PhD in Language, Literacy, and Culture

The PhD program in Language, Literacy, and Culture (LLC) is for students who aim to conduct research on the interconnection of culture, language, and literacy in both formal and informal educational settings. The goal of the LLC program is to develop interdisciplinary knowledge that is complemented by specialized knowledge of teaching and learning in foreign and second language, literacy, social studies, and early childhood education. We frame the exploration of teaching and learning within perspectives that promote equity, social justice, and democratic values.

Quick Facts

  • Program Duration: 3 to 5 years
  • Time Commitment: Full time
  • Term of Enrollment: Fall
  • Application Deadline: December 1
  • Course Requirements: 90 credits
  • Application Requirements: GRE exam is not required

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Program Details

Students engage closely with and learn from faculty who conduct research in the field and have a strong commitment to high-quality teaching. We are actively involved in collaborations within the University of Pittsburgh World History Center; Center for Urban Education; Women’s Studies; College of Arts and Sciences; Center for Race and Social Problems; and with University Prep, a 6-12 partnership school; and Falk School, a K-8 laboratory school.

 Faculty and students in our program study issues such as:

  • Civic education and racial identity among disenfranchised populations
  • Critical historiography in secondary social studies classrooms
  • Sociocultural approaches to foreign and second language acquisition
  • Comprehension instruction in the context of text-based discussions of informational texts
  • Writing, language, and grammar instruction in high school English classrooms
  • New and multiple literacies in urban classrooms
  • Representations in children’s literature
  • Immigrant families’ home literacy practices


Degree Requirements

The PhD program in Language, Literacy, and Culture includes a core set of courses designed to engage students in an exploration of teaching and learning from a variety of perspectives, including the linguistic, critical, psychological, historical, and sociocultural. View the PhD program in Language, Literacy, and Culture handbook for full information on degree requirements.


There are no specific prerequisites for this degree/certification, but interested students should verify that they fulfill the admissions requirements.

Affiliated Faculty

Career Pathways

Through a combination of coursework, research collaborations with faculty, and teaching and supervision practicum experiences, students are prepared for careers at a wide variety of institutional environments, including:

  • Research and teaching universities
  • Research institutes
  • Educational non-profits
  • Educational consulting