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Become an expert literacy educator-scholar in your field with our flexible, challenging PhD program in Language and Literacy Education.

Develop close mentoring relationships with our award-winning faculty for support and guidance through your program. You will have numerous opportunities to apprentice on research projects, author articles and book chapters, present at national and international conferences, and teach university courses.

Our department includes faculty who are experts in three areas of language and literacy: English education, literacies and children's literature, and TESOL/world language education. As a student, you may select an emphasis from among five areas that align with the Georgia Performance Standards requirements for certification upgrade.

Prepare to be a researcher in literacy education when you choose from two areas of emphasis: Reading Education, Children's Literature, and Language Arts (P-5) or Reading Education, Literature, and Language Arts (6-12). Our internationally recognized faculty, all experts in literacies and children's literature, will engage you in critical dialogue that speaks to the ever-changing landscape of culturally and linguistically diverse classrooms.

Graduates of our doctoral program come away with a deeper and more complex understanding of the ways:

  • Theory, research, and practice mutually inform each other
  • Technology and popular culture change how we read and create text
  • Literature helps us explore diverse cultures
  • Language is instrumental in creating who we are and how we relate to others
  • Instruction, curriculum, assessment, and understanding of children's lives inform literacy teaching

Our students may design a doctoral-level degree that meets their learning needs as literacy researchers. We have a long and proud history of producing leaders and scholars at the local, state, regional, and national levels.

Deadline to Apply

  • October 15th (for Spring, international)
  • November 1st (for Spring, domestic)
  • March 15th (for Summer and Fall)
Refer to program admissions info

Faculty and Curriculum

In our PhD in Language and Literacy Education, you will become proficient in your chosen area of concentration through formal internships (in both research and university teaching), special courses and independent research projects.

You will be required to take our introductory seminar (LLED 8000) and four research courses, as well as complete a research apprenticeship and fulfill the diversity studies requirement. Students who wish to qualify for the Georgia Professional Standards Commission T6 or T7 promotions must consult planning sheets for their emphasis area.

In consultation with a major professor, students form a doctoral committee made of faculty who reflect the student's research goals. This team charts a path through the coursework, the comprehensive examination, the prospectus, and eventual dissertation.

You will gain a broad core of proficiencies through the language and literacy education program's courses as well as courses in other departments and programs. Candidates become proficient in their chosen area of concentration through formal internships (in both research and university teaching), special courses, independent research projects, and, often, paid assistantship duties.

A hallmark of our program is the close mentoring relationships doctoral candidates develop with our award-winning faculty.

In consultation with a major professor, you will form a doctoral committee comprised of faculty who reflect your specific research goals. This team will help you chart out a path through your coursework, comprehensive examination, prospectus, and eventual dissertation.

To receive your doctoral degree, you will take a minimum of 46 semester hours of academic credit. This includes a minimum of 30 semester hours for admission to candidacy, and a minimum of 16 hours of 8000 and 9000 level courses. Requirements include:

  • An introductory seminar (LLED 8000)
  • Four research methodology courses
  • A research apprenticeship
  • Diversity studies

The research apprenticeship pairs doctoral students with our nationally and internationally recognized faculty on a range of research activities. Past students have worked on writing grants, research design and implementation, collaborative writing and presenting, and community service work.

If you wish to qualify for a T6- or T7-level promotion, you are required to take three specific courses that align with your teaching field and initial certification, as determined by the Georgia Professional Standards Commission. See your program of study form for more information.

Tuition and Financial Aid

Almost all in-state students begin their studies at UGA paying limited tuition or fees. Please note that these amounts are subject to change and are meant to give prospective students an idea of the costs associated with a degree at the University of Georgia College of Education.

Students may qualify for a variety of assistantships, scholarships, and other financial awards to help offset the cost of tuition, housing, and other expenses.

Tuition rates Browse financial aid

Meet Your Advisor

Most graduate students at UGA are not assigned to a faculty advisor until after admittance. A close working relationship with your advisor is paramount to progressing through your program of study.

Find your advisor

Student Life

As a doctoral student in language and literacy education, you will find yourself immersed in a true learning community: one that cultivates a culture of well-being, belonging, contribution, communication, and exploration.

Collaborate with your peers by participating in the Journal of Language and Literacy Education, the Language & Literacy Education Graduate Organization, and the Children's Literature Conference.

Book a campus visit

See for yourself how much UGA College of Education has to offer! Schedule a tour of campus to learn more about the UGA student experience.

Schedule a visit


Part 1: Apply to the University of Georgia

The Graduate School handles admission for all graduate programs at the University of Georgia, including those in the College of Education. The Graduate School website contains important details about the application process, orientation, and many other useful links to guide you through the process of attending UGA at the graduate level.

Start a Graduate School Application

Part 2: Apply to the PhD in Language and Literacy Education (Literacies and Children's Literature P-5 or 6-12)

Applicants are required to submit official GRE scores. Miller Analogies Test (MAT) scores can be considered as well, but only if GRE scores are received. International applicants should submit official TOEFL or IELTS scores. While completing your Graduate School application, please include the following documents:

  • Current resume/CV
  • GRE or the Miller Analogies Test (MAT) Please note: we can ONLY consider the MAT scores for PhD applicants if GRE scores are also received.
  • TOEFL or IELTS (for international applicants)
  • Statement of Purpose
  • Unofficial transcripts from all institutions attended
  • Three (3) letters of recommendation
  • Writing sample of no more than 20 pages

Email your writing sample to the department and include your name, desired area of emphasis for the PhD program (i.e. English Education, RWCLDL, or World Language Education and TESOL), and the words "writing sample" in the subject line.

Please indicate in your statement of purpose which area of emphasis below you intend to pursue for the PhD program (i.e. English Education, RWCLDL, or World Language Education and TESOL).

Funding consideration will be given to students who apply for Fall by November 1st. Fall is the only admissions term in which funding is awarded each year.

In addition to the written application, this emphasis requires either a face-to-face or web-based interview. For the 2019/2020 school year, interviews will be conducted on Monday, November 12, 2018.

There will be another interview date in April 2019 that will be listed once it is determined.

In addition to the Graduate School application, applicants must meet the following requirements:

  1. You must hold a master's degree from an accredited college or university in an area of language and/or literacy education, or a related field.
  2. For US residents, you must submit official GRE scores. You may also submit official Miller Analogies Test (MAT) scores, but those scores can only be considered if we also have your official GRE scores. We recommend the following GRE and MAT scores but will consider GRE/MAT scores in light of the merits of your entire application package.
    1. GRE: at least a score of 295 (if taken after August 2011)
    2. GRE: at least a score of 900 (if taken prior to August 2011)
    3. MAT: at least a score of 408
  3. For International residents, you must take the GRE and TOEFL, or the IELTS. We require the following scores:
    1. GRE Verbal score of 154 or higher
    2. TOEFL: at least a score of 100 with a minimum score of 25 in speaking and a 25 in writing
    3. IELTS: at least a score of 7 with a minimum score of 6.5 in speaking and a 6.5 in writing
  4. For international residents, you must also demonstrate proficiency with two languages with two languages as evidenced by
    1. A bachelor's degree in English linguistics and literature,
    2. A master's degree where English was the medium of instruction
    3. We recommend an undergraduate GPA of a 3.0 or higher
    4. We recommend at least two years teaching experience

If you would like to be considered for departmental funding in addition to being considered for admission tot he program, please complete the assistantship application and email it to after you have submitted the Grad School application.

Returning Applicants

Completed application due:

  • October 15th (for Spring, international)
  • November 1st (for Spring, domestic)
  • March 15th (for Summer and Fall)
Refer to program admissions info

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Program Resources

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