The EdD in Curriculum, Culture, and Communities (3Cs) is a new doctoral program launching in the Fall of 2021. TheEdD in 3Cs is designed within a social justice framework across schools and communities to prepare educators, community organizers, faith-based leaders, nonprofit leaders, and others to take on new challenges as socially-just educators and researchers in institutions of higher education, schools, and communities. The targeted audience of the program will be...

  • Current and future teachers
  • Those seeking positions in preparing future teachers in the university (teacher educators)
  • Non-profit organization leaders and educators (CSI resource coordinators, stakeholders, community activists)
  • Faith-based organization leaders and educators (including priests, pastors, sisters, and other laypeople)
  • Professions that involve education and professional development in their organizations (medical professionals, social work, legal, law enforcement, environmental studies, etc)
  • University staff/professionals

Our commitment to you


The program aims to develop doctoral students’ academic knowledge, research/evaluation competencies, and pedagogical understandings in relation to a variety of research areas (e.g., multiliteracies in and out of schools; social justice teaching pedagogies; school and community-based partnerships, etc.). Designed to bring attention to issues across local, national, and international communities, the program is aligned with Loyola University Chicago’s mission that situates educational research within the needs and goals of communities. We seek to prepare current and future researchers and educators to develop their research, pedagogical, and leadership skills in support of culturally responsive education, asset-based community perspectives, and mutually beneficial partnerships across educational institutions and glocal communities. The vision of this program is to enable students to gain academic, research-based, and practical experiences to support their current and future careers in higher education or beyond in order to positively impact learners, teachers, and communities in a globalized world.

  • Prepare for career advancement as a teacher, staff developer, principal, program director, change agent or administrator of education-related programs and institutions emphasizing teaching for social justice.
  • Small class sizes that allow for the development of personalized, working relationships with both faculty and cohort.
  • Opportunities to engage in collaborative research with faculty, community organizations, cultural institutions, and schools.
  • Take evening classes to accommodate a full-time work schedule in educational settings. Class times are either 4:25pm to 6:45pm or 7pm to 9:30pm.
  • Course offerings via multiple modes of instruction, including, face-to-face, weekend, and online and face-to-face hybrid cohort.
  • An opportunity to study abroad in Rome during one summer of the program.
  • Centrally located campus in downtown Chicago, conveniently situated near multiple CTA and Metra train stops.

As a result of actively engaging in the program, graduates will be able to...

  1. Develop the skills and competencies needed to be a transformative educational leader for community-university-school partnerships.
  2. Advance pedagogical knowledge and pedagogical content knowledge in the professions (e.g., education, faith-based, legal, medical, law enforcement) to best serve all people, particularly those who are in high needs.
  3. Work collaboratively with community and school partners to solve problems using participatory approaches for research, evaluation, and change.
  4. Analyze historical and current practices in schools and communities for multilingual students and their families in line with research and theory of supporting and promoting equity for multilingual populations.
  5. Value the historical, political, socioeconomic, and cultural realities and funds of knowledge of local communities as they work to develop relationships, practices, and systems within schools and communities.
  6. Synthesize issues of power, privilege, and equity through a lens of LUC’s mission of social justice and Ignatian Pedagogy and analyze how they operate in curriculum, community, and local and global societies.

Program Faculty

Our dedicated Teaching and Learning Faculty are experts in their fields who will support students throughout each stage of the program.

  • David Ensminger, PhD
  • Seungho Moon, EdD
  • Curriculum foundations-practice-policies
  • Field-based teacher education and teacher advocacy
  • Collaborative school-community partnerships
  • Participatory action research and evaluation practices.
  • Language, literacy, and culture
  • Culturally responsive practice and curriculum reform
  • Instructional design and teaching practices
  • Spirituality & transformative curriculum leadership
  • Disciplinary expertise: Math, Science, ELA, Social Studies, Elementary Ed, Special Ed, and Early Childhood

Hear from our program chairs!

What our students say

Enduring Understandings & Program Outcomes

MEd & EdD in 3Cs is founded upon six enduring understandings (EUs)

EU1: Theories and Practices about Curriculum, Pedagogy, and Policy

Students will develop understandings of curriculum, pedagogy, and policy and apply knowledge on transformative curriculum and pedagogy for innovative policy in the local, state, national, and international educational contexts to advocate with and for students, families, and communities.

EU2: Ecology of Communities

Students will understand that effective educators comprehend the historical, political, socioeconomic, and cultural realities and funds of knowledge of local communities as well as relationships, practices, and systems. Further, students will understand that effective educators seek to engage multiple stakeholders toward creating that promote equity and social justice of society’s most vulnerable groups.

EU3: Research, Evaluation & Change Practices

Students will understand and use appropriate and rigorous research methods (e.g., qualitative, mixed, quantitative) and research types ( e.g., basic, action, evaluation) to investigate critical questions that contribute to the development and improvement in instructional practices, transformative curriculum, and the improvement of relationships across school, community and university settings. Emphasis will be placed on the use of participatory and collaborative research approaches.

EU4: Critical perspectives on Language, Culture, and Literacy

Students will understand and apply an approach to language and literacy that is heteroglossic, a view of language and literacy as dynamic, and an understanding of the acquisition of language and literacy as a process that occurs within and is influenced by cultural systems and structures including (but not limited to) those of the family, the school, and the surrounding community.

EU 5: Collaboration and Partnership

Students will understand that effective teaching and learning is situated in local and globalized communities and incorporates assets of students, families, and broader communities into learning. Students will understand that transformative learning engages in collaborative, mutually beneficial, and sustainable relationships among school, communities, and multiple stakeholders to ensure the academic success and social & emotional learning of all students.

EU6: Principles and Practices of Social Justice

Students will develop their ability to apply principles and practices of a social justice lens in relation theories and practices of schools and communities by focusing on transformative teaching and learning, university-school-community collaborations, mitigating inequities and disrupting power structures and practices that have contributed to the marginalization of communities and people around the world through research and pedagogy.


Completion of the EdD in 3Cs requires 1) 60 semester hours of which 42 must be completed at Loyola University, 2) a comprehensive assessment after the successful completion of the coursework, and 3) a dissertation and oral defense. 

Length of the Program

Typically, full-time students can complete the coursework between two and three academic years depending on summer enrollment. The dissertation takes another 1.5 to 2 years. Assuming normal progress, it is reasonable to expect part-time students who have completed all prerequisites and enroll in six semester hours during each Fall, Spring, and Summer semester could complete coursework in approximately three academic years and dissertation in approximately 2 years.  Time for degree completion, including the dissertation, is four to six years.

Course Transfer


With the advisor’s approval, students may apply credits from a master's degree or prior coursework. The three scenarios include:

  1. If a student completes a Master's degree in a designated Loyola program they may be able to transfer up to 30 credit hours to the doctoral program.
  2. If a student completes a Master’s degree at an accredited institution, not Loyola they may be able to transfer up to 18 credit hours to the doctoral program.
  3. If a student has a Bachelor’s plus 5+ years of professional experience, they should complete a Master’s as part of their coursework towards earning a doctorate in the program.

Continuous Enrollments

Doctoral students in 3Cs (Curriculum, Culture, and Communities) are required to maintain the status of continuous enrollment during their program of studies. This means that during each semester of each academic year (excluding Summer Sessions), each student must enroll in at least one course. A formal leave of absence may be granted upon request and the approval of the School of Education’s Assistant Dean of Student Academic Affairs.

Comprehensive Assessment

A comprehensive assessment is required. Specific requirements will be shared with all students.


The requirements for doctoral candidacy are 1) successful completion of all specifically required coursework; 2) successful completion of all comprehensive assessment, 3) approval of the dissertation proposal by the approved dissertation committee and Institutional Review Board (IRB).

Course Offerings

The following courses are required to earn an EdD. You can learn more about each course on our Course Syllabi page.

Required Core Courses (12 Semester hours)

  • CIEP 440 Critical Investigations in the Field of Curriculum 
  • CIEP 469 Issues that Shape Teaching and Learning in Urban Schools and Communities
  • CIEP 518 Theories and Practices of Partnerships
  • CIEP 524 Privilege, Power, and Possibilities: Teaching for Social Justice in Schools and Communities

Required Electives (At least 6 Semester hours)

  • CIEP 521 Curriculum Theory and Research with Schools and Communities: Positionalities, Perspectives, and Transformations
  • CIEP 522 Curriculum Policy across Schools and Communities
  • CIEP 523 Curriculum Improvement and School-Community Change

Required Research Course (9 Semester hours)

  • CIEP 488 Participatory Action Research (PAR) in Schools and Communities
  • RMTD 420*: Educational Research I: Building a Body of Evidence Using Qualitative Methods (3)
  • RMTD 421**: Educational Research II: Building a Body of Evidence Using Quantitative Methods (3)

* RMTD 400: is a prerequisite for RMTD 420
** RMTD 404: is a prerequisite of RMTD 421

Electives (The total of 15 Semester hours should be completed with advisor’s approval among recommended elective courses)

  • CIEP 415 Models of Instruction
  • CIEP 447 Technology-Enhanced and Online Teaching
  • CIEP 442 Culturally Sustainable Curriculum Development & Implementation or
  • CIEP 470 Principles of Instructional Design
  • CIEP 473 Instructional Leadership for Multicultural Schools (Rome and Chicago)
  • CIEP 509 Social Justice Multilingual Leaders
  • CIEP 540 Special Topic in Curriculum 
  • Other SOE graduate courses 

Admission Requirements

Interested in applying? Check out the EdD Curriculum, Culture and Communities (3Cs) application requirements.


Tuition, Financial Aid and Scholarships

The School of Education and Loyola's Financial Aid Office are committed to helping students secure the necessary financial resources to make their education at Loyola affordable. You can learn more on the Financial Assistance page.