Doctor of Philosophy in Literacy Studies

Program Director: Dr. Jwa Kim
College of Education, 321
Graduate Analyst: Glenda Vandygrift

The Ph.D. in Literacy Studies at Middle Tennessee State University is designed to address one of education's most pressing needs, the shortage of scholars, practitioners, administrators and policy-makers who can help bridge the gap between the rapidly expanding body of scientific research relevant to the development of literacy and the knowledge base on which educational practice, policy and professional preparation are based. The interdisciplinary program provides a flexible framework of courses, field experiences, and opportunities for original research that will equip professionals with knowledge, insights, and skills essential to effectively address the literacy crisis in Tennessee and throughout the United States.

Anticipated Career Opportunities

Graduates of the Ph.D. in Literacy Studies will possess the knowledge, insights, and professional skills necessary to stimulate and support the paradigm shift to research-based practices in the development of literacy.

Specialists in Literacy Instruction: As pre-service or in-service teacher trainers or consultants to schools our graduates will help ensure a highly-qualified workforce of literacy teachers.

Specialists in Reading Disabilities/Dyslexia: As college or university faculty, materials or test developers, consultants to schools/school systems and state departments of education, our graduates will help to ensure effective instruction for learners with special needs.

Specialists in Literacy Measurement &ampL: As university faculty or consultants to federal, state, and local education agencies, or publishing companies, our graduates will be able to oversee testing, analyze and interpret data to inform programmatic decisions.

Specialists in Administration & the Study of Literacy: As leaders in literacy reform at school or school system and state levels, our graduates will be able to provide guidance in the application of research findings to school-wide models for change in literacy instruction.

Admission Requirements:

To be admitted to the Doctor of Philosophy in Literacy Studies program, a student must submit the following to the College of Graduate Studies:

  • Online application and appropriate application fee
  • Official transcript of all colleges, universities (including business and technical schools). If the transcripts are issued from an international (non-US) institution, a course-by course analysis is required. Original non-US transcripts should be submitted directly to the evaluation service.
  • Official Test Scores of the Graduate Record Examination (GRE)
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • 700-1,000 word Personal Essay
  • Current Curriculum Vitae documenting professional experience


Submit Application Materials to:

College of Graduate Studies
MTSU Box 42
Murfreesboro, TN 37132

Test Codes for Middle Tennessee State University:
INFS - 6ZR-KJ-37
MBA (Full-time) - 6ZR-KJ-25
MBA (Part-time) - 6ZR-KJ-52
GRE 1466
MAT 1751
Praxis 1466
TOEFL 1466