Doctoral Degrees

Teaching, Learning & Sociocultural Studies

Children’s and Young Adult Literature Ph.D.

The TLS Doctoral Degree offers a focus area in children’s and young adult literature as either a major or minor. TLS PhD students are required to take two core courses and four research courses in addition to selecting a major focus area and a minor focus area. 

Our courses center on bringing a critical lens to youth literature through examining issues surrounding books and their use with readers. The courses are experiential, involving many interactions with books and engagements to connect readers with books. We are passionate about books and readers and a focus on diversity with the U.S. and globally. Students in our programs have many opportunities to participate in projects and events in Worlds of Words, Center of Global Literacies and Literatures, and to interact with authors, illustrators, and publishers at the Tucson Festival of Books.

Core faculty include Desirée Cueto, Sybil Durand, and Kathy G. Short along with Carol Brochin and Leah Durán. 

Study children's and young adult literature to examine matters around books and involvement with readers.
Learn about outlook with books and connection between the literature and the readers with a focus within the U.S. and around the globe.
Gain experience with opportunities to interact with authors, illustrators, and publishers.

The TLS PhD is a 69-unit program delivered in-person and online.  The TLS Required Core Courses are:

  • TLS 797, Theoretical and Practical Foundations of Teaching, Learning, and Sociocultural Studies
  • TLS 640, Multicultural Education and Social Justice

Sample Courses

Courses in Youth Literature Include

  • Literature and Literacy for Young Children
  • Reading Children’s Literature as a Writer
  • Diverse Youth Literatures and Literacies
  • The Art of the Picturebook
  • Inviting Readers into Dialogue and Critical Literacy
  • Reading the World through Youth Literature
  • Anit-Colonial Perspectives in Young Adult Literature
  • Book Banning and the Politicization of Schools and Libraries
  • Gender and Sexuality in Youth Literature
  • Reader Response Theories
  • Critical Content Analysis of Text and Image
  • Special Topics courses

Contact Us

For inquiries about the program, please contact Graduate Program Coordinator Andrea Lauritzen