Teaching and Learning (PhD)

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Program Description

The PhD program in Teaching and Learning is designed for those seeking research-oriented positions in universities or leadership roles such as serving on a college or university faculty, as an educational researcher, or as a curriculum specialist. Extensive individual mentoring is available by our skilled faculty representing many dimensions of early childhood and childhood education. The program is flexible and highly individualized, providing specialties in such related areas as teacher education, curriculum development, child development, innovations in schooling, and specific content areas such as literacy, numeracy, and social studies. Extensive faculty mentoring is a distinctive feature of the doctoral program.

Themes of Study

Doctoral study in the Department of Teaching and Learning focuses on several areas of scholarship and practice. These reflect the strengths and interests of the department’s faculty and the opportunities available among the department’s programs for doctoral students to have mentored learning experiences. The themes are as follows:

  • Teaching and teacher education across all levels from early childhood to university, including preparatory teacher education and continuing teacher education, and across a variety of teaching fields. The department particularly invites interests in teaching within urban settings, teaching diverse students, the role of content knowledge in teaching, and changing conceptions of teaching and teacher education.
  • Educational reform, including school reform, curriculum reform, and reform of policies that bear on teaching and learning. The department particularly invites interests in the problems of urban education, in designing learning environments that work well for diverse learners, in rethinking curriculum and school designs, and in the role of teacher learning within educational reform. In making admission decisions, the department’s faculty strives for balance across these areas, each year admitting a small number of highly qualified students with interest in each area (regardless of the students’ degree preferences).
  • Literacies across all levels of education and content areas. The department particularly invites interests in early literacy, adolescent and adult literacy, issues in acquiring academic literacy, and the role of culture in literacy.
  • Language and culture. The department particularly invites interests in language acquisition and in issues related to education in multilingual and multicultural settings. Special education, including questions about theoretical frameworks of disability in school and community; challenges of practice such as the design and implementation of inclusive schools, equitable learning opportunities for students with disabilities, family engagement; contemporary issues in the fields of practice and research such as exclusionary discipline and racial equity in special education, postsecondary education and young adults with disabilities, and multilingual learners and disabilities.


Admission to graduate programs in the Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development requires the following minimum components:

  • Résumé/CV
  • Statement of Purpose
  • Letters of Recommendation
  • Transcripts
  • Proficiency in English

See NYU Steinhardt's Graduate Admissions website for additional information on school-wide admission. Some programs may require additional components for admissions.

See How to Apply for admission requirements and instructions specific to this program.