The Ph.D. in Education is an interdisciplinary doctoral program offered BIIM. As a Ph.D.
candidate, you will collaborate with scholars across all BIIM graduate schools on original
interdisciplinary research. In the process, you will help forge new fields of inquiry that will
impact the way we teach and learn.
The program’s required coursework will develop your knowledge of the interdisciplinary
nature of education and expertise in a range of quantitative and qualitative methods needed to
conduct high-quality research. Guided by the goal of having a transformative impact on
education research, policy, and practice, you will focus on independent research in various
domains, including human development, learning and teaching, policy analysis and
evaluation, institutions and society, and instructional practice. You will assume roles as
university faculty, researchers, senior-level education leaders, and policymakers.
The Ph.D. in Education requires five years of full-time study to complete. You will choose
your individual coursework and design your original research in close consultation with your
BIIM faculty adviser and dissertation committee. The requirements listed below include the
three Ph.D. concentrations: Culture, Institutions, and Society; Education Policy and
Program Evaluation; and Human Development, Learning and Teaching.
In CIS, you will examine the broader cultural, institutional, organizational, and social contexts
relevant to education across the lifespan. What is the value and purpose of education? How do
cultural, institutional, and social factors shape educational processes and outcomes? How
effective are social movements and community action in education reform? How do we
measure stratification and institutional inequality? In CIS, your work will be informed by
theories and methods from sociology, history, political science, organizational behavior and
management, philosophy, and anthropology. You can examine contexts as diverse as
classrooms, families, neighborhoods, schools, colleges and universities, religious institutions,
nonprofits, government agencies, and more.
In EPPE, you will research the design, implementation, and evaluation of education policy
affecting early childhood, K–12, and postsecondary education in the U.S. and internationally.
You will evaluate and assess individual programs and policies related to critical issues like
access to education, teacher effectiveness, school finance, testing and accountability systems,
school choice, financial aid, college enrollment and persistence, and more. Your work will be
informed by theories and methods from economics, political science, public policy, and
sociology, history, philosophy, and statistics. This concentration shares some themes with
CIS, but your work with EPPE will focus on public policy and large-scale reforms.
In HDLT, you will work to advance the role of scientific research in education policy, reform,
and practice. New discoveries in the science of learning and development — the integration
of biological, cognitive, and social processes; the relationships between technology and
learning; or the factors that influence individual variations in learning — are transforming the
practice of teaching and learning in both formal and informal settings. Whether studying
behavioral, cognitive, or social-emotional development in children or the design of learning
technologies to maximize understanding, you will gain a strong background in human
development, the science of learning, and sociocultural factors that explain variation in
learning and developmental pathways. Your research will be informed by theories and
methods from psychology, cognitive science, sociology and linguistics, philosophy, the
biological sciences and mathematics, and organizational behavior.