PhD Program

Welcome to the Education Department’s PhD Program Information Page  

The goal of the Ph.D. in education is to support graduate students in becoming creative scholars who engage in research focused on the educational needs of students from linguistic and cultural groups that have historically not fared well in our nation’s public schools. To achieve this goal, this program provides students with grounding in interdisciplinary theory, research methods, and applications. The courses and research experiences are closely related to practice in K-12 classrooms and/or to the social contexts of schooling for low-income, racially, culturally, and linguistically diverse communities. 

Courses and research apprenticeships in the program provide tools and perspectives from anthropology, linguistics, philosophy, psychology, sociology, the learning sciences, and cultural historical activity theory. The program integrates theory and practice to examine learning and teaching within the multiple contexts of classroom, school, family, and community.

Graduates of this program will be qualified to teach and to conduct research in tenure-track positions in a variety of university and college settings, including research intensive and regional universities. Graduates may also work in non-university based institutions that focus on teacher professional development, curriculum development, and related areas of educational research and development; in addition, graduates may work in governmental agencies, or policy and advocacy organizations.

Each student develops an integrated program of study under the direction of her or his Faculty Academic Advisor.  This program of study includes advanced coursework, seminars, research apprenticeships, teaching assistantships, and independent study organized to develop deep expertise in a focal area of research.

The program embraces an apprenticeship model so that students develop expertise through active participation in research.

The Education Department faculty pursues collaborative research and working relationships with faculty in other departments, and when appropriate, students take courses and serve as teaching assistants in other departments as well.