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Frequently Asked Questions

How do students apply to the PhD Concentration in Education and Jewish Studies?

The Concentration is located in the Stanford Graduate School of Education.  Interested students should explore the organization of the PhD program including the four areas of study within the Graduate School of Education (Curriculum & Teacher Education; Developmental and Applied Psychological Studies; Social Science, Humanities and Interdisciplinary Policy Studies in Education; and the cross-area program in Learning Sciences and Technology Design), as well as each of their respective sub-programs. In the on-line application, after you have indicated the area the Graduate School of Education to which you are applying, you will be given the option of indicating your “Academic Interest.” In the appropriate drop-down menu select “Education and Jewish Studies” as your area of interest.  You should clearly address your interests in Education and Jewish Studies in your Statement of Purpose, as well, and how this interest connects to existing strengths within the Graduate School of Education and the Center for Jewish Studies.

What is the structure of the Concentration?

PhD students will enroll as full-time students in the Graduate School of Education. There are no possibilities of part-time study for the PhD at Stanford.  The Concentration is not a stand-alone program but fully integrated into the Graduate School of Education. This integration provides the best opportunity for students to take advantage of the expertise of our faculty in a wide variety of areas and disciplines. 

What are the coursework requirements for the Concentration?

All PhD students in the Graduate School of Education take a set of core courses during the first year and, in some cases, into the second.  Students in the Concentration in Education and Jewish Studies will take a two-quarter proseminar in addition to these core courses.  Other coursework is negotiated between the student and his or her advisor.

Do I need previous academic training in Jewish Education?

If by “Jewish education” you mean actual classroom or informal education experience, the answer is no. Education goes far beyond what happens in formal settings to embrace the totality of ways that society cultivates and transmits knowledge. The Concentration is committed to interdisciplinary scholarship, and that means acknowledging a rich diversity of scholarly approaches to education. 

Do you accept international students? 


Do I have to be Jewish to apply to the Concentration?

Absolutely not.  Stanford’s non-discrimination policy “prohibits unlawful discrimination, including harassment, on the basis of race, color, national or ethnic origin, sex, age, disability, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, or any other characteristic protected by applicable law in the administration of the University's programs and activities.” 

What do the fellowships cover?

Our fellowships cover Stanford’s tuition and provide a monthly living stipend for four years of full-time study and supervised research experience.  Students in the concentration will serve as research assistants on on-going research projects in the Graduate School of Education. This RAship is for ten hours a week during the first year, and twenty hours for each subsequent year.

What can I do with a PhD in Education and a concentration in Education and Jewish Studies?

As is the case with those who earn Doctorates in Education at Stanford in other fields, you can pursue any number of career paths.  This concentration is an outstanding choice for people interested in studying education and its myriad effects.  Universities, Jewish communal organizations, think tanks, foundations and philanthropies are in desperate need of more and better information, and our graduates will actively seek to provide it, regardless of where, specifically, they ultimately find employment.

What is the relationship between the Concentration in Education and Jewish Studies and the Taube Center for Jewish Studies?

The Concentration acts as a bridge between the Graduate School of Education and the Taube Center for Jewish Studies, in both formal and informal ways.  Students will have access to faculty from both, and we expect that our candidates will take advantage of the opportunity to work with colleagues in Jewish Studies.

What are you looking for in prospective students?

Students should possess a passionate interest in the dynamics of education, regardless of how they specifically understand the many facets of the educational process.  We hope that the Concentration will become the center for creative, innovative, forward-thinking research at the intersection of Education and Jewish Studies, and we are looking for students who are eager to advance this conversation.

I want to be a Camp Director for a Jewish summer camp.  Is this the best program for me?

Perhaps, but our course of study will not focus on the nuts and bolts of how to run a camp or how to start a school.  There are many other excellent programs for people interested in becoming summer camp directors or synagogue educators (See, for example: The Davidson School at Jewish Theological Seminary or the Rhea Hirsch Graduate School of Education at Hebrew Union College) Stanford’s Graduate School of Education is an internationally recognized setting for preparing scholars of education.  Our specialty is learning to ask educational questions in the most rigorous way possible, and learning how to explore those questions using a variety of research methodologies and disciplinary perspectives.

Do you accept people without a Master’s Degree?

Yes. Most PhD programs in the Graduate School of Education do not require a Masters to apply directly to the PhD. However, students holding an MA in a field other than Education can often receive advanced standing.

Who was Jim Joseph?

Please see the Jim Joseph Foundation website for more information about Jim Joseph and the Foundation that bears his name.  The Foundation endowed the Jim Joseph Chair in Education and Jewish Studies at Stanford and provided the impetus for creating the Graduate School of Education’s Concentration in Education and Jewish Studies.