Ph.D. in Language and Literacy

The Doctorate in Language and Literacy (Ph.D.) program prepares you to act as a literacy leader who understands theoretical and instructional models of literacy, recognizes new literacy trends in our digital age, services literacy acquisition, development and instruction, and fosters systemic change in your organization and community.

The Doctorate in Language and Literacy program is designed for educators, professionals and researchers with a background and/or interest in literacy, curriculum and instruction, speech and language or a related field. Faculty members integrate their collective expertise in Reading, Curriculum and Instruction, Writing, Special Education, and Speech and Language Pathology in the design and delivery of our innovative program.

Successful completion of the program may result in Reading Teacher (license #316) and Reading Specialist (license #17) certification from the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction (DPI). This may require additional coursework depending upon your prior experience, and is subject to approval by the Wisconsin DPI.

Courses Are Available

Face to Face
Main Campus

Program Details

●  Credits: 60
●  Cost per Credit: $570

Academic and Professional Requirements

Prior Education

  • A master's degree from an accredited college or university.
  • A grade point average of 3.5 on a 4.0 scale in master’s coursework is required, but a lower GPA can be considered on an individual basis. 

Admissions Application and Transcripts

Complete the Admissions Application

  • Submit the admissions application which is free to complete online.
  • Applications for this program are reviewed on a rolling basis so allow sufficient time before the start of your program for consideration.

Request Transcripts
Have official transcripts from all post-secondary institutions you have attended delivered directly to the Office of Admissions. We suggest that you request your transcripts as soon as possible. Your application cannot be reviewed until we have them in hand. It is not necessary to request transcripts for work that you completed at Cardinal Stritch University.

Information for International Students
If your prior education was not conducted in English, you must demonstrate proficiency with acceptable scores from the TOEFL, IELTS, or an ESL program. Review the language and academic requirements to know if you are prepared for studying at Stritch. We can also help you obtain an F-1 student visa.

Three Structured Reference Forms

Two of the three forms should be submitted from professionals in your field, and the other from a representative of a college or university.

Curriculum Vitae

This document should include the following information:

  • Information on your formal education, major schools attended, degrees obtained, and dates.
  • All professional positions held.
  • Any relevant programs or additional informal education.
  • Any published professional articles (in journals, school/agency publications, organizational newspaper, etc.); include title, date, journal, page number, etc., and attach a copy.
  • Any presentations made to organizations, associations, etc.
  • Any honors/awards received.
  • Memberships in professional and other organizations; include offices held and dates of membership.
  • Any significant/relevant personal experiences.

Formal Essay

Your formal essay should be divided into these four sections:

  • Section 1: Language Development and Literacy
  • Section 2: Language and Literacy Experiences
  • Section 3: Organizational Transformation
  • Section 4: Goals for Doctorate in Language and Literacy Program

The formal essay is an essential aspect of the admission process. Follow the guidelines carefully, addressing all items. The essay will be evaluated based on the following criteria:

  • Content relevance to topic proposed
  • Clarity of presentation
  • Maturity of style
  • Maximum of six double-spaced pages

Formal Essay: Section 1 – Literacy Development

  • Define literacy and describe how literacy is related to language development.
  • Describe your experiences in facilitating the language development and literacy of others.

Formal Essay: Section 2 – Language and Literacy

  • Describe personal experiences in your literacy development.
  • Describe the work of one individual in the field of language and literacy who has particularly influenced your professional practice.

Formal Essay: Section 3 – Organizational Transformation

  • What are the primary needs within the field of literacy?
  • Describe how you have participated in or fostered change in the field of language development and literacy.
  • Describe inhibitors and facilitators of change as you perceived them.

Formal Essay: Section 4 – Goals for Doctorate in Language and Literacy

  • Identify your goals and expectations for pursuing this doctorate.
  • Describe how the attainment of this degree will enhance your ability to transform literacy practice.

Please send all application materials to:

Cardinal Stritch University
Office of Graduate Admissions, Box 437
6801 N. Yates Road
Milwaukee, WI 53217-3985

Contact Your Counselor

Begin the admission process with Claire or contact her to follow-up on your current application.

Claire de Rochefort-Reynolds
 (414) 410-4856 or (800) 347-8822

Funding Your Education

Counselors in our Financial Aid Office know how to help doctoral students locate all options available for funding their education.


Alumni Network

Students, families, and employers know Cardinal Stritch University as a place that helps students find their mission, develop new skills, gain relevant career experience, and expand their professional networks. With a network of more than 34,000 graduates, our alumni are successful in their roles at nonprofits, schools, small companies, health care organizations, corporations, and entrepreneurial ventures.

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