrators;
- An official report of the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) that was taken within the preceding 5 years;
- An Application for a Graduate Assistantship should the student wish to seek one;
- An academic writing sample is not required, but is preferred.
- TOEFL or IELTS test is required for international students. Until further notice, due to COVID-19 related postponements/cancellations of TOEFL/IELTS exams, we will be accepting Duolingo scores or 110 or higher as proof of English proficiency.
The PhD in Literacy Education requires that students comply with and satisfy all requirements specified in the UW Student Handbook/Thesis & Dissertation Format Guide. Additionally, PhD in Literacy Education doctoral candidates must satisfy the following program-specific requirements:
A minimum of 54 hours beyond the master’s degree are required as follows:
- Research: A minimum of 12 hours of research methods in quantitative, qualitative, or other methodologies are required. The courses will be selected collaboratively by the doctoral student and her or his PhD advisor and committee such that the research methodology training is thorough, rigorous, and compatible with the student’s dissertation research plans and anticipated career research focus.
- Core: Students must complete 9 hours of core courses. Students must enroll in PRST 5610,”Introduction to Doctoral Study,” and two of the following courses selected collaboratively by the doctoral student and her or his PhD advisor and committee:
- PRST 5900 Practicum in College Teaching
- EDCI 5600 Diversity in Education
- EDCI 5810 Writing for Professional Publication
- EDCI 5730 Learning Theories: Research & Praxis
- EDCI 5665 History & Philosophy of Education
- Literacy Education: A minimum of 21 hhours of doctoral literacy coursework is required, which includes the following seven courses (i.e., LTED 5800, 5880, 5860, 5830, 5850, 5480, and 5810). Additional courses may be selected from existing and new advanced, graduate-level courses within the Literacy Program Area; from courses in other departments in the College of Education; and from other relevant academic departments at the University (e.g., Anthropology, Communication Disorders; English, Family and Consumer Sciences; African American, Chicano, American Indian, or Women’s Studies; Psychology, Sociology). Course selection decisions will be made collaboratively by the doctoral student in consultation with the student’s PhD advisor and committee based on the doctoral student’s prior graduate work and post-doctorate career goals.
- Dissertation Research: Students must enroll for a minimum of 12 hours of dissertation research credit durig the period they plan, implement, and defend their dissertation.
- Preliminary Examination: The Preliminary Examination (also called the Comprehensive Examination) for the PhD in Literacy Education is governed by policies specified in Chaper 1 of the UW Student Handbook/Thesis & Dissertation Format Guide. Program-specific procedures for the preliminary examination for the PhD in Literacy Education are as follows:
- The comprehensive preliminary examination will consist of a written and oral component, and both exams must be passed to satisfy the Comprehensive Preliminary Examination requirement. The doctoral committee will be responsible for the format, content, and scope of the preliminary examination.
- Whereas aspects of comprehensive exam requirements are addressed within and across varioius courses in a student’s program, enrollment in, and passing courses in, a student’s program does not guarantee that the student will pass the comprehensive examination. To pass the comprehensive examination, students must synthesize their learning within and across their courses, and they will need to study resources and references outside of course requirements. successful completion of the comprehensive examination will require a minimum of several hundred hours of in-depth work. Thus, students should plan to complete their comprehensive examination when they can devote the better part of a semester to it with minimal distractions.
- For the written component of the comprehensive exam, the student, in consultation with the student’s advisor and doctoral committee, will engage in a take-home exam. For the take-home exam, the students will write three to four scholarly papers (which may later be submitted for presentation or publication) that synthesize the students’ PhD coursework in Literacy Education at the University of Wyoming and other scholarly work up to this point in the program. Students must work independently on the written component of the comprehensive exam; students may not seek help from professors or other students.
- For students who have completed the written examination and have passed it provisionally in the judgement of the advisory committee, an oral examination wil be scheduled. During the first portion of the oral examination, the doctoral committee may pursue questions or concerns about the written examination. In the remainder of the oral examination, the doctoral committee may ask the student any questions germane to research and scholarship in the field of literacy education.
- Once the Comprehensive/Preliminary examination is passed, the graduate student becomes a doctoral candidate.
- In case of failure, the student may repeat the examination once only, after 120 days have passed but not more than four semesters have elapsed. Please note: A “Report on Preliminary Examination” form must be filed with the university whether the student successfully passes her or his preliminary.
- See http://www.uwyo.edu/registrar/university_catalog/grad_students.html for more detailed information about the preliminary/comprehensive examination process.
Link to course rotation
Doctoral students are required to participate in a research apprenticeship in which they work closely with a faculty member in order to gain experience and skills in conducting research. The apprenticeship may involve an ongoing faculty project or may be a project initiated by the student and faculty member. Examples of acceptable apprenticeships include:
- writing an IRB or grant proposal
- collecting and analyzing data (e.g., a qualitative analysis, a statistical analysis)
- writing a research report for publication independently or collaboratively with a faculty member
- presenting theoretical or empirical work at a professional conference independently or collaboratively with a faculty member
- a project that enhances the student’s ability to conduct rigorous educational research.
The Research Apprenticeship must be approved in advance by the doctoral committee, and at the committee’s discretion, students may enroll for independent study graduate credit as part of the Research Apprenticeship experience
Diversity is the adherence to the democratic value of mutual respect for, celebration of, and protection of the differences that make up the peoples of the world. It requires the development of a critical consciousness individually, institutionally, and societally about differences in all existing forms and levels of human experiences. Diversity includes, but is not limited to, gender, educational and socioeconomic status, race, ethnicity, language, religion, national origin, physical and mental health, and sexual orientation. Graduates of the University of Wyoming and the College of Education should acquire an understanding and respect of differences within and across cultures, including their own.
For this requirement, students must design, in consultation with their doctoral advisor and committee, a specific plan that enhances their knowledge of cultural diversity issues that address literacy education. This requirement can be met through curricular and extra-curricular experiences, including, but not limited to:
- enrolling in extant courses
- engaging in research or learning projects
- conducting lectures or workshops
- presenting papers at professional conference
- engaging in service at the community, state, national, or international level
The Preliminary Examination for the PhD in Literacy Education is governed by policies specified in Chapter 1 of the UW Student Handbook/Thesis & Dissertation Format Guide. Program-specific procedures for the preliminary examination for the PhD in Literacy Education are as follows:
- The preliminary examination will consist of a written and oral component, and both exams must be passed in order to satisfy the Preliminary Examination requirement. The doctoral committee will be responsible for the format, content, and scope of the preliminary examination.
- For the written component, the student, in consultation with the student’s advisor and doctoral committee, may choose to take either a sit-down or a take-home exam. For the sit down exam option, the student will respond to 2 or 3 questions that synthesize the students’ coursework and other scholarly work up to this point in the program. The questions will be prepared by the student’s advisor and doctoral committee, with possible input from the student.
- For the take-home exam option, the students will write 2-3 scholarly papers (which may later be submitted for presentation or publication) that synthesize the students’ coursework PhD in Literacy Education at the University of Wyoming and other scholarly work up to this point in the program. The topics of the papers will be determined by the student’s advisor and doctoral committee, with possible input from the student.
- For students who have completed the written examination and have passed it provisionally in the judgment of the advisory committee, an oral examination will be scheduled. During the first portion of the oral examination, the doctoral committee may pursue questions or concerns about the written examination. In the remainder of the oral examination, the doctoral committee may ask the student any questions germane to research and scholarship in the field of literacy education.
Dissertation and Oral Defense:
The dissertation and final oral defense of the dissertation will be governed by policies specified in Chapter 1 of the UW Student Handbook/Thesis & Dissertation Format Guide. The dissertation will be prepared and submitted as per procedures in Chapters 2 and 3 of this document.
The dissertation will be a scholarly, independent research effort that demonstrates that the doctoral candidate is able to plan, implement, and convey to an academic audience a novel, significant inquiry in literacy education.
Within the parameters of Graduate Study policies, the dissertation for PhD students in Literacy Education may take a variety of conventional or more contemporary forms. The form of the dissertation will be determined and approved by the doctoral committee in consultation with the candidate, and may include:
- a traditional print dissertation
- a dissertation consisting of a series of scholarly, empirically and/or theoretically focused, professional articles to be submitted for publication, already submitted for publication, or already published
- an electronic or multimedia (including print) format.
Doctoral students are required to enroll full time for two consecutive terms (fall and spring semesters and/or summer sessions).
For detailed information on the PhD in Literacy Education at the University of Wyoming, please see the following:
Once complete, the application packet will be reviewed by faculty in the Literacy Education Program Area. Following the interview, the literacy education faculty will make a recommendation regarding admission for Graduate Study at UW.
For more information please contact:
Dr. Cynthia Brock
Dr. Leigh Hall