PhD in Literacy, Language and Culture

Earn your PhD in Literacy, Language, and Culture in as little as four years, learning from renowned faculty. A minimum of 72 hours of coursework is required. Some courses from a master's may apply. Enjoy the convenience of a hyflex option* or attend in person. Explore literacies, languages and leadership.

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Transforming literacy education toward equity ...

Reading Education doctoral students with Professor Mandy Stewart, PhD

The PhD in Literacy, Language, and Culture supports educators who want to become literacy leaders in school districts or policy contexts, teacher educators or literacy researchers. Our program will help you develop strategies and techniques to help preservice and inservice teachers develop literacy expertise, create and implement comprehensive literacy programs, and research literacy.  

Focus on socially and culturally responsive education at TWU. Through reflective practice and with an innovative spirit, we create responsive programs and partnerships with schools and communities. We transform teaching and learning toward greater equity for people who have been marginalized. To this work, we apply specialized expertise in:

  • Early childhood education: This includes growth and development of the whole child in multiple social contexts
  • Early literacy intervention: Texas Woman's is home to one of only two post-doctoral programs in the United States to train Reading Recovery trainers and the only university training center in the world that offers training in Descubriendo la Lectura (Reading Recovery in Spanish)
  • Elementary, adolescent and adult literacy, and literacy leadership including diverse linguistic, cultural and social literacies

The PhD in Literacy, Language, and Culture program supports educators in achieving their literacy leadership goals. Enjoy flexible and supportive program features:

Doctoral students in Reading Education
  • Summer course offerings, including a summer semester start date
  • Attend classes on the Denton campus or online through synchronous hyflex* instruction
  • Coursework tailored to full-time working individuals
  • Cohort model
  • Small class sizes
  • Personal interaction with professors who have extensive expertise

*The hyflex format allows all students to attend class together using synchronous instruction. Students attend online or in-person, depending on their selected program delivery mode. Students also have the option to attend a week-long intensive summer session with instruction and social activities on the Denton campus.

PhD in Literacy, Language, and Culture Degree Plan


Learn about our programs in a Virtual Open House on the second Tuesday of each month at 4-5 p.m.

Virtual Open House

Faculty expertise and areas of study

Our faculty are internationally renowned for literacy education and intervention. Doctoral students will have the opportunity to study the following topics with faculty:

Phyliciá Anderson, a Reading Education doctoral student, presenting
  • Bilingual/ESL
  • Critical literacy
  • Early literacy
  • Early literacy intervention
  • Adolescent literacy
  • Digital literacy and multimodality
  • Diversity
  • Writing


Admission Requirements

Admission to the Ph.D. in Literacy & Learning

Program Contact

Amy Burke, Ph.D., Program Chair
MCL 901-C

Application Deadlines

No deadlines, rolling admission

Admission Requirements

  • Minimum 3.0 GPA in previous undergraduate and graduate courses.

How to apply

  1. Apply for admission to the TWU Graduate School.
  2. Collect and submit the following documents as separate pdf files in ONE email to with the subject line (YOUR FULL NAME)-Ph.D. Reading Education. Please attach all items as PDFs.
    • Professional writing Sample
    • One to two page statement of professional experience and your goals in pursuing a doctoral degree in reading education
    • Two professional and/or academic letters of reference from individuals who can speak to your potential for success in a graduate program
    • Current curriculum vita or resume
    • A one-to-two-page narrative answering the following questions:
      • What does ‘literacy learning’ mean to you?
      • What do you think are the greatest challenges for literacy educators today?
      • What do you think current and past colleagues and employers would tell us about you as an educator?

Contact Information

Amy Burke Profile

Amy Burke, PhD
Associate Professor
MCL 901-C 

Page last updated 7:42 AM, June 1, 2023