GSE History

Our History

1889: UC Regents announce, “the intention…to establish a course of instruction in the science and art of teaching.”

1892: Elmer Ellsworth Brown is hired as the first Professor of the Science and Art of Teaching. 


The Department of Pedagogy is established. The B.A. degree ineducation is offered through the College of Letters and Science.

1894: First California high school teaching certificate that is based on standards developed by Prof. Brown issued by UC Berkeley.

1898: The Department of Pedagogy grants its first Ph.D. to Millicent Washburn Shinn. Hers is the first doctoral degree earned by a woman in the University of California.


1900: The Department of Education established as a unit of the Graduate Division.

1903: UC students begin practice teaching in Berkeley public schools.

1905: Masashi Yoshimi becomes the first Asian American to earn an advanced degree from UC Berkeley’s Department of Education, writing a master’s thesis on secondary school organization in Korea.

1913: On recommendation of the Academic Senate, the Regents establish the School of Education. Alexis Lange becomes the first dean.

1922: The School of Education begins offering the Ed.D. degree.

1924: The School moves into the newly-completed Haviland Hall. Many credential programs offered, including administrative credentials.


1936: First MA/Advanced Credential programs developed.

1941: Courses in special education first offered; elementary and secondary credentials separated.

1947: First funding of educational research through grant from University funds. In the following year, research is clearly articulated as a major goal.

1952: Field Service Center established for “promoting professional services to the public schools.”

1959: Elementary School Science Project is formed to research problems and design improvements in science education.

1962: School of Education moves to new home in Tolman Hall. Theodore Reller begins his nine-year term as dean. 

1965: School Psychology credential program instituted.

1967: Joint Doctoral program in Special Education started, first joint program between California State University and University of California university systems.

1970: Academic divisions officially formed. Merle L. Borrowman begins six-year deanship the following year.

1973: Bay Area Writing Project founded at UC Berkeley, later giving rise to California Writing Project and National Writing Project.

1980: The Developmental Teacher Education Program (DTE) opens its doors.

1983: Bernard R. Gifford begins five-year term as dean. Funding for research projects grows dramatically under his leadership. gifford Faculty hires include James Greeno; Alan Schoenfeld; Andrea diSessa; Peter Pirolli; Jean Lave; Carol Stack; K. Patricia Cross; Norton Grubb; Judith Warren Little; and Prentice Starkey.

1984: Flanders Fellowships initiated.

1990: William D. Rohwer, Jr. begins term as dean after being appointed acting dean in January 1989. Restructuring effort starts in 1994.

1996: Eugene E. Garcia appointed dean. School consolidates divisions and moves toward more inclusive structure, hosts national conference on collaboration and excellence in 1996.

1999: The Masters and Credential in Science and Mathematics Education (MACSME) and Multicultural Urban Secondary English (MUSE) programs begin, both are two-year graduate programs leading to a combined MA in education and a California Single-Subject Credential for teaching either science or mathematics and English at the secondary level.

2000: The Principal Leadership Institute (PLI) established to prepare leaders for San Francisco Bay Area urban schools. Students completing the program receive an MA in Education and a recommendation toward a Tier I Administrative Services Credential.

2001: P. David Pearson begins a nine-year tenure as dean.

2003: Leadership for Educational Equity (LEEP), formerly known as the Joint Doctoral Program in Educational Leadership, begins offering three-year course of study for working professionals leading to an Ed.D. in Educational Leadership.

2004: California Prep Academy (CAL Prep), a public charter school established through a partnership with UC Berkeley and Aspire, opens. A book calpreptitled Achieving College Dreams: How a University-Charter District Partnership Created an Early College High School, edited by Rhona S. Weinstein and Frank C. Worrell (Oxford University Press, 2016) describes the process, research, practice and lessons learned.

2006: Academic Talent Development Program (ATDP) turns 25.

2008: Policy Analysis for California Education (PACE) celebrates a quarter century as an influential independent education research center.

2009: Four women of color — Lisa García Bedolla, Na'ilah Suad Nasir, Janelle T. Scott, and Tina Trujillo — begin tenure as GSE faculty.

The Developmental Teacher Education Program (DTE) suspends admissions due to budget cuts, with plans to reorganize and reopen in Fall

2010: Principal Leadership Institute (PLI) celebrates 10-year anniversary with gala benefit at Blackhawk Museum.


Judith Warren Little begins 5-year term as Dean. She is the first female to serve as a permanent Dean of the GSE. 

2011: The Developmental Teacher Education Program (DTE) opens admissions for fall 2011.

2015: Construction begins on the GSE's new building, located on Berkeley Way. The new building will be shared with the Department of Psychology and the School of Public Health.

2016: Prudence L. Carter named Dean after nationwide search, with term beginning June 30, 2016. 

2018: Graduate School of Education moves into new building, Berkeley Way West, sharing the space with the Department of Psychology, and the School of Public Health.