College of Education and Human Development

Department of Curriculum and Instruction

Student research experience

As a graduate student in the MA and PhD research program, you will have the opportunity to dive deep into your own research agenda with the support of your faculty advisors. Your research experience will be tailored to your own interests. Many students have the opportunity to present at conferences, work on sponsored projects, take an active role in student organizations, and engage in graduate proseminars, lectures, and discussions.

One person watching another person give a research presentation

Research presentation.

One person watching another person give a research presentation

Quote from Sarah Barksdale

A few of the helpful resources I’ve found during my academic career have been the C&I travel grants, the writing retreats, invited speakers, opportunities to teach and research, international internships and fellowships, and the social events put on to network and create connections.

Sarah Barksdale PhD student 2022

About this program

Coursework and study

The doctoral curriculum allows students to take courses across disciplinary lines and the opportunity to take depth content area classes in each of the departmental program areas. Full-time students typically spend two or three years in coursework and two years in independent research. Our curriculum is unique in its focus on deep research methodology that offers students the opportunity to take multiple research methodology classes, which include:

  • Arts-based methodology
  • Critical discourse analysis
  • Narrative research methodology
  • Phenomenology
  • Qualitative research methodology
  • Queer and feminist research methodology

Research opportunities

As part of a large, interdisciplinary research organization you will also have access to the University’s world-class labs, libraries, and faculty to help with your research, faculty collaborations across the College and University. You have the opportunity to attend talks, lectures, workshops, and events as a University of Minnesota student. Our department welcomes diverse perspectives and ideas and we look forward to collaborating with you as part of the C&I community. See examples of past doctoral dissertations.

Read more about the graduate student resources in the College of Education and Human Development.

Career opportunities and resources

Many of our students have the opportunity to work on sponsored projects, travel to and present at conferences, publish in journals, and earn awards and fellowships. Competitive opportunities are also available to hone your research skills across the College and University.


Each year, the graduate studies committee offers proseminars on skills you will need as professionals in the field of educational research covering topics such as how to get published, develop a dissertation, and apply for an academic position. View recordings of past proseminars here.

C&I graduate student organization

CIGSA, or the C&I Graduate Student Association, coordinates community days, study groups, and workshops throughout the year including the annual Emerging Scholars conference. The conference is designed for C&I students to present their research, attend panel discussions, workshops, and keynotes, all while giving many graduate students their first conference experience. The student group is a great way for graduate students to meet, collaborate, and engage.