This article discusses the fundamental aspects of phase-field microstructure modeling. It describes the evolution of microstructure modeling, including nucleation, growth, and coarsening. The article reviews two approaches used in the modeling nucleation of microstructure: the Langevin force approach and explicit nucleation algorithm. Calculation of activation energy and critical nucleus configuration is discussed. The article presents the deterministic phase-field kinetic equations for modeling growth and coarsening of microstructure. It also describes the material-specific model inputs, chemical free energy and kinetic coefficients, for phase-field microstructure modeling. The article provides four examples that illustrate some aspects of phase-field modeling.