This program leads to a PhD in Teaching and Learning, Policy and Leadership with a specialization in Language, Literacy, and Social Inquiry. The PhD specialization in Language, Literacy, and Social Inquiry (LLSI) provides students with a broad conceptual understanding of language and literacy research, and offers a choice between two areas of focus within the program: Applied Linguistics and Language Education (ALLE) and Literacy Education.

Faculty research interests in the Applied Linguistics and Language Education (ALLE) area of focus include classroom discourse, conversational analysis, dual language learner education, language and literacy teacher development, language assessment policy, language contact and multilingualism, language diversity, language in school contexts, language planning and policy, multilingualism, peer interaction, second language teaching, sociocultural approaches to second language acquisition, teacher collaboration, codeswitching, and translanguaging.

Faculty research interests in the Literacy Education area of focus include culturally responsive approaches to elementary reading instruction, emergent literacy, family literacy, preparing teachers for diversity, learning with text, literacy teaching and learning, new literacies, reading assessment, reading comprehension strategies, stasis theory, and vocabulary for literacy learning.

The doctoral program is primarily focused on the study of language and literacy learning in pre-kindergarten through high school settings in the US.  It is designed to prepare students as researchers, curriculum specialists, teacher educators, and educational leaders who work effectively with children, families, and communities engaged in diverse language, literacy and social practices. Students first take an integrated set of seminars designed to provide an overview of the field and engage in research apprenticeship experiences with faculty, then develop a tailored program of study fitting their specific research interests through a selection of elective courses offered within our department, or from other departments and programs within the University.

For information on graduate admission please see the Graduate School's Admissions page for the Department of Teaching, Learning, Policy and Leadership at https://gradschool.umd.edu/education/tlpl.

Select an area of interest from the various offerings in the College of Education to determine the admission requirements and deadlines. If you are unsure of your area of interest you may request information by submitting an Inquiry Form.

Applicants who wish to apply to the Ph.D. program with specialization in Language, Literacy and Social Inquiry should select Teaching and Learning, Policy and Leadership (TLPL) as their “Intended Program of Study."

Please refer to the Guide to Applying  for instructions on how to apply for graduate admission. If you have questions or concerns, we ask you to first review our list of Frequently Asked Questions. International applicants should visit the International admissions webpage for additional information.

For questions about the application process, or to check on the completion of your application please contact Joy Jones, Coordinator of Graduate Studies by email at tlpl-admissions@umd.edu or by phone at (301) 405-3118.

For questions related to the admissions process, prospective students may contact the TLPL Graduate Studies Coordinator Ms. Joy Jones at (301) 405-3118 or tlpl-admissions@umd.edu

For academic advising on the PhD in Language, Literacy, and Social Inquiry, please contact Dr. Megan Peercy at mpeercy@umd.edu or call 301-405-0067.

The faculty advisor assigned at the time of admissions to the Department of Teaching and Learning, Policy and Leadership (TLPL) provides academic advisement for graduate students.  For TLPL advising information, please contact Joy Jones, Coordinator of Graduate Studies by email at tlpl-admissions@umd.edu or by phone at (301) 405-3118. 

Financial assistance for graduate study is generally divided into two categories: 

  • Merit-Based Assistance Need-Based Assistance  
    • Fellowships and Scholarships Loans  
    • Graduate Assistantships 

For more details about the various types of financial assistance offered by the campus please visit the Office of Student Financial Aid 

There are also a number of fellowships and scholarships offered through the College of Education, the University, and through external sources which may provide tuition support and/or living allowance. Students must apply for these awards on their own, but the links that follow provide valuable information on searching for fellowships and scholarships. 

For more information concerning fellowships and scholarships, please visit: 

The College of Education's Scholarship webpage

The University's Scholarships webpage, and  

The Graduate School's Fellowships and Awards webpage

The doctoral curriculum typically requires at least three years of graduate study beyond the master’s degree. Students are expected to integrate into the campus scholarly community, and to be available on a full-time basis. The department provides funding for all PhD students admitted into the program. 

Integrated Department Core 

LLSI students join a two-course sequence (6 semester hours) in foundations of inquiry and practice with other department specialization students from Education Policy and Leadership, Mathematics and Science Education, Minority and Urban Education, Teacher Education and Professional Development, and Technology, Learning and Leadership.  

Specialization Core 

LLSI students take a two-course sequence (6 semester hours) as the specialization core in applied linguistics and literacy education. An additional 24 semester hours (typically eight courses) is selected in consultation with the advisor. These courses generally take the form of doctoral seminars taught by program faculty, and may include doctoral level courses from other departments.  

Intermediate and Advanced Methods 

Students are required to take at least 12 credit hours of research methods courses, including one qualitative and one quantitative methods course. Students may take research methods courses in TLPL, Human Development and Quantitative Methods (HDQM), or other academic departments. 

Doctoral Seminars 

Doctoral students in LLSI enroll in a weekly 1-credit seminar with other students in their area of focus to explore opportunities for collaborations with faculty and other students, develop their knowledge of the field and the academic profession, and apprentice into the broader research community. 

Dissertation 

All students complete a minimum of 12 credits of dissertation research per University policy. 

Applicants are encouraged to contact the Hobson’s online application’s helpdesk for any technical issues.  

For questions related to the admissions process, prospective students may contact the TLPL Admissions Coordinator Ms. Joy Jones at (301) 405-3118 or tlpl-admissions@umd.edu

For Program specific information and questions, prospective students may contact…  

Deadlines vary by degree and program. Please visit the TLPL Admissions Deadlines page for more information.

POLICY 

Graduate students in the College of Education are responsible for meeting University and the Graduate School policy, and for meeting Program requirements. The Graduate Catalog is the official listing of Policies governing graduate education at the University of Maryland. The schedule adjustment policy is available from the Office of the Registrar and provides information on adding and dropping courses, penalties, and refund schedules. 

HANDBOOKS 

The Graduate Student Life Handbook provides information on academics, campus resources, finances, health, job opportunities, and information on how to get involved as a graduate student.   

FORMS 

Graduate students are required to submit various forms at specific points in the program and as part of the degree clearance process. Please refer to Steps Toward Graduation to determine the steps and forms that are required. To access forms used by graduate students visit Graduate Studies Forms in Student Services.  

Student Profiles