Doctor of Education in Language and Literacy Education

Lead in education…Practice social responsibility…Exemplify intellectual curiosity…Conduct research to advance knowledge and refine practice…Use education to forge more caring, just, and sustainable societies.

The doctoral program in Language and Literacy Education provides candidates with a rigorous and in-depth approach to the study of language and literacy development with particular attention to the teaching and learning implications of varied cultural, linguistic, and economic contexts. Doctoral students may specialize by concentration (Language Education, Literacy Education, Bilingual Education, Deaf Studies, TESOL); they also may focus their study by population (age, grade, or stage of development), or by educational setting (urban, preschool, elementary, middle, or secondary school; college/university; workplace; community; clinic).

The School of Education’s common mission to “forge more caring, just, and sustainable societies” is a hallmark of our faculty’s teaching, research, and service, exemplified by on-going engagement in research and practice in schools and communities, as they collaborate with educational partners to advance this mission. Right from the start, doctoral students have opportunities to work alongside faculty members in many of these endeavors, and these experiences both apprentice them into the conduct of basic and applied research, and also may provide a catalyst for students’ identification of their own lines of research. As students engage in these research activities, they will complete a course of study that includes content courses, research courses, qualifying tasks, and a dissertation.

Most of the students who enroll in the Language and Literacy Education doctoral program are interested in teaching, research, and policy-making in public or private institutions of higher education, or in leadership positions in PreK–12 education and policy settings. Our students are diverse in background experience: some are licensed educators with experience in public school settings; others hold graduate degrees in fields other than education and have had experiences in various educational settings, including private or community education, or organizations such as Peace Corps and Teach for America; some are international students whose experiences are in public or private school settings in their own countries.

In our doctoral program in Language and Literacy Education, students will:

  • Be taught and mentored by faculty who are actively engaged in important research, teaching, and service endeavors.
  • Become integral members of collaborative research teams engaged in systematic study of issues related to language and literacy learning.
  • Develop comprehensive knowledge of language and literacy development and deep knowledge of a chosen area of interest.
  • Develop expertise in both quantitative and qualitative research methods.

All students are required to complete a residency that is intended to provide an opportunity for students to fully engage themselves as a member of a scholarly community. Residency is defined as registration for a minimum of 12 credits at the University, during two consecutive semesters. The residency requirement can be fulfilled during any period of the student’s matriculation (e.g. Fall/Spring, Spring/Summer, or Summer/Fall).  Twelve of more credits earned in two summer sessions constitute a summer semester.

Faculty Contact Information: Dr. Jeanne R. Paratore,, 617-353-3285
Graduate Admissions:, 617-353-4237

For program requirements and additional details, please visit the BU Bulletin.