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Doctoral Degree Programs

Doctoral students looking at a laptop

The School of Education's doctoral program prepares the next generation of thought leaders and researchers in education. As a Ph.D. student, you can choose to specialize in one of the following areas: Education Policy Analysis and Leadership; Education, Society, and Culture; Educational Psychology; Higher Education Administration and Policy; School Psychology; or Special Education.

As a doctoral student, you'll work alongside faculty devising and conducting cutting-edge research that brings about positive change for students of all ages and abilities. You'll have opportunities to present research, co-author scholarly papers, and explore ideas with some of the most respected leaders in the field of education. Once you graduate with a doctorate, you’ll join a vibrant SOE alumni network, and be prepared to enter a position in educational research, university teaching, local school leadership, or similar area.



No GRE required



No master’s degree or major prerequisites required



94% students receive multi-year fellowships



Most diverse Education faculty in the UC System, UCOP Info Center 2020


Program Overview

  • Full-time study
  • In-person, seminar style classes
  • Main campus - Riverside
  • Most classes meet 4-7pm
  • Duration: five years


Doctoral students are eligible to receive competitive fellowships:

  • Tuition remission
  • Health insurance
  • Researcher & teaching opportunities


Ph.D. Specializations

The SOE offers six specializations within the Ph.D. in education program. You'll find faculty research interests within the specializations align with the program curriculum. Prospective students should identify the specialization and corresponding faculty member that align with their own research interests and clearly identify them in the statement of purpose essay.

Student Spotlight

Briana A. Savage, Ph.D. '25

"Being a PhD student at UCR has given me endless opportunities to grow as a scholar and a professional. I have been able to build connections with dynamic faculty and students, work as a Research Associate for the Center for Athletes' Rights and Equity, present my work at national conferences, publish in an academic journal, teach undergraduates as a Teaching Assistant, and be active in student organizations and events. My time here has been fulfilling and I am constantly learning about ways to develop and build my identity in the world of academia."

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