Frequently Asked Questions

Prospective Students

How do I apply?

Applicants will submit their application through the Graduate School. Click here to learn more.

What are the application requirements?
Applicants are expected to submit:
  • A statement of purpose,
  • A current curriculum vitae,
  • A minimum of three recommendations
  • A writing sample from their most recent degree.
Optional application materials:
  • GRE or MAT scores
  • Additional letters of recommendation (up to 2 additional letters)
  • Earned scholarship or funding information

Admissions counselors are available in the Graduate School should you need assistance with the online application process.

When is the deadline to apply?

The deadline to apply is February 1st, 2024 for full consideration. Applications submitted after the deadline will be reviewed once applications which met the deadline have been considered. Please note that a summer start is not guaranteed if the February 1st deadline is not met.

Do I need to hold a Masters degree in education to apply?

Applicants may hold a masters degree in any field. However, if the degree is not related to the education field, applicants should include why they are seeking to earn a doctorate in Curriculum & Instruction in their statement of purpose.

Is funding available?

For funding opportunities, please refer to the Graduate School’s website on financial aid, scholarships, and assistantships.

Can I receive an application fee waiver?

Unfortunately, we do not offer fee waivers for applications under any circumstances.

Are transfer credits accepted?

The program will accept six transfer hours from an accredited institution if these align with program requirements, providing the appropriate Curriculum and Instruction faculty determine that the course or courses to be transferred are appropriate for the program of study and are graduate-level courses beyond the master’s degree. (See the concentration coordinator and program director about this course-by-course review.) Courses accepted for transfer are subject to the same time limitation as courses taken in residence. Finally, the grades in these transfer courses must be an A or B. The remaining 54 hours, including all dissertation work, must be completed at UNC Charlotte.

Current Students

How long do I have to complete the program?

Students will be admitted each summer/fall with the understanding that most students will be part time and will usually take six hours per term. (NOTE: Students will take some courses together as a cohort, including those taken the first semester.) The program requires a minimum of 60 semester hours. Students will have a total of nine years to complete the program, including dissertation, beginning from the date of the first course, including transfer credits. With the approval of the student’s strand coordinator and the doctoral program coordinator, six hours of transfer credit for post-Master’s coursework earned at an accredited university within the previous five years will be accepted.

After acceptance into the program, students will begin work in both the urban core and the area of specialization; for example, it is recommended that a student take the foundations course and an urban core course in the first semester and one specialization course and either an urban core or research course in each of the second semester if beginning in fall. The program recommends students begin their coursework in summer with an urban core, research, or specialization course before joining the fall cohort. Guidance concerning course selections will be provided by the program and concentration coordinators upon the student’s acceptance to the program. The program director will also offer guidance on avaialble and recommend coursework.

How do I complete the residency requirement?

The residency requirement is satisfied at any point in the program whereby a student completes at least 18 credit hours over three successive terms of enrollment.  Enrollment in fall/spring/fall or spring/fall/spring during the academic year with completion of 2 courses each semester will satisfy this university, graduate school requirement. This can occur at any point in the program.  This is a different requirement from the continuous enrollment requirements during the dissertation, research phase of the degree.

What is the continuous enrollment policy?

Doctoral students in the Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction are expected to follow university policies including the requirement to maintain continuousenrollment in the research (dissertation) phase of the degree. Continuousenrollmentapplies to the academic year (fall and spring semesters) and begins with the dissertation proposal course.  The dissertation proposal course, EDCI 8699, initiates the research phase of the Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction degree. The research phase continues following EDCI 8699 with enrollment in dissertation research, EDCI 8999.   

If there are circumstances beyond a doctoral candidate’s control whereby they cannot maintain continuousenrollment during the academic year, the candidate should submit an academic petition to request a leave of absence. Doctoral candidates are not permitted to work with faculty during a leave of absence.  Moreover, if doctoral candidates do not enroll in a course during the academic year, they are not permitted to use university resources including faculty time, expertise and mentorship.  

During the summer, doctoral candidates may work independently on their dissertation. However, if they choose to consult with or work with faculty including the dissertation chair or committee during the summer months, candidates are expected to enroll in dissertation research hours or an independent study.   

If doctoral candidates are planning to defend their dissertation proposal, they are required to enroll in the university in the semester in which the dissertation proposal defense occurs. This includes both the academic year (fall/spring semesters) and the summer sessions.  The dissertation proposal defense requires the use of university resources, including your dissertation committee members’ time and expertise. 

What are the grade requirements for this program?

A student must maintain a cumulative average of 3.0 in all coursework taken. An accumulation of two C grades will result in termination of the student’s enrollment in the program. If a student makes one grade of Unsatisfactory in any course, then enrollment in the program will be immediately terminated.


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