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Doctoral Programs

The goal of the GSE PhD program is to prepare the next generation of leading education researchers. The cornerstone of the doctoral experience at the Stanford Graduate School of Education is the research apprenticeship that all students undertake, typically under the guidance of their academic advisor, but often with other Stanford faculty as well.

The most important vehicle for the apprenticeship is the research assistantship students receive as part of their multi-year guaranteed funding package. Our assumption is that by actively participating in the research of our faculty, students can develop the skill set they need to undertake outstanding research of their own. We assign PhD students research training opportunities starting their first year in the program. We believe the research apprenticeship model helps explain why our students graduate in a relatively short time (normally within 4 to 5 years), while developing a sophisticated repertoire of research skills.

Doctoral degree programs at Stanford Graduate School of Education are organized under academic area committees.

Photo of graduating students carrying their stoles.

Doctoral programs by academic area

Curriculum Studies and Teacher Education (CTE)

Developmental and Psychological Sciences (DAPS)

Social Sciences, Humanities, and Interdisciplinary Policy Studies in Education (SHIPS)

Cross-Area Specializations

Learning Sciences and Technology Design (LSTD)

LSTD allows doctoral students to study learning sciences and technology design within the context of their primary program of study (DAPS, CTE, or SHIPS).

Race, Inequality, and Language in Education (RILE)

RILE trains students to become national leaders in conducting research on how race, inequality, and language intersect to make both ineffective and effective educational opportunities. RILE allows students to specialize within their program of study (DAPS, CTE, or SHIPS).

Other academic opportunities

Photo of Carl Steib

“I came to Stanford to work with faculty who value learning in informal settings and who are working to understand and design for it.”


Doctoral graduates were employed within four months of graduation


of those employed worked in organizations or roles related to education

Contact us

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