Education, Society, and Culture Ph.D. Program

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.

years to complete
unit minimum
students receive multi-year fellowships

Program Overview

Student in the HUB

Some of the courses you may take include:

EDUC 210: Sociology of Education
EDUC 238: Education and Gender
EDUC 257: Language, Culture, and Education
EDUC 273: Theories of Critical Pedagogy
EDUC 275: Race and K-12 Educational Inequality
EDUC 278: Critical Race Theory in Education

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.

See our full curriculum overview.

Students in the program follow these 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

Recent graduates are:

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

Faculty at universities, including:

  • Cal Poly Pomona
  • Chapman University
  • University of Pennsylvania

Meet the Education, Society, and Culture Faculty

We encourage prospective students to reach out to faculty whose research interests align with their own.


Featured Ed Talk

Land grant colleges are lauded for opening up access to higher education to more people, and have been referred to as “the people’s colleges.” But where did that “public” land come from? Dr. Margaret Nash argues that, as great as land grant colleges are, they also must be seen as part of the process of Western migration of (mostly) whites, and the appropriation of land from native peoples.

Related Research

Faculty research areas include:

  • Critical race theory
  • Educational equity/inequality
  • Gender and education
  • History of education
  • Language and literacy
  • Race in schooling
  • Teacher education
  • Youth of color



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