Reading, Literacy, Assessment and Evaluation

The Reading, Literacy, Assessment, and Evaluation specialization is a research-oriented program of study designed for educators who wish to gain expertise in best practices in reading, literacy, curriculum design and instruction, teacher professional development, and program evaluation and assessment.

In this PhD in Education specialization, you will develop literacy-related research projects and critique significant research that can improve reading and curriculum outcomes across the educational system, including classroom instruction, program design, policy implementation, and critical thinking. Explore sociopolitical, cultural, and economic influences on literacy, curriculum, and assessment; the role of literature in promoting cross-cultural understanding in a student-centered literacy curriculum; best practices in literacy; and program design and evaluation.

This specialization can benefit you as a classroom teacher, lead teacher, reading specialist, literacy coach, department chair, or curriculum specialist if you want to gain a deeper understanding of reading and literacy practices and evaluation methods. Also offered in this program are research methods courses that will help you grow as a researcher-practitioner.

Learning Outcomes

As a graduate of this program, you will be prepared to:

  • Interpret the components of reading curriculum in the 21st century, including influences from the sociopolitical landscape, social media, technological innovations, family and community involvement, and influences from applicable education standards.
  • Demonstrate the ability to communicate with stakeholders to gain their support for improvement of curriculum and literacy programs at the systems level.
  • Address challenges faced in teaching and learning literacy curriculum across content areas.
  • Assess literacy curricula and programs utilizing data about students and literacy assessments used at the national, state, and local levels.
  • Create literacy programs that enhance student learning and support professional development for teachers.
  • Integrate concepts of positive social change in literacy curricula and programs.
  • Evaluate literacy research.
  • Practice ethically in the profession.
  • Demonstrate the ability to conduct research that positively impacts social change.

Minimum Completion Requirements

  • 86 quarter credits
    • Foundations courses (5 cr.)
    • Specialized courses (30 cr.)
    • Doctoral support courses (11 cr.)
    • Research courses (20 cr.)
    • Doctoral capstone (minimum 20 cr.)
    • Doctoral Writing Assessment (0 cr.)
  • Four PhD residencies to equal a minimum of 16 units

Walden students have up to 8 years to complete their doctoral program unless they petition for an extension.

In general, students are continuously registered in the dissertation/doctoral study course until they complete their capstone project and it is approved. This usually takes longer than the minimum required terms in the dissertation/doctoral study course shell.

To complete a doctoral dissertation, students must obtain the academic approval of several independent evaluators including their committee, the University Research Reviewer, and the Institutional Review Board; pass the Form and Style Review; gain approval at the oral defense stage; and gain final approval by the Chief Academic Officer. Students must also publish their dissertation on ProQuest before their degree is conferred. Learn more about the dissertation process in the Dissertation Guidebook.

This sequence represents the minimum time to completion. For a personalized estimate of the number of your transfer credits that Walden would accept, call an enrollment advisor at 855-646-5286.

PhD vs EDD Reading Literacy and Assessment thumbnail graphic

Compare Walden’s Doctoral Education Programs

Walden offers both an EdD and PhD in Education with a specialization in Reading and Literacy to meet your career goals. View the chart to help you determine which program is right for you.

Course Sequence

Course Code Course Credits
Course Code EDPD 8002 Course Leading the Future of Education Credits (5 cr.)
Course Code EDPD 8060 Course Issues and Trends in Reading and Literacy Credits (5 cr.)
Course Code EDPD 8061 Course Assessment and Data Analysis to Support Effective Literacy Programs Credits (5 cr.)
Course Code RSCH 8110 Course Research Theory, Design, and Methods Credits (5 cr.)
Course Code EDPD 8062 Course A Collaborative Approach to Literacy Across the Content Areas Credits (5 cr.)
Course Code EDPD 8063 Course Reading Research Design: Analysis and Evaluation Credits (5 cr.)
Course Code EDPD 8113 Course Tools for Doctoral Research Success Credits (3 cr.)
Course Code RSCH 8210 Course Quantitative Reasoning and Analysis Credits (5 cr.)
Course Code EDPD 8064 Course Literacy Interventions for Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Populations Credits (5 cr.)
Course Code EDPD 8114 Course Demystifying Doctoral Writing for Research Credits (3 cr.)
Course Code RSCH 8310 Course Qualitative Reasoning and Analysis Credits (5 cr.)
Course Code EDPD 8065 Course Comprehensive Literacy Model for Student Improvement Credits (5 cr.)
Course Code EDPD 8910 Course Writing a Quality Prospectus Credits (5 cr.)

Advanced Research Course

Choose one

Course Code Course Credits
Course Code RSCH 8260 Course Advanced Quantitative Reasoning and Analysis Credits (5 cr.)
Course Code RSCH 8360 Course Advanced Qualitative Reasoning and Analysis Credits (5 cr.)
Course Code RSCH 8460 Course Advanced Mixed-Methods Reasoning and Analysis Credits (5 cr.)

Doctoral Writing Assessment

Course Code Course Credits
Course Code DRWA 8000 Course Doctoral Writing Assessment Credits (0 cr.)


Course Code Course Credits
Course Code EDPD 8990 Course Completing the Dissertation Credits (5 cr. per term for a minimum of 4 quarters until completion)

You will be registered for two courses every 11 weeks, following the completion of your foundation course. Students who wish to reduce their course load during one or more terms should contact their academic advisor.

Note on Teacher Licensure or Certification
This program does not lead to teacher licensure or certification. Teachers are advised to contact their individual school districts as to whether this program may qualify for salary advancement.

Prospective Alabama students: State Authorization to provide a program related to the preparation of teachers or other P-12 school/system personnel does not indicate eligibility for an Alabama professional educator or professional leadership certificate. Applicants who complete an educator preparation program at a non-Alabama institution must apply for an Alabama professional educator or professional leadership certificate through the Alabama Certificate Reciprocity Approach. Current requirements may be found at

Note: Time to completion and cost are not estimates of individual experience and will vary based on individual factors applicable to the student. Factors may be programmatic or academic, such as tuition and fee increases; transfer credits accepted by Walden; program or specialization changes; unsuccessful course completion; credit load per term; part-time vs. full-time enrollment; writing, research, and editing skills; use of external data for the doctoral study/dissertation; and individual progress in the program. Other factors may include personal issues such as the student’s employment obligations, caregiving responsibilities, or health issues; leaves of absence; or other personal circumstances.
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Questions about our PhD in Education (Traditional and Fast Track)?
Questions about our PhD in Education (Traditional and Fast Track)?
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