Instruction and Curriculum

Graduate degree programs from the ICL department are concentrations in the Instruction and Curriculum degree program. Students can concentrate in educational programs including:

  • Early Childhood Education
  • Elementary Education
  • Secondary Education
  • Literacy Education
  • Special Education
  • School Library Information Services (Master's of Science and Graduate Certificate only)
  • Instruction and Design Technology

DO more in your career!

The Master of Science degree is available to individuals who are already licensed and want to expand their work in their teaching areas. It is also available to individuals without licensure who desire to work in education-related settings but do not need teacher licensure. This degree is directed toward the development of competencies necessary for leadership and advancement in K-12 settings and fields related to education.

We also offer Masters of Science program that leads to state licensure for Library Information Specialist>. This program is available as an add-on endorsement for students who are already licensed and as an initial licensure program for those who are not licensed. Students who are seeking a librarian licensure for the state of TN will complete the Masters of Science in Instruction and Curriculum.

  • Major: Instruction and Curriculum Leadership
  • Concentration: Instruction and Curriculum
  • Degree: MS 
  • Forms: Degree Sheet

Prospective students interested in obtaining a doctorate with an emphasis in Elementary, Middle School or Secondary Education will concentrate in Instruction and Curriculum. The program coordinators for each of those areas can assist you with any preliminary questions you may have about a doctorate with a concentration in one of the noted areas. 


University of Memphis Online EdD in Curriculum Leadership has been identified as having one of the top online doctorate programs in educational leadership. The ranking considered rankings in major publications and program cost. Editors noted that this is one of the best online doctorate in educational leadership degrees.

The ranking and a high resolution award badge can be found here>.

Program Requirements

Students who have not completed at least six semester hours of graduate level mode one course work in cultural, historical, or psychological foundations of education, must complete those hours during the first year of enrollment in the doctoral program. These prerequisites will not be counted toward the degree.

  • A minimum total of 54 hours post masters hours.
  • The major will consist of 42-45, with 9-12 hours of dissertation credit (ICL 9000) and 3-6 hours of doctoral seminar (ICL 8995).
  • The research requirement will consist of courses directed toward research and/or statistical techniques and procedures necessary for the discipline and the dissertation topic.
  • Approved transfer credit or post-master's courses may be accepted for not more than 12 semester hours.
  • Completion of the college and university residency requirements. Additional information pertaining to the major and concentration areas may be secured from the Chair of Graduate Coordinator of the Department of Instruction and Curriculum Leadership.


Students working toward the doctoral degree must fulfill the University and College residency requirements after filing a program of studies.


The purpose of residency is to provide the doctoral student with significant time for sustained contact with faculty members. An expected outcome is the acquisition of skills of inquiry, and opportunity for research, and the incorporation of professional values in to the experience that the student brings to graduate school. Also, it facilitates the creation of a cohesive climate in which inquiry becomes the linking feature of the graduate student experience. In short, residency is expected to be a vehicle for socialization into the shared community of professional life. At the heart of the community lies a commitment to sustained inquiry that extends beyond the period of doctoral preparation and into the students lifetime work, either as a practitioner or as one who demonstrates leadership based on a foundation of inquiry.

Doctoral Residency Policies

A doctoral student must select one of the following course enrollment options:

  • The student will maintain two semesters of continuous enrollment of 9 hours per semester. The enrollment requirement may be satisfied by enrolling in fall, spring, and summer semesters.
  • Three semesters of continuous enrollment per semester during two consecutive summers and at least 3 hours per semester during the intervening fall and spring semesters.
  • Nine hours of enrollment per semester during two consecutive summers and at least 3 hours per semester during intervening fall and spring semesters.

A plan of residency will be developed by the student and major professor. The plan will be developed by the student and major professor. The plan will be reviewed by the department.
The plan of residency consists of the following elements:

  • The plan will be contained in a 3-5 page document.
  • It will contain an introduction to the problem area that the student will address during the coming period of residency. This introduction will include a specification of the problem, an indication of its importance, and a brief summary of pertinent literature placing the problem in its context. Relevant theoretical implications will be noted.
  • It will detail a plan of action including projected time benchmarks to resolve the problem. It is expected that this plan will allow for a sustained and multifaceted inquiry that incorporates significant components derived from the literature and have implications for the filed of study.
  • Tools of inquiry expected to be required in the course of completing the residency will be noted. If the candidate possesses these tools, some indication documenting the mastery of the tool component should be noted. If skills of inquiry are to be acquired during the course of the residency this must be noted.
  • Faculty resources associated with each component of the plan must be indicated. It is expected that the student will be in contact with individuals who have been engaged in this area beyond the campus.
  • The products of the residency will be noted. It is expected that the residency will lead to a paper submitted to a refereed journal or presented at a peer reviewed conference.
Timetable for Filing for Residency

Prior to beginning residency, the written plan must be filed. The plan must have the approval signatures of the chair of the candidate's program advisory committee and of the department chair. It must be submitted to the department office of the candidate's major for approval no later than the last day of graduate registration in the semester designated to count as residency. Students are expected to have satisfied requirements for admission to the doctoral program before filing a residency plan.