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Education, Society, and Culture

Education, Society, and Culture Ph.D. Program

UCR Ford Fellows in front of Bell Tower

The Education, Society, and Culture doctoral program provides you with theoretical and methodological preparation supporting scholarly inquiry on the historical, social, racial, cultural, and institutional factors affecting education, especially those that affect access and opportunity and contribute to educational inequality. A federally-designated Hispanic-serving research university, UCR’s location, in the heart of inland Southern California, will provide you with rigorous methodological and conceptual tools to engage in research on critical issues in K-16 education. You will work closely with distinguished professors on research projects exploring solutions to our nation’s most pressing educational challenges, providing you with the knowledge and experience to become an educational researcher or university professor.

Specialization Overview


  • Start Term: Fall only
  • Program Length: Approximately 5 years
  • Units: 60 minimum
  • Format: In-person instruction on Riverside campus
  • Schedule: Each class meets once a week 4-7pm (Monday-Thursday)
  • 94% of students receive multi-year fellowships

Steps to Degree Completion

  1. Complete coursework
  2. Written qualifying exam
  3. Oral qualifying exam/pre-proposal
  4. Proposal approved by dissertation committee
  5. Dissertation and final defense

Students admitted to the Ph.D. program are often offered a multi-year fellowship which covers tuition and health insurance and provides a stipend and/or paycheck during the academic year. It is recommended that students complete the program full time to meet the fellowship requirements working as a Teaching Assistant (TA) or Graduate Student Researcher (GSR). These duties require students to be available Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. for 15-20 hours per week.

Quarterly costs may be viewed here



The full-time program is offered on a quarter calendar beginning in Fall. Students typically complete two years of course work, including required methods and theory courses and electives, followed by written and oral exams, before completing their dissertation research and defending their dissertation.

Curriculum Overview

Career Opportunities

Recent graduates are:

  • Researchers in Higher Education Institutions
  • Program Managers of Youth Organizations
  • K-12 School Administrators

Alumni are also faculty members at:

  • University of Nevada, Las Vegas 
  • California State University, Dominguez Hills
  • California State University, Long Beach
  • California State University, Stanislaus

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