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  • Center for Education

    • Graduate Division
    • Hyatt Hall
    • tel: 610-499-4294
    • fax: 610-499-4623
  • Katia Ciampa, PhD

Curriculum, Cognitive Studies in Reading (EdD)

Faculty teach a variety of coursework that explores the role of language development in literacy including research-supported instruction in reading, brain development, and language and learning difficulties.

Our students gain an understanding of cutting edge research in cognitive studies that is driving changes in educational practice.

Program Requirements

The requirements for the doctoral degree in cognitive studies in reading are

  • Completion of 60 semester-hours of graduate credit in the program
  • Completion of the doctoral dissertation (minimum of 18 additional credits)

Areas of Study

Foundations of Education

These courses investigate historical and philosophical foundations of reading pedagogy and research, as well as issues correlated with language and literacy development. (9 semester hours)


Research courses examine research methodology, educational measurement, and educational statistics. (12 semester hours)

Professional Core

These courses expose students to a broad, yet deep, study of literacy, language, developmental, and special population issues. (30 semester hours)


Students select elective credits in consultation with their advisor. Those students seeking a specialist or supervisory certificate can incorporate required coursework instead of electives. (9 semester hours) 

Dissertation Requirements

The dissertation experience requires a minimum of 18 semester-hours. See Student Research for more information.

Sample Courses

View a selection of courses students typically take as a doctoral student in the cognitive studies in reading program.

ED 827 History & Philosophy of Reading Research

This course examines theories about the nature of literacy instruction in the context of the history of American education from early times to present. Students will learn the historical and philosophical origins of contemporary theory and practice.

ED 723 Correlates of Reading

This course focuses on research of perceptual, cognitive, affective, and linguistic processes and the manner in which they interact and influence literacy, word recognition, and comprehension of oral and written language. Students will critique research, identify trends, use findings to gain more in-depth knowledge of the reading process, and make implications for reading instruction, diagnosis, and remediation. 

ED 725 Comprehension: Theories and Practice

This course provides an advanced study of theories of learning and comprehension. Students examine the process of comprehension, factors that influence that process, and the role of educators in promoting comprehension.

ED 726 Developmental Psycholinguistics

The scope of the course includes theories of language development and their practical applications to the practice of teaching. Theoretical traditions are contrasted. Emphasis is placed on recent developments in the study of language—i.e., semantic acquisition, natural language theories, pragmatics, bidialectalism and bilingualism, mother-child interaction, discourse analysis, and conversational implicature. A methodological study of language is a requirement of the course.

ED 830 The Brain and Its Development

This course is an introduction to the functional anatomy of the human brain and it’s development over the lifespan. It is intended to deliver a sufficient understanding of the terminology and concepts so that current research relevant to education can be read with understanding, and so that pseudo-research can be seen for what it is.

For more information about courses and requirements for the EdD degree in cognitive studies in reading, please refer to our course catalog.