DOCTORAL

Literacy, Language, and Culture

Overview & Requirements
Applying
Careers & Internships

How do students make sense of the texts they encounter in and outside of school? How do cultural systems of meaning and community practices influence these interactions? How can teachers best foster students' communication of their ideas? What happens when these processes do not work smoothly? How can we bridge gaps between literacy research and practice to foster the development and educational success of children and adolescents?

In the Literacy, Language, and Culture concentration you will explore these and other questions as you focus on the following areas: 

  • Issues of formal and informal ways of learning about language, literacy, and culture in school and community settings;
  • The intersection of language and cultural identity in a globalized world;
  • The learning and use of multiple literacies among diverse groups of people.

We approach these issues from a range of perspectives, including sociocultural, cognitive, and developmental theories and methods, and an interest in the contexts within which these processes are situated. Students are encouraged to both develop a familiarity with a range of perspectives and issues, and a focus on a particular specialization.

Your fellow students in this interdisciplinary program will be members of nationally-funded research groups engaged in cutting-edge scholarship to advance educational theory and practice. You will also participate in school and university seminars, university teaching internships, national conferences, and other outreach efforts.

Our internationally recognized faculty brings multiple theoretical perspectives (e.g. cognitive, sociocultural, critical, and feminist) to the study of literacy and language among children, adolescents, and adults. Faculty members have expertise in disciplines such as psychology, linguistics, anthropology, and sociology.

Examples of current faculty projects include:
  • Developing instructional supports for text-rich experiences in project-based social studies and/or science lessons.
  • Documenting and analyzing youth cultural, identity, and literacy practices to inform the development of learning opportunities for adolescents in underserved communities.
  • Analyzing youth cultural texts and their relationship to disciplinary learning in middle and high school settings.
  • Analyzing the affordances of functional linguistics metalanguage in supporting the academic language development of English language learners
  • Studying the discourse of classroom instruction and professional development to develop robust classroom learning environments and opportunities.
  • Using video records of practice to increase teacher education students' understanding of the complex work of teaching in secondary content area classrooms
  • Analyzing the connections between media literacy, digital citizenship, and 21st Century skills.
  • Exploring the way young people understand historical injustice as it relates to their social and civic identity development

Additional Certificate and Endorsement Opportunities
Learning Experience Design Certificate

Requirements

Core courses will familiarize you with theoretical perspectives that have informed literacy research and teaching practices over the last 100 years, as well as with current perspectives on literacy research and practice. In addition, faculty offer special seminars related to their specific research interests on a rotating basis. Such courses are designed to provide in-depth treatment of particular areas of literacy theory, research, and practice.

Total Credit Hours Required
60

Core credits

19

Students complete the following courses:

  • EDUC 790 – Foundations of Schooling (3 credits)
  • EDUC 791 – Foundations of Teaching & Learning (3 credits)
  • EDUC 792 – Methods of Educational Research: Qualitative (3 credits)
  • EDUC 793 – Introduction to Quantitative Methods in Educational Research (3 credits)
  • EDUC 898 – Professional Development Seminar (1 credit); need 4 credits total
  • An advanced research methods course (3 credits)

Concentration credits

12

Students complete the following courses:

  • EDUC 500 – Foundations of Literacy 
  • EDUC 525 – Language Development in Home and School Contexts 
  • EDUC 703 – Historical Perspectives on Literacy Research 
  • EDUC 706 – Issues in Research on Literacy

Elective credits

12

A minimum of three credits must be literacy-related. Students choose from the following courses:

  • EDUC 704 – Contemporary Perspectives on Literacy Research 
  • EDUC 706 – Seminar: Issues in Research on Literacy Topic: Youth Literacy Culture Identity 
  • EDUC 706 – Seminar: Issues in Research on Literacy Topic: Disciplinary Literacy 
  • EDUC 706 – Seminar: Issues in Research on Literacy Topic: Pedagogy of Literacy Teacher Education
  • EDUC 706 – Seminar: Issues in Research on Literacy Topic: New Literacies and Media 
  • EDUC 706 – Seminar: Issues in Research on Literacy Topic: Intro to Systemic Functional Linguistics OR EDUC 737 – Topics in Educational Studies Topic: Intro to Systemic Functional Linguistics 
  • EDUC 706 – Seminar: Issues in Research on Literacy, Topic: Secondary Writing Research with Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Students OR EDUC 737 – Topics in Educational Studies Topic: Secondary Writing Research with Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Students 
  • EDUC 733 – Reading and Writing Development of Young Children
  • EDUC 737 – Topics in Educational Studies, Topic: The Education of Latin@s in the US 

Cognate credits

6

Cognates are defined as graduate, non-Education courses. Cross-listed, meet-together courses with Education can be elected to fulfill the cognate requirement. With advisor approval, students may choose Higher Education courses.

Apprenticeship credits

2–6

Students complete a minimum of one and up to three credits in each of the following apprenticeships:

  • EDUC 789 – Research Apprenticeship
    • Graduate Student Research Assistant (GSRA) Position or Apprenticeship to Faculty Member
  • EDUC 798 – Teaching Apprenticeship
    • Graduate Student Instructor (GSI) Position or Apprenticeship to Faculty Member

Preliminary exam credits

2–6

Students complete a minimum of one and up to three credits in each of the following courses:

  • EDUC 991 – Prelims Part A (1 credit minimum) (may be elected more than once) 
  • EDUC 992 – Prelims Part B (1 credit minimum) (may be elected more than once)

Questions?

Questions?

Frequently Asked Questions

Prospective students

Prospective Students

2018 Ed Studies masters cohort poses in front of School of Education building
Discover more offerings from ES

Educational Studies

Associated Faculty

Associate Professor

734-647-6298

Professor

(734) 615-0586

Chair, Elementary Teacher Education; Clinical Associate Professor

734-647-0604

Dean, School of Education; George Herbert Mead Collegiate Professor of Education; Arthur F Thurnau Professor; Faculty Associate, Research Center for Group Dynamics, Institute for Social Research

(734) 647-9571

Chair, Educational Studies; Ann L. Brown Distinguished University Professor; Arthur F Thurnau Professor; Jean and Charles R. Walgreen Jr. Professor of Reading and Literacy
University Diversity and Social Transformation Professor

(734) 647-2447

Connect with ES

Contact

Phone: (734) 763-9497
Master's: edstudiesma.info@umich.edu 
Doctoral: edstudiesphd.info@umich.edu  

Location

610 E. University Avenue
Room 4218
Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109-1259

Office Hours

Monday–Friday
8:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.

Application Deadline

Educational Studies is suspending admissions to its PhD program for the fall of 2021. We are doing this to ensure that we can continue to provide the support needed by our current students at this uncertain time. However, we are engaged in an exciting redesign of our PhD program and look forward to welcoming your applications in the fall of 2021 for the fall of 2022. Please check in (at this site) for updates regarding our redesign efforts.

Quick Facts

GRE general exam required

Yes

Financial aid available

Yes

Starting term

Fall term only

Connect with ES

Contact

Phone: (734) 763-9497
Master's: edstudiesma.info@umich.edu 
Doctoral: edstudiesphd.info@umich.edu  

Location

610 E. University Avenue
Room 4218
Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109-1259

Office Hours

Monday–Friday
8:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.

Careers

Upon completion of the program, graduates are prepared for a number of positions: 

  • Faculty at research and teaching universities 
  • Research scientists and post-doctoral fellows at research centers
  • Curriculum and professional development leaders in literacy and language education in school districts or community organizations within and outside the U.S.
  • Private consultants

100%

of known graduates found full time employment in education

100%

of known graduates found employment within 12 months

$61K

average first year salary
Graduates typically go into these industries
  • Educational leadership
  • Higher education research
  • Independent research organizations
  • Policy communities at the local, state, and national levels
  • Reform and innovation communities within and beyond K–12 governance

 

Graduates often work as
  • Education Consultant
  • Director of Research
  • Policymaker
  • Professor
  • Research Design Specialist
  • Research Investigator
  • Research Specialist

Recent job titles include

  • Associate Director of Education Research
  • Chief of Research
  • Clinical Professor
  • Deputy Director
  • Director of Enrollment Research and Data Management
  • Director of Mathematics Learning Center
  • Instructional Consultant
  • Principal Researcher
  • Research Scientist

Internships

Although no internship is required, students must satisfy the apprenticeship requirement by completing a minimum of one and up to three credits in each of the following apprenticeships:

  • EDUC 789 – Research Apprenticeship
    • Graduate Student Instructor (GSI) Position or Apprenticeship to Faculty Member
  • EDUC 798 – Teaching Apprenticeship
    • Graduate Student Research Assistant (GSRA) Position or Apprenticeship to Faculty Member