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English Education

Campus: Virginia Tech Blacksburg

Instructions: Residential/On Campus 

Program Overview

The School of Education at Virginia Tech offers a doctoral program in Curriculum and Instruction with emphasis in English Education. The doctoral program is made up of full time and part-time doctoral students. Every effort is made to secure graduate assistantships for full time students as they complete their one year academic residency requirement. Prospective Students should contact Dr. Trevor Stewart to discuss their application.


Why choose this program?

The English Education programs at Virginia Tech prepare English teachers, teacher educators, and scholars to be successful in the context of increasingly standardized education reforms. Working from the perspective that learning should be a generative act, faculty guide students in the exploration of concepts that make student-centered, dialogic approaches central constructs in the study of teaching and learning. Courses in the program focus on literacy development and consider the roles of language and culture in approaches to teaching that bring classroom content into dialogue with students’ lives in 21st century classrooms. 

What You'll Study

The English Education doctoral program emphasizes the following strands of research pertaining to English Education:

  • New literacies and adolescent learning
  • Adolescent literacy
  • The study of literature in k-12 contexts
  • The study of writing in k-12 contexts
  • Struggling/striving/reluctant/resistant readers and writers
  • Critical literacy

Students enrolled in the doctoral program must pass four exams as part of the degree requirements.

  • Scheduling Exams
  • Qualifying Exam
  • Preliminary Exam
  • Prospectus
  • Dissertation Defense

During the second semester, and no later than the third semester of enrollment, the student and advisor should develop a proposed Plan of Study to submit to the Graduate School. The Plan of Study for English Education doctoral students must include the following minimum requirements:
Research: 15 hours (includes research practicum and required coursework)
Foundations: 9 hours
Concentration: 12 hours
Cognate: 9 hours
Dissertation: 30 hours

Ph.D. program is primarily designed to prepare researchers and higher education faculty. The possible career paths could be but not limited to faculty positions in post-secondary education and for leadership positions in secondary education. The English Education programs at Virginia Tech meld traditional issues of teaching writing, language and literature with newly emerging practices and research in adolescent literacy, new literacies, multimodal technologies and teaching and learning in 21st century classrooms.

  • Master's degree
  • Grade point average of 3.0 or above in graduate work
  • A completed Graduate School application
  • Three professional letters of recommendation, e.g. professors or relevant educational employers
  • An interview with the English Education admissions committee, including a discussion of the application folio and other related issues
  • Relevant teaching experience: Five or more years of K-12 teaching OR other significant teaching experience
  • An essay outlining and describing the experiences you bring to the doctoral program and your career goals (See section below for specific essay requirements.)
  • A writing sample exemplifying scholarly work (e.g. a master's thesis or a sample of professional writing such as a published article or sample of an exemplary academic paper from previous graduate work)
  • A current resume or vita that includes these points:
    • Record of Professional Experience including teaching, counseling, publications, or other related professional activities
    • Teaching and/or Professional Certificates held
    • List of Academic Honors, Awards, Prizes, or other Recognition received
    • Co-Curricular or Community Service Activities (in order of importance to candidate)

      Learn more

A question on the application for graduate admission asks whether you want to be considered for a teaching assistantship. Check yes. Please note that Indicating that you wish to be considered for an assistantship does not mean that you will be offered one, only that you wish to be considered for one, if available.

Learn more about other available funding Opportunities

Domestic Application
Spring: January 1
Summer I: May 1
Summer II: June 1
*Fall:  August 1
International Application
Spring: September 1
Summer I: January 1
Summer II: February  1
*Fall: April 1
*Deadline for early decision admission with Graduate Assistantships consideration for Fall: February 1

Trevor Stewart
Program Leader
1750 Kraft Drive, RM 2009 (0302)

Nancy Nolen
Enrollment Services Assistant
402 Wallace Hall (0565)


Trevor Stewart
Program Leader
1750 Kraft Drive, RM 2009 (0302)

Faculty Experts in English Education

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