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Department of Childhood Education and Literacy Studies

Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction with
an emphasis in Early Childhood

The Early Childhood emphasis promotes scholarly and multi-
disciplinary inquiry that further empowers advanced graduate
students through the development of knowledge, skills, and
dispositions to assume roles as leaders, advocates, and scholars
in the development and implementation of high quality and innovative
early childhood practices. The program provides a sound theoretical background that is integrally linked to the practice of Early Childhood Education in a diverse, global community  with an emphasis on child advocacy and social justice.

This degree requires satisfactory completion of coursework, qualifying examination, dissertation, and the teaching of at least one university
level course - which may be met as a part of a graduate assistant responsibility or through independent study. 


Special Admission Requirements

  • Two years of successful experience in a professional role in an
    early childhood setting.

  • Master's degree in early childhood education or a related field (additional graduate study may be added to the program to
    meet requirements).

  • International students must meet the admission criteria set
    forth in International Applicant's section of the Graduate


Residency Requirement

Ph.D. programs prepare individuals who aspire to become producers
of knowledge (researchers/university faculty). This requires research
training and theory exploration to be major factors in the education
of the Ph.D. candidate. Much of this training occurs during residency, although not necessarily in formal course work.

To accomplish this focus on training, each Ph.D. student is required to
spend at least two consecutive semesters (about 30 weeks) in full-
time residency on the Tampa campus. The student should be engaged
in no more than half-time work outside the Ph.D. program during this
period. Reduction of job responsibilities will allow the student to take advantage of the opportunities for learning that are available in the University community during regular day-time hours, to participate in research projects with faculty, and to teach courses at the University

The student must declare the semesters of residency as a part of the program of studies. Changes of these dates must be approved by the supervisory committee and must be submitted in writing to the
Coordinator of Graduate Advising at least one semester before the residency is to occur. It is the responsibility of the Coordinator of
Graduate Advising to certify, at the time of application for graduation,
that the residency requirement has been met.


Application Process

Applicants must submit an official GRE score (minimum 40th percentile
for each section -- Verbal, Quantitative, and Analytical Writing) along
with the following items, in the order listed, in a single PDF file to

  • Academic Writing Samples/Publications (two samples that demonstrate writing and research skills)

  • Personal Statement (two-page statement of your academic
    history and goals)

  • Employment Evaluations (two employment references and
    contact information for your direct supervisor)

  • Letters of Recommendation (professional/academic reference
    letters from three individuals who can attest to your academic accomplishments. Provide contact information for each.)

Personal Interview:  When your file is complete, you will be
invited to interview with the Admissions Committee. Interviews are
not available during the Summer, so please apply for Fall admission
early in the year. Applications for Fall admission should be received by
March 15th. All interviews must be conducted in the spring semester.

Attending as a non-degree seeking student

Students must be fully admitted to the program before they may enroll
in specialization courses. Before admission, non-degree enrollment is
limited to the following courses (12 hours maximum):

EDF 6407 Stat Anal Educ 1

EDF 7408 Stat Anal Educ 2

EDG 7667 Anal of Curr & Inst or EDG 7692 Issues in Curr & Instr or
EDH 7225 Curr Dev in Higher Ed


Coordinator, Early Childhood

 Dr. Ilene R. Berson, NCSP

Office: EDU202

 Phone: (813) 974-7698


Graduate Programs Admissions General Information

Please contact program coordinator first and then if you still have
additional questions you may contact Lisa Adkins.

Lisa Adkins, Graduate Academic Program Specialist

Offifce: EDU 202
Phone: (813) 974-3463

Graduate Admissions

(813) 974-8800

Apply online at FACTS: (



Dr. Diane Yendol-Hoppey

Office: EDU202

Phone: (813) 974-3460



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