Tiff College of Education

Ph.D. Curriculum and Instruction

Hybrid Program in Atlanta and Macon   

The Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction program focuses on societal changes that are placing an ever-increasing emphasis upon the evolving role of the professional educator. The program is designed for working professionals with at least three years of experience and master’s level certification, and who hold a passion for transformative education. Completion of the program and a passing score on the GACE Content Assessment for Curriculum and Instruction will lead to eligibility for an S-7 certificate upgrade. 

Graduates of the program are prepared to become influential curriculum/instructional leaders and researchers, helping to advance the quality of education at the local, state, and national level. In addition, completion of the program will prepare experienced teachers to develop, initiate and model best practices within their own classrooms and schools. This degree will also provide them with the knowledge, the expertise and the degree credential needed to teach university-level classes and to contribute to the existing body of professional knowledge about curriculum and instruction through both quantitative and qualitative research.

Small classes, accomplished faculty, individual attention and technological support are hallmarks of this Ph.D. program. Diverse field-based experiences also enhance classroom instruction.


The Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction is offered at Mercer’s Atlanta and Macon campuses. New cohorts begin once a year during the summer semester (May). Mercer offers two convenient hybrid (in-class and online) delivery formats allowing students to determine the best fit for their busy schedules. Therefore students may earn their degree while continuing to work and teach. The supportive cohort model allows for ongoing collaboration with classmates and faculty mentors. Another feature of the program is that the dissertation process is embedded throughout the program allowing for completion in three years. Coursework is taken sequentially over a minimum of nine semesters. Classes are delivered in 16-week sessions. 

Atlanta - Evening, Face-to-Face Format (Classes may incorporate some online components)

Students will attend classes one weeknight evening per course, either online or face-to-face from 5:00 pm to 8:00 pm in the fall (August) and spring (January), or 5:00 pm to 9:45 pm in the summer (May). Doctoral seminars will meet approximately four times each semester and are usually held on Saturdays.

Macon - Hybrid Format (Classes incorporate online learning with 3 weekend, face-to-face meetings per semester)
Students will attend classes inclusive of doctoral seminars three weekends per semester from 6:00 pm to 9:45 pm on Friday and all day Saturday. Online sessions will be delivered in both synchronous and asynchronous formats.

View the Atlanta and Macon Tentative Program Schedules> 

In addition to the regular class sessions, students have the opportunity for individual advising and consultation via a variety of formats, including face-to-face sessions, telephone calls, Skype, or Blackboard Collaborate. 


The program of study in Curriculum and Instruction will require a minimum of 63 graduate level course credits beyond the Master's Degree which include a 12 hour dissertation project. A student must demonstrate a proficiency in this material through the comprehensive examination. The following is the general program of study:

Program of Study

Ph.D. Core……………………………………. 36 hours

Ph.D. Research Block………………………. 15 hours

Ph.D. Dissertation………………………….. 12 hours

TOTAL…………………………………….…. 63 hours


Priority Deadline - December 15 
Final Deadline - March 15 

Students are admitted to the Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction once a year in the Summer (May start date). General qualifications for admission are a bachelor’s and master’s degree from an accredited college or university, current master’s level certification in teaching, and three years of successful teaching experience.
Applicants must submit and complete the following: 

  • A completed Ph.D. in Curriculum & Instruction application – Apply online > 
  • Non-refundable $35 application fee 
  • A copy of current master’s level teaching certificate 
  • Current vita or résumé 
  • Two official copies of transcripts of all academic work (with minimum cumulative graduate GPA of 3.5) 
  • Three professional letters of recommendation; one of these letters must be from the candidate’s school system supervisor 
  • Documentation of three years of successful teaching experience 
  • Written narrative of career and academic goal Completion of an in-person writing sample Official copy of recent GRE scores (within the last five years.) The target scores for tests taken after August 1, 2011 are 151 Verbal, 151 Quantitative, and 4.0 for Analytical Writing. Target scores for tests taken prior to August 2011 are 1100 for Verbal and Quantitative sections and 4.0 for the Writing section. GRE scores are not the sole criteria; applicants with scores lower than the target may apply but will need to provide compelling evidence of potential to complete doctoral level work. 
  • Qualified applicants will be invited to interview with the Curriculum and Instruction Program faculty admissions panel.

International applicants should consult the university catalog for additional requirements.


Mail application materials to the appropriate campus to which you are applying.

Mercer University Tift College of Education  
Ph.D. Curriculum and Instruction Admissions
1400 Coleman Avenue, 103 Stetson Hall

Macon, GA 31207

Mercer University Tift College of Education  
Ph.D. Curriculum and Instruction Admissions
3001 Mercer University Dr. AACC Building, Suite 335

Atlanta, GA 30341

Request more information >

Attend an upcoming information session >