TCU College of Education Graduate Studies

Ph.D. in Curriculum Studies

Curriculum Studies as a field is interdisciplinary and draws upon multiple perspectives including psychology, philosophy, social foundations, cultural studies, critical theory, and education to study curriculum, individuals, societies, and interdisciplinary themes, while critically examining educational issues and policies. The field values democratic community building and an ethic of social action that honors diversity. Students come to curriculum studies from formal and informal learning contexts as well as various disciplines. Graduates of the program pursue varied professional positions in schools, non-profit agencies, and other community organizations. While curriculum studies students’ backgrounds and goals are diverse, they share an interest in understanding the intersections of individuals and sociopolitical contexts. Curriculum studies arises from a 1970s reconceptualization of curriculum. View Program Brochure

Concerned with understanding curriculum more so than developing and evaluating curricula, Curriculum Studies addresses questions such as:

  • What is knowledge and who decides? How does knowledge affect lives?
  • What does it mean to educate and to be/come educated?
  • What are the relationships between learning and teaching, curriculum theory and practice?
  • How is curriculum culturally, politically, and economically situated?
  • What are the roles of power and vulnerability in curriculum studies?

Jayna McQueen TCU Curriculum Studies

“I appreciate the small, supportive community. The faculty cares about our success and guides our progress through coursework, exposure to current scholars in our field, involvement in academic conferences, and teaching.”

-Jayna McQueen Ph.D. Candidate


For admission into the program, an applicant must have a master’s degree in an education-related field. Applicants must present a strong academic record, acceptable GRE scores within the past five years, a writing sample (15-20 pages, exclusive of notes and works cited) that demonstrates appropriate academic writing skills needed for success in a graduate program and three letters of recommendation. GRE scores will be OPTIONAL for 2021-2022 admissions. Applicants will be interviewed as part of the selection process.

Degree Requirements

As a research degree, the PhD is awarded for demonstrating competence in research by successfully defending a doctoral dissertation. The emphasis is on developing knowledge and skills in curriculum studies that result in the ability to conduct original research. A general program of study is outlined below. Students are required to take a suitable number and variety of graduate courses and research apprenticeships to prepare them for the qualifying examination and for the writing of the dissertation. The program requires 66-75 hours after acceptance into the program. The PhD in Educational Studies: Curriculum Studies comprises the following components:

Ph.D. in Curriculum Studies Degree Plan

Program Advisors: Dr. M. Francyne Huckaby and Dr. Gabriel Huddleston