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Curriculum & Instruction

Prospective Graduate Students

We are thrilled that you are interested in pursing graduate studies in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction.  Please reach out to the Associate Head for Graduate Programs (Dr. Emma Mercier, or any faculty member whose work is interesting to you, to learn more. 

Doctoral Admissions

For admission to the doctoral program, we look for students whose research interests align with members of our department. Please check out the profiles of faculty in our department to identity those with similar interests to you.  

While we recruit students in all our areas of expertise, for admission in 2023-24 (Dec 2022 deadline), we are particularly interested in students who are focused on these areas:

  • Dual language immersion programs
  • Critical social studies scholarship
  • Immersive learning environments
  • Computing, engineering & making education for youth from communities underrepresented in STEM
  • Geometry instruction
  • Problem-based instruction
  • Social justice math
  • Math and/or science professional development
  • Community-engaged science education
  • Science curriculum materials co-design and adaptation
  • Culturally sustaining pedagogies
  • Teacher preparation
  • Indigenous mathematics/science education
  • Politics of teaching mathematics

Masters Admissions

Masters students are admitted to the EdM with licensure, EdM, MA or MS degrees in the Department of Curriculum and Education. EdM with licensure students gain a masters degree and teaching license, while taking classes and doing teaching placements. EdM students focus on classes and do not write a masters thesis. EdM students can enroll in either our face-to-face or online program. MA and MS students take classes and write a thesis and must enroll in our face-to-face program.

Masters students are admitted to the same areas as doctoral students (see above for current recruitment areas). Our department has particular strengths in:

  • Social justice and education.
  • Immersive and digital learning environments.
  • Literacy and bilingual education.
  • Educational data mining and multimodal data analytics.

Funding Opportunities

Graduate students can fund their studies through a range of sources including fellowships and scholarships and teaching and research assistantships.

Fellowships and Scholarships

Fellowships and scholarships are available from the department, college and campus, as well as through national and international organizations (e.g Fulbright awards).  

Department Fellowships

McCarthey Doctoral Fellowship

The Fellowship supports an outstanding doctoral student who is interested in pursuing studies in Teacher Education. The Fellowship was established by Professor Sarah McCarthey in 2021 to promote scholarship in the preparation of teachers across disciplines. Fellowships are determined by academic merit, professional experience, and dedication to preparing the next generation of teachers.

College Fellowships

The College of Education offers two fellowships for incoming doctoral students.  The awards are decided based on your application and additional materials are not required.  

The college also offers scholarships for current students. Learn about them here.

Campus Fellowships

There are a number of fellowships for incoming students including the Illinois Distinguished Fellowships, and fellowships for underrepresented doctoral and masters students.  The ASPIRE program also provides early application support and fellowships for underrepresented doctoral and masters students. 

Travel fellowships and dissertation completion fellowships are also available from the graduate college for enrolled students. To learn more, visit the grad college fellowship website


Teaching Assistantships

The majority of teaching assistantships within Curriculum and Department are associated with our teacher preparation program, although opportunities exist in other programs also. Teaching assistants may support faculty with grading; lead a discussion section of a large course; or be the instructor who teaches a course and is responsible for lectures, discussions, grading and all related tasks. Teaching assistantships are also available at University Primary School, our preK-5th lab school.

Research Assistantships

Research assistantships are available on currently funded projects. Take a look at current research pages associated with faculty to see what might be available in coming years. 

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