The doctoral program focuses on theories, practices and policies associated with language and literacy with the goal of preparing scholars, researchers and educational leaders. Program faculty strive to improve educational practice through the generation of new knowledge and through service to education institutions, government agencies and practitioners at all levels of education. They are committed to theory-driven research that informs practice and to developing literacy leaders who can contribute to the profession in substantive ways.
Course work for doctoral students addresses the development and uses of language and literacy and the cultural contexts in which learning occurs, with emphasis throughout on linguistic and cultural diversity as well as variation in discourse practices. Although there are some similarities in curriculum for the PhD and the EdD, the EdD is a practitioner-oriented degree, whereas the PhD is a researcher-oriented degree.
By means of the Federation of North Texas Universities, doctoral students in the program are able to take some reading education and literacy education courses at Texas Woman’s University and Texas A&M University–Commerce and apply them to their UNT degree. They may also include faculty from these other universities on their doctoral advisory committees and participate in Federation-sponsored professional development events.
For admission to the program, an applicant must first apply to and meet the general admission requirements of the Toulouse Graduate School at UNT. Applications for students who meet the general admission standards are forwarded to the Reading Education Admissions Committee for Review. The applicant must also submit the materials to the Reading Education program in the Department of Teacher Education and Administration.
- A resume or curriculum vitae that includes the applicant’s work history, educational experience and relevant certifications. The applicant is expected to have professional experience with literacy-related instruction and programs.
- Evidence of a master’s degree in literacy education or a related field from an accredited university or college. The master’s GPA should be 3.5 or above.
- GRE scores: verbal, quantitative and analytical writing. The program views high GRE scores as positive indicators of potential success in the program; however, low GRE scores need not exclude a candidate who shows positive indicators in other areas.
- Three letters of recommendation from individuals who can address the individual’s ability to successfully pursue doctoral-level studies.
- A written statement from the applicant providing a description of his or her professional background and goals as well as a rationale for applying to the UNT doctoral reading education program.
- Successful written responses to two literacy related questions. The written responses are read by two or three program faculty members and discussed with the applicant at an on-site admission interview.
- An example of the applicant’s scholarly writing.
Final acceptance into the doctoral program is contingent on a review and assessment of all application materials. The faculty in the reading education program maintain the right to deny admission to an applicant who in their judgment fails to meet academic admission standards.
A minimum of 60 hours beyond the master’s is required. Course work for the reading education PhD includes a 9-hour tool requirement. Based upon a review of the preparation of each entering student, additional courses may be required.
- The following specific degree requirements must be completed for the PhD:
- Research Methods: 15 hours
- Major in Reading Education: 18 hours
- Core courses: 12 hours
- Other 6000-level reading/literacy-related courses (subject to advisor’s approval): 6 hours
- Minor or Cognate: 12 hours
- Electives (subject to advisor’s approval): 3 hours
- Dissertation: 12 hours
- The reading education core courses EDLL 6060 , EDLL 6070 , EDLL 6080 and EDLL 6100 .
- The additional two courses in the major area can be selected from the following UNT courses: EDLL 6040 , EDLL 6090 , LING 5370 and ENGL 5170. Other courses are possible, including Federation courses, but must have the approval of the instructor.
- Students are encouraged to take some of the electives outside the Department of Teacher Education and Administration.
- Residency requirement: Doctoral students must complete two consecutive semesters of 9 hours taken each semester. Consecutive semesters may include summer, and employment is not restricted.
- No coursework beyond the master’s degree that is more than 10 years old at the time the doctoral degree is conferred can be used toward the doctoral degree.
- The student must successfully complete the written qualifying examinations before admission to candidacy.
- The student must successfully develop and defend a dissertation proposal and complete and successfully defend the dissertation.
Each student will have a doctoral committee comprised of a minimum of four members, who will evaluate the dissertation proposal as well as the final completed dissertation. The chair and at least one other member must be from the UNT reading education program.