program-hero-Doctor of Philosophy (PhD): Curriculum and Instruction

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD): Curriculum and Instruction

Drive Positive Change and Innovation in Education

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Program Quick Facts

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Online Coursework

Flexible, online fall and spring term classes make it easier to reach your goals while balancing work and family life.

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Make an Impact

Contribute to the future of education by influencing educational policies, practices, and pedagogies.

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Affordable Tuition

NMSU Global Campus offers competitively priced tuition and scholarship opportunities.

Deepen Your Understanding of Curriculum and Pedagogy

The Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Curriculum and Instruction (C&I) is designed for ethical thinkers pursuing a lifelong commitment to teaching, learning, research, and service. Doctoral C&I students will advance their understanding of curriculum theory, pedagogy, and educational research through a critical multicultural lens.

This program emphasizes compassionate engagement, fostering a community of scholars committed to social justice and democracy. Graduates of the program are equipped with the knowledge, skills, and dispositions to enact meaningful educational and social change.

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Career Pathways

Graduates holding a PhD in C&I are prepared to pursue diverse career paths in education, research, policy-making, and advocacy, including roles such as:

  • Curriculum Specialist
  • Educational Consultant
  • Education Policy Advisor
  • Education Program Evaluator
  • Educational Researcher
  • Post-secondary Teacher
  • University Professor
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“NMSU Global is user-friendly and student-friendly. The work for the graduate programs is online, and the teachers work closely with the students.”

Dr. Jennifer A., Class of 2023

The Doctor of Philosophy in Curriculum and Instruction immerses students in an intellectually rigorous and socially engaged learning experience. This program offers four specialty tracks and one concentration:


  • Bilingual/TESOL
  • Critical Pedagogies
  • Early Childhood Education
  • Language, Literacy & Culture


  • Educational Learning Technologies

Through coursework, research collaboration with faculty and peers, and participation in conferences, students develop scholarly expertise in curriculum and pedagogy within diverse socio-cultural contexts. They engage in reflective practices, scholarly writing, and technological utilization, while also taking action through teaching apprenticeships, community engagement, grant writing, and advocacy for social justice. The culmination of doctoral study is the completion of a dissertation that embodies scholarship, action, and compassion, reflecting the transformative potential of curriculum and pedagogical praxis.

Although courses during the fall and summer terms are 100% online, students are required to attend face-to-face classes at the Las Cruces campus for two of the five weeks during the summer term. This is a three-summer obligation.

Delivery Format: Online with two weeks of in-person classes each summer term
Program Credits: minimum 66 credits
Program Length: Program Length: 3 years
Cost Per Credit Hour: $444.40*
Active Military Cost Per Credit Hour: $250*
College: Health, Education, and Social Transformation
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The Doctor of Philosophy in Curriculum and Instruction program consists of a minimum 66 credits with the potential for additional hours based on advisor and committee recommendations. Students in this program must complete 48 credits of required coursework and 18 credits of dissertation hours. They are required to commit to 6 credit hours each semester.

Sample Courses Credits
EDUC 6110: Curriculum for a Diverse Society 3
EDUC 6120: Pedagogy of Learning in a Diverse Society 3
EDUC 6210: Curricular Mediation for Democratic Communities 3
EDLT 6230: Technology, Society, & Education 3
EDUC 6320: Social Justice Issues in Education 3
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Admissions Requirements

The PhD in C&I degree program prerequisites include the following:

  • Three years of teaching experience at the PreK-12 level or post-secondary level (or equivalent)
  • An earned MA degree in education (or equivalent)

Admissions to the online C&I doctoral program open every other year, alternating with the face-to-face doctoral program. The next online PhD cohort will begin Summer 2026. The application process will open in the fall of 2025. For more information on how and when to apply, please visit the C&I Doctoral Program webpage.

At NMSU Global Campus, we strive to offer competitively priced tuition to keep your tuition costs affordable. If you need financial aid, we’re ready to work with you to determine the best ways to finance your education.

Financial assistance includes loans, grants, and scholarship opportunities. To apply, use NMSU’s convenient Scholar Dollar$ one-stop scholarship application, which serves all students in the NMSU system.

NMSU and NMSU Global Campus students are also eligible for loans and grants. The first step in applying for financial aid is to complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Learn more about financial aid opportunities at NMSU.

Contact Financial Aid
Phone: 1-888-729-6678


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*For NMSU Global Campus programs and courses, the per credit hour cost is listed above. Special tuition agreements (Western Undergraduate Exchange, Descubre, etc.) are not applicable to NMSU Global Campus programs. Course fees still apply and are charged separately. Textbooks, uniforms, equipment, etc., are additional program costs. Additional per credit costs might be charged by the program, department or college.