Universities with Doctorate Degrees in Children's Literature

Earning a doctorate in children's literature gives graduates the opportunity to craft unique projects that explore everything from preschool picture books to young adult fiction. A Doctor of Education (EdD) or a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in children's literature can be found in the literature and education departments of 4-year universities and colleges.

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Students interested in studying children's literature at the graduate level can earn a Doctor of Education (EdD) or a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in the subject. These programs are typically offered through literature and education departments at 4-year universities and colleges.

10 Schools That Offer Children's Literature Doctoral Degrees

These public universities provide students with the opportunity to study children's literature at the doctoral level.

College/University Location Institution Type Degrees Offered Tuition (2015-2016)*
University of South Carolina Columbia, SC 4-year, Public PhD $12,384 in-state, $26,532 out-of-state
Indiana University-Bloomington Bloomington, IN 4-year, Public PhD, EdD $8,442 in-state, $26,812 out-of-state
Middle Tennessee State University Murfreesboro, TN 4-year, Public PhD $7,776 in-state, $21,546 out-of-state
University of Louisiana-Lafayette Lafayette, LA 4-year, Public PhD $5,511 in-state, $19,238 out-of-state
Illinois State University Normal, IL 4-year, Public PhD $7,760 in-state, $15,377 out-of-state
University of Georgia Athens, GA 4-year, Public PhD $8,492 in-state, $24,090 out-of-state
Ohio State University Columbus, OH 4-year, Public PhD $11,560 in-state, $31,032 out-of-state
University of Florida Gainsville, FL 4-year, Public PhD $10,770, in-state, $27,335 out-of-state
University of Southern Mississippi Hattiesburg, MS 4-year, Public PhD $6,980 in-state, $15,550 out-of-state
University of Pittsburgh Pittsburgh, PA 4-year, Public PhD $21,260 in-state, $34,944 out-of-state

Source: *National Center for Education Statistics

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University Selection Criteria

Consider the following when selecting a doctorate program in children's literature:

  • A Doctor of Education (EdD) might be a good choice for those who are interested in pedagogy and educational leadership, while a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) could be considered by those who are more interested in research and teaching at the university level.
  • Programs offer a variety of specialties such as literacy learning, multicultural literature, and writing workshops, so students should consider the availability of coursework in their preferred area.
  • Children's literature includes works ranging from picture books to young adult fiction, so students should look for a balanced curriculum that includes sociocultural contexts, educational value and visual content.
  • Students may want to consider a program that explores the relationship between literature and literacy because some doctoral degree programs work to improve youth literacy education in addition to analyzing and interpreting texts.

PhD in Children's Literature

Doctoral degree programs in children's literature are available through university English departments. Doctoral studies culminate with a dissertation project written in the student's specialized area of research. Graduates who complete doctorates in children's literature often pursue careers in research, observing student readers in a variety of settings, from grade schools to universities.

PhD in Critical Studies

Some programs fall under a general category, such as critical studies or literature, but allow students to specialize their coursework in children's literature. Students who choose this option often work together in reading groups or student forums. They also hold events, such as hosting speakers on children's literature. While working on a dissertation in children's literature, many students work as teaching assistants in courses on children's books.

EdD in Pedagogy and Philosophy

EdD programs use children's literature and philosophy research to develop teaching methods, improve schools and promote educational reform. Students focus on the ways in which children think critically and form concepts. Students may choose a pedagogical or philosophical track within the program. Most EdD holders pursue careers as educators and school leaders.

There are multiple doctoral level programs in children's literature. Prospective students can choose between PhD and EdD programs based on their academic interests and future career goals.

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