Doctoral Programs in

Literacy Studies

The Literacy Studies program offers two doctoral degrees: Doctor of Education in Literacy Studies (EdD) and Doctor of Philosophy in Literacy Studies (PhD).

Literacy Studies provides a broad framework with which to bring together doctoral students and faculty interested in numerous facets of language and literacy research, theory, and practice, including: reading/writing/listening/speaking, new literacies/multi-modalities; literature; linguistics; P-12 and college literacy learning and teaching; English as a second/foreign language; miscue analysis; English education; bi-and multilingualism, as well as foreign language learning and teaching.

The intradisciplinary nature of the program is most evident in the five core doctoral courses designed to examine literacy through multiple lines of inquiry: social, cultural, literary, aesthetic, historical, socio-psycholinguistic, personal, and pedagogical. The doctoral core courses provide doctoral students and faculty the opportunity to engage in intellectual discussions and create a dynamic and responsive context for building knowledge about the epistemological, philosophical, theoretical, and pedagogical questions that frame the field. Our goal is that students in the program, as well as the faculty, strive to improve the literacy experiences of all learners by means of research, advocacy, and distinguished teaching. We stand with teachers, children, families, and schools.

The Doctoral Learning Experience

Upon entering the program, students develop a plan of study, under advisement, to focus coursework on their research and teaching interests. The coursework and research projects students pursue have direct relevance to their professional lives.

The doctoral core courses in Literacy Studies are designed to give doctoral students and faculty the opportunity to engage in intellectual discussions and create a dynamic and responsive context for building knowledge about the epistemological, philosophical, theoretical, and pedagogical questions that frame the field.

Doctoral students also pursue advanced coursework in qualitative and quantitative research methods to ensure their facility for posing and pursuing complex and meaningful questions about literacy learning, teaching, and use, as well as to prepare them to serve the field as discerning readers and reviewers of research literature.

Doctoral Legacy

Originally known as the Reading Department, the Literacy Studies program has been conferring doctoral degrees since 1970. It is the only doctoral program in literacy in Nassau or Suffolk counties, and was the first doctoral program in literacy/reading on Long Island.

Graduates of Hofstra’s Literacy Studies doctoral programs have a deep reach into literacy education in New York, and especially on Long Island. At the postsecondary level, Literacy Studies graduates are employed in teacher preparation programs throughout Long Island, New York City, and upstate New York. Several graduates are in school or district leadership positions on Long Island, and many graduates are top-tier classroom teachers in both Long Island and New York City schools.

Admissions Requirements

Students may apply for admission to the doctoral programs at any time throughout the academic year. In addition to University requirements, the following criteria are required for admission to the Literacy Studies doctoral programs:

  1. Evidence of three years of full-time teaching experience, or the equivalent
  2. Master’s degree in Education, or a related field, with a minimum GPA of 3.2
  3. Official copies of transcripts of all postsecondary degrees
  4. A current résumé or curriculum vitae
  5. Three recommendations, including at least one from a school administrator or former professor
  6. Score from the GRE taken within the last five years
  7. A carefully written Statement of Purpose (minimum of 500 words in length) indicating the applicant's reasons for pursuing advanced scholarship in Literacy Studies at Hofstra. The statement should include the applicant's academic and professional history and a statement of academic and professional goals.
  8. A writing sample (e.g., a college paper, a published article, or any other example of scholarship). The paper should demonstrate how the applicant works with a body of literature and builds an argument. Typically, the sample paper is from a university course completed within the last five years.
  9. An interview with two members of the Literacy Studies faculty to discuss the applicant’s academic, professional, and research experiences and interests.

International doctoral applicants should consult with the program's director, Dr. Jeanne Henry, when applying (email). Prospective international students should also contact International Student Affairs at 516-463-6796.

Application files are assessed based on the information contained within the file. No decisions can be made until all the required information has been provided by the applicant. Consideration is given to a combination of criteria, including a) demonstration of academic standing; b) professional experience; c) potential to pursue and benefit from advanced graduate studies.

Program Requirements Apply

Doctoral Handbook Request for more info

Contact Us

Jeanne Henry, EdD
Director, Doctoral Programs in Literacy Studies
Hofstra University
Email | Bio