Ph.D. Educational Policy and Social Context

Educational Policy and Social Context

The specialization in Educational Policy and Social Context prepares scholars to carry out research in a broad range of areas related to the social, cultural, and organizational context of education; educational policy development and implementation; and the intersection of educational context and policy.

Students in this specialization will take course work on or independently investigate topics such as the social organization of schools and classrooms, diversity and equity in education, the history and current status of educational reform initiatives, immigration and education, college transition processes, the policy and context of early childhood education, and the relationship between communities and schools. Students in the specialization will have the opportunity to develop expertise in a wide range of research methodologies, from correlational studies to survey research to ethnographic case studies.

Applicants to this specialization will ordinarily have had prior coursework or experience in fields such as education, sociology, political science, public policy, community studies, ethnic studies, or economics. We expect that graduates in this specialization will seek academic positions or research appointments in fields or departments such as education, social foundations of education, sociology of education, educational policy, educational leadership, or educational administration.


Ph.D. Faculty in Educational Policy and Social Context

School of Education Faculty

  • Liane Brouillette - Educational Leadership, School Reform, Arts Education
  • Margaret Burchinal - Statistics, Childcare and Pre-Kindergarten, Evaluation
  • Gilberto Q. Conchas - Diversity and Equity in Education, Race and Urban Education, Immigration, and School Reform
  • Thurston Domina - Educational Policy, Inequality, Higher Education
  • Greg Duncan - Economics of Education, Program Evaluation, Child Development
  • Jacquelynne Eccles - Academic Motivation and Achievement, School and Family Influences on Adolescent Development, Gender and Ethnicity in STEM Fields
  • George Farkas - Achievement Gap, Educational Inequality, Early Childhood, Afterschool Programs
  • Joseph Mahoney - Child/Adolescent Social Development, Out-of-school Time, Social/Educational Intervention and Policy
  • Anne McDaniel - Higher Education, Comparative/International Education, Gender, Social Inequalities
  • Judith Haymore Sandholtz - Teacher Professional Development, Teacher Education, School-University Partnerships
  • Deborah Lowe Vandell - Developmental Processes and Educational Outcomes; Longitudinal Research Methods, Early Childhood Education, After-school Programs, Teacher-Child Relationships

Affiliated Faculty

  • Marianne Bitler - Labor Economics, Econometrics, Microeconomics
  • Christopher Carpenter - Health Economics, Public Policy, Labor Economics, Evaluation, Economic Demography
  • Cynthia Feliciano - Sociology of Education, Race and Ethnicity, Immigration
  • David John Frank - Sociology of Higher Education
  • Rubén Rumbaut - International Migration, Ethnicity, Intergenerational Mobiity, Structural Inequality
  • James Diego Vigil - Urban Research, Urban Poverty, Culture Change, Socialization & Education, Psychological Anthropology, Street Gangs in Cross-Cultural Perspective, Mexico & U.S. Southwestern Ethnohistory, Comparative Ethnicity