Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Curriculum & Instruction: Early Childhood Education

The Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Curriculum & Instruction with a specialization in Early Childhood Education (ECE) is designed to support advanced study for certified teachers in early childhood education and development and individualization for researchers and practitioners. While pursuing a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), students will gain a theoretical and practical understanding of child development, evidenced-based interventions and pedagogy specific to young children, and research and evaluation skills necessary for evaluating the effectiveness of instruction.

Coursework for a PhD in the College of Human Sciences & Education requires 90 hours of credit at the graduate level, which includes Core Seminars (6 hours), Research Methods & Dissertation Research (21 hours), Area of Specialization: Early Childhood Education (50 credit hours beyond Bachelor’s degree), Minor Area of Study Outside of the School of Education (12-18 credit hours).

Students applying to graduate school should have a minimum composite score of 297, with a minimum verbal score of 153 and a minimum quantitative score of 144.

Required Coursework

EDCI 7910 Traditions of Inquiry in Education (3)
ELRC 7299 Introduction to Scholarship in Education (3)

must be taken consecutively during the first year of enrollment

EDCI 7850 Intervention Research in the Early Childhood Classroom (3)
EDCI 9000 Dissertation Research (12-15)
ELRC 7006 Educational Statistics (4) or equivalent
ELRC 7241 Educational Research Methodology (3)
ELRC 7243 Qualitative Methods in Educational Research (4)


EDCI 7054 Child Guidance and Behavior (3)
EDCI 7056 Theories of Child Development (3)

Select at least 3 from list below in consultation with your advisor:

CFS 7051 The Contemporary Family (3)
EDCI 4060 Organization and Administration of Early Childhood Programs (3)
EDCI 4382 Critical Issues in Early Childhood Education (3)
EDCI 7059
Parent Involvement in Early Childhood Education (3)
EDCI 7307 Topics in Curriculum & Instruction (3 - 6 if topics vary)
EDCI 7112 Early Literacy Development and Instruction (3)
EDCI 7843 Early Childhood Education (3)
EDCI 7902 Analysis of Research on Teaching (3)
EDCI 7903 Curriculum Planning (3)
EDCI 7904 Education and Cognition (3)
EDCI 7910 Traditions of Inquiry in Education (3)
EDCI 7920 Analysis of Research in Curriculum & Instruction (3)
EDCI 7921 Analysis of Research in Curriculum & Instruction (3)

Select in consultation with your advisor. Possibilities include Statistics, Psychology, Social Work, Sociology, or Political Science.

The remaining courses to complete the program of studies must be selected with the approval of the student’s graduate advisor committee.


What Do Current Students Have To Say?

"Since I have been an Early Childhood Education PhD student, our graduates have gone on to serve at our on-site laboratory preschool (ECELP) as administrators, work for the Department of Education, and have faculty positions not only here at LSU, but across the country. If your goal is to secure a higher education faculty position, the opportunities for you to gain experience with research and teaching while completing your PhD are plentiful. As a Research 1 institution, a PhD from LSU is impressive!"

- Jeanette L Bankston, Graduate Assistant, Early Childhood Education Program