MA/PhD Program

Our faculty’s interests span a range of critical topics and issues that are crucial for the attainment of educational equity and greater impact in schools and communities. The broad clusters of our faculty’s expertise are listed below. Click on any of the titles to see faculty who are engaged in this research.

Critical Studies of Race, Class, and Gender
  • Critical Social and Cultural Theories
  • Globalization, Immigration, and Migration
  • Race & Social Inequality in Urban Education
  • Social Identities in Educational Contexts
Learning Sciences and Human Development
  • Cognitive, Human, and Social Development 
  • Language, Literacy, and Culture
  • Mathematics and Science Education
  • Teacher Learning and Education
  • Technology and Digital Media
Policy, Politics, and Leadership
  • Leadership in Educational Organizations
  • Policy Analysis and Implementation
  • Politics of School Governance and Reform
  • School Improvement
Social Research Methodologies
  • Data Science
  • Evaluation
  • Measurement
  • Mixed Methods
  • Qualitative Research Methods
  • Quantitative Research Methods

About Our MA/PhD

Earning a master’s degree or doctorate from Berkeley’s Graduate School of Education often leads to a career as an educational scholar and researcher in schools, colleges, and universities; non-profits and think tanks; and corporations.

In your application, we encourage you to describe your research interests as well as your desire to study with particular faculty in their application materials. If you wish to study educational topics outside those framed in the list above, we still encourage you to apply to earn your MA or PhD because we want innovative thinkers among us.

During the first semester, all students build a plan of study in consultation with their advisor(s). This plan is revisited, updated, and revised yearly thereafter.

What Doctoral Students Can Expect

During the first two years of study, the Berkeley PhD in Education introduces you to research on current issues in education, theories of learning, human development, and inequality, educational policy, and research methods. Students proceed through the program during the first two years in a cohort, taking core courses together.

The degree program’s structure ensures that you have a broad understanding of important topics in education and that you begin developing the research expertise needed to carry out independent research projects. You will also begin to take elective courses within and outside the GSE in your expected areas of expertise.

By the third and fourth years of study, you are expected to develop greater expertise in your research specialties in close consultation with your faculty advisors. You also take advanced seminars; engage in independent studies and research apprenticeships; and complete an oral exam.

The concluding part of your doctoral studies is preparation of your dissertation proposal and the research and writing of your dissertation.