Curriculum and Teaching

Doctor of Philosophy in Education
  • Overview
  • Course Information
  • Tuition
  • Benefits

If you want to play an integral role in developing what is taught in the classroom, NCU’s PhD in Curriculum and Teaching specialization is for you. Working in an independent program with unparalleled flexibility, you will expand your research skills, while exploring best practices in the field and utilizing tools to implement curriculum in a wide variety of settings. To ensure high academic and professional achievement inside and outside the classroom, you’ll will analyze instructional strategies, learn how to integrate curriculum models, theory and technology, as well as assess curricular trends, and apply differentiated instructional modalities. With your PhD in Curriculum and Teaching degree, you will be prepared to pursue careers in higher education or industry with expert skills in curriculum application and development.

General Degree Requirements

The PhD Program may be completed in 60 semester credit hours. However, up to an additional 15 credit hours will be allowed as needed to complete the dissertation research. If the program is not completed in 75 credit hours, the student will be dismissed from the program.

Completion Period for Doctoral Degrees

Northcentral University allows 7 years to complete all doctoral programs of 60 credits or less. Normal time to complete varies depending upon course take rate and credits transferred.

Certification and Licensing

The School of Education serves educational leaders by providing online graduate studies in education to reach worldwide populations. The PhD program is designed to reach national and international markets and does not purport to provide licensure or certification in any particular state or country.

PhD Degree Requirements

Admission to the doctorate programs at NCU requires a master's degree from an accredited institution. PhD students are also required to demonstrate competency in specific subject areas prior to enrolling in any of the specialization or elective courses.

Foundational Competencies for PhD Program

  • Graduate Level Statistics Competency - PhD students are required to complete a Statistics in Education Research Course, EDU8003, and also EDU8006, Advanced Educational Statistics.
  • Competency in Research Writing Skills - PhD students are required to show competency in writing skills for research purposes through their Northcentral University graduate coursework before being assigned to any dissertation courses. Students will be required to take EDU8001, Advanced Scholarly Writing, to improve APA formatting skills and to address advanced writing and research skills as necessary.
  • Computer Competency - PhD students are required to use appropriate computer skills that are necessary in writing a dissertation. Students must be able to prepare documents using advanced word processing skills (e.g., creation of tables and figures, headers and footers, page breaks, tables of contents, hanging indents, etc.). In addition, students need to use computer programs for the statistical analysis and presentation of data (e.g., Excel, SPSS). The oral defense normally requires a computer-based presentation by the candidate (e.g., a PowerPoint presentation).

Course Length

All new students enrolling in the PhD in Education program are automatically enrolled in courses that are eight weeks in length. All eight-week courses are indicated by a "-8" (dash eight) at the end of the course code.

See below for specialization courses specific to this program. To learn more, fill out the request information form below or view the course catalog.

Course Code


Course Description


Developing Instructional Strategies and Curriculum

In this course, students will contrast and analyze instructional strategies based on a framework of architectural principles. Students will integrate and implement curriculum theories and models that include differentiated instruction and the infusion of technology. Curriculum standards, requirements, issues, and trends will be evaluated for the production and promotion of recommendations for effective change.


The Role of the Teacher Practitioner

In this course, students will evaluate testing models and practices and their influence on achievement assessment. Topics include: The achievement gap, academic standards, sanctions, and rewards within the context of No Child Left Behind and Common Core legislation are contrasted and reviewed historically for possible intervention options. Course mastery is demonstrated through the creation of a school improvement plan.


Identifying and Maximizing Learning/ Teaching Styles

The skillful use of learning and teaching styles requires familiarity with style models. CT7002 offers the doctoral student opportunities for the analysis and assessment of the interactions at play within learning/teaching styles and brain-based strategies and applications. The doctoral student will become familiar with his or her own style and teaching models that engage diverse students. From that awareness, planning can include how to investigate and evaluate the responsible use of styles and strategies within effective teaching models plus the synthesis, application, and assessment of models within diverse learning contexts. The doctoral student will integrate insights for maximizing styles, teaching strategies, and assessments within a plan for developing best practices and continuing professional development.


Teaching and Learning Foundations

The foundations of teaching and learning can be viewed from several perspectives. Doctoral students will analyze the influence of emotional, social, and cultural contexts and evaluate those influences to make effective decisions that support school structures, which enable student learning. Topics include: learning theories and instructional models, effective teaching practices, multiple intelligences, and metacognition.


Language and Literacy Education

Language and Literacy Education will assist the doctoral student in learning about the processes of language development. Students will analyze the theory of mind and the processes of language and meaning development by reflecting on their own understanding of language. Doctoral students will assess specific literacy strategies to promote language development and analyze ways children learn words and concepts. Students will reflect on the impact of language acquisition on learning and teaching literacy. In addition, students will create strategies, lessons, and assessments designed for language and literacy.


Literacy: Focus on Curriculum

This class offers doctoral students opportunities to investigate and assess the issues and research related to literacy development and literacy curriculum development. Students will analyze principles and strategies that foster literacy development in the early grades and apply learnings to classroom curriculum and instruction. Theory, activities, and summative assessments aid the doctoral leaner in the evaluation of literacy based learning and performance. Literacy achievement and best literacy teaching strategies are planned and implemented.


Leadership for Student Achievement

Leadership for Student Achievement provides doctoral students with learning opportunities to maximize student achievement. Major instructional models are compared and evaluated to enable a positive, supportive classroom environment. The diverse needs of students and their learning styles are assessed and possible pro-active changes are suggested using reflective practices and the insights of differentiated instruction. Student discipline patterns and discipline management techniques are analyzed and evaluated to minimize disruptive behavior and increase learning. Doctoral students will examine and appraise research-based instructional strategies for effective classroom management. Action research plans that will explore class room self-selected management topics will be expected.


Evaluation of Instruction

In this course, students will contrast and analyze instructional strategies based on a framework of architectural principles. Students will integrate and implement curriculum theories and models that include differentiated instruction and the infusion of technology. Curriculum standards, requirements, issues, and trends will be evaluated for the production and promotion of recommendations for effective change.

At Northcentral University, we pride ourselves in being completely transparent when it comes to tuition and fees. If a cost is not included in our Cost Per Course Tuition Rate, we let you know up front. Currently, the only additional cost above your program rate* is books. Learn more about the NCU’s PhD in Education costs below:

  • Per credit cost: $1,129
  • Per 3 credit course cost: $3,387
  • Program cost: $68,090
  • Average book cost per course: $110
  • Application Fee: $0
  • Learning Management Fee (one-time per program): $350
  • Registration Fee: $0

Click here to learn more about payment and financing options.

*Program rates are subject to change and generally increase at the start of each calendar year.

Total program costs reflected are calculated based on standard degree program credits exclusive of the program’s potential evaluation track. The actual cost of a program is determined based upon the program and track the student enters, transfer credits if any, and other unique student factors.For more information: please contact Admissions or refer to the catalog.

If there’s one thing we’ve learned about our students, it’s that they are motivated and ambitious—but they are also busy! At Northcentral University, we’ve designed our education experience to work with you, not against you, so you can achieve your academic goals without sacrificing the quality, flexibility and support you need to be successful.

To learn more, request information or call 1-866-776-0331 to speak with an enrollment advisor today. We offer new courses every Monday of the year so you can get started when it’s best for you.