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

The power in the SHIPS approach to doctoral study is the way it opens up the possibilities for educational research that comes from combining two distinctive approaches. One is to develop expertise in a disciplinary tradition. In this vein we offer seven programs in Humanities and Social Sciences in education (HSS): anthropology; economics; history; linguistics; organizational studies; philosophy; and sociology. The other approach is to develop expertise in a major issue area in education. In this vein, we offer four programs in Issue Domains in Education (IDE): educational policy; higher education; international comparative education (ICE); and race, inequality, and language in education (RILE). In addition, students can pursue a dual specialization in one HSS discipline and one IDE area.

All doctoral students in SHIPS may pursue one of three programs options, enrolling in one of the following:

  1. A program in one of the seven HSS disciplines, or
  2. A program in one of the four IDE areas, or
  3. A dual specialization program in one HSS discipline and in one IDE area

Degree Program

Students seeking careers as educational anthropologists should select a disciplinary orientation, and concentrate in the Anthropology of Education subconcentration.

The PhD candidate in Anthropology of Education will take courses in the Department of Anthropology in addition to educational anthropology courses offered in the Graduate School of Education, for a combined total of at least 45 units. The course units in anthropology should include work in methodology, theory and its history, sociocultural and psychocultural processes, and ethnography. At least 20 units must be at the advanced graduate level. The 45 units of Anthropology can be recognized as a Ph.D minor in Anthropology or as a master's in the Anthropology department.

Affiliated faculty include (are not limted to): Samy Alim, Shelley Goldman, Ari Kelman, Ray McDermott and Guadalupe Valdes.

Doctoral Graduates

Social Science Researcher
SRI International

Assistant Professor, Education
University of Georgia

Assistant Professor
California State University San Bernardino

Director Master's Program
Stanford University

Program Officer
Community Foundation of Santa Cruz County

The program aims to instill a thorough understanding of micro- and macro-economic analyses as they apply to the economics of education, a facility for using econometric modeling techniques to formulate complex relationships in education and to test such models with relevant data, and an acquaintance with the other social sciences as they relate to the economics of education.

Specific areas of focus include the production, distribution, and financing of education; the relationship between education and labor markets; the contribution of education to economic growth and development; and the organization of the education industry.

Students are expected to take courses in each of the following four areas: (1) economics and econometrics; (2) statistics; (3) education; and (4) related areas, including research-oriented courses in sociology, political science, psychology, anthropology, history, philosophy, mathematics, engineering-economic systems, and operations research.

Knowing how to apply the tools of economics and econometrics to problems in education will prepare students for positions in universities, research institutions, and government.

Affiliated faculty include (are not limited to): Eric Bettinger, Martin Carnoy, Thomas Dee, Susanna Loeb, and Sean Reardon.

Doctoral Graduates

Social Science Researcher
SRI International

Assistant Professor, Education
University of Georgia

Assistant Professor
California State University San Bernardino

Director Master's Program
Stanford University

Program Officer
Community Foundation of Santa Cruz County

Educational Policy aims to produce leaders who will influence the nature of educational organizations. It prepares scholars, administrators, and policy analysts for these roles by developing the characteristics of educational leaders: the knowledge base to understand the societal and economic forces affecting complex organizations; the ability to question, analyze, and develop creative solutions to policy and operating problems; and the determination to make decisions in the face of conflict and ambiguity.

Variations occur in choices of institutional focus (higher education, elementary or secondary schools, state or federal agencies); intended role (research, policy analysis, or administration); and disciplinary approach (sociology, economics, political science, etc.).

Job placement

Doctoral graduates frequently become university faculty, as educational researchers or scientists. Some do research in for-profit or non-profit research firms, and in the companies or consulting firms in the corporate sector. They may also take administrative or policy making roles in colleges and universities, manage research projects, or be school officials in K-12 settings. Some take program officer or executive roles in community or private foundations. A few have practices as independent consultants.

Affiliated faculty include (are not limited to): Anthony AntonioEric Bettinger, Martin Carnoy, Prudence Carter, Tom Dee, Kenji Hakuta, David Labaree, Susanna Loeb, Dan McFarland, Debra Meyerson, Sean Reardon, and Mitchell Stevens

Doctoral Graduates

Assistant Professor, Education
University of Wisconsin

Research Associate
University of Chicago

Dean
Turtle Mountain Community College

Director of Student Programs
Georgetown University

Social Scientist
Social Policy Research Associate

Associate Director
Pew Forum on Education Reform

Director of Academic Programs
University of California, Merced

 

The doctoral (PhD) program in Higher Education is designed for students pursuing careers as academic faculty, administrators, policy analysts, and educational researchers. Since the PhD is a scholarly degree, the core objective of our program is to prepare professionals to conduct research of exceptional quality. Our program features small courses, hands-on research training, and individualized mentoring. Students enroll full-time and typically complete the program in four to five years.

Our curriculum emphasizes the mastery of particular theoretical frameworks and research methods in the social sciences. Each doctoral student obtains a minor in a related discipline or interdisciplinary area; doctoral students often pursue master's degrees in their chosen field concurrently with their coursework for the PhD.

Our home in Stanford's Graduate School of Education enables our students to appreciate the myriad connections between higher education and K-12 schooling. Students also make good use of the wider resources available at Stanford, routinely enrolling in courses throughout the University.

Recent courses taught as part of the Higher Education program include:

  • Student Development and the Study of College Impact
  • Multicultural Issues in American Higher Education
  • Colleges and Universities as Complex Organizations
  • Leadership and Administration in Higher Education
  • Accountability and Assessment in Higher Education
  • History of Higher Education
  • Research Seminar in Higher Education
  • Gender and Higher Education
  • Higher Education and Society
  • Interdisciplinarity in Higher Education
  • Ed Schools: Historical and Sociological Perspectives
  • Economics of Higher Education
  • International Comparative Higher Education
  • Field Research in Higher Education

Faculty

All of our faculty are internationally recognized scholars and university leaders. Their areas of research include: the production and formal organization of knowledge in higher education; organizational restructuring and institutional change in public colleges and universities; alternative educational forms; the quantification of academic accomplishment; policy alignment and student transitions throughout the life course; the impact of diversity on college student outcomes; socialization and student networks; and the role of liberal arts instruction and service learning in professional education.

Affiliated faculty include (are not limited to): Anthony Antonio, David Labaree, Dan McFarland, Woody Powell, Mitchell Stevens, Christine Min Wotipka.

Research Opportunities

Faculty projects within and beyond the Stanford Institute for Higher Education Research offer doctoral students the opportunity to conduct research and work closely with well-known scholars, as do collaborations with nearby research organizations such as the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching.

 

A historian of education needs to be well trained in history and knowledgeable about education. By taking coursework in history and history of education-normally earning a master's in history along the way-students gain skill in asking productive questions, finding and organizing evidence, and presenting convincing historical arguments. In addition, students take a range of courses in education that introduce them to important issues and strategies for research. The aim of this specialization is to prepare historians of education who will be rigorous, imaginative, and knowledgeable teachers and researchers. Graduates often find their training helpful in policy analysis and in fields like academic administration.

Affiliated faculty include (are not limited to): Leah Gordon, Ari Kelman, David Labaree

Doctoral Graduates

Social Science Researcher
SRI International

Assistant Professor, Education
University of Georgia

Assistant Professor
California State University San Bernardino

Director Master's Program
Stanford University

Program Officer
Community Foundation of Santa Cruz County

 

ICE is a multidisciplinary, international, cross-cultural program of training that places educational problems into an international and comparative framework. Core courses explore how education is related to economic, political, and social development in both developed and developing countries. The program provides a strong theoretical and empirical base for studying education in a rapidly changing global context and for understanding the how and why of successful policy-making to improve educational practice in different social settings.

In both its training and research activities, ICE has developed a special concern for the study of education in less developed countries. At the same time, several faculty are engaged in research comparing educational policies and conditions in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) countries. The relationships among educational research, educational policy, and educational planning are important in the program's intellectual agenda.

ICE tries to meet the needs of professionals who are willing to question conventional beliefs and models about the role of education in society. To this end, ICE has developed a basic first-year core sequence (ED 306 A, B, C, D) that seeks to apply the conceptual and methodological tools of the major social science disciplines-economics, sociology, political science, and anthropology-to the study of education and development.

ICE Doctoral Program

The doctoral specialization in ICE is designed to relate a firm grounding in the theories and methods of a basic social or behavioral science to the analysis of education's role in the processes of economic growth, political development, and social change.

The training of ICE doctoral students is geared toward achieving substantial research competence in areas where a social science discipline and the policy problems of development education intersect. Doctoral students are therefore expected to have, or to acquire while at Stanford, substantial graduate training in a social science discipline relevant to their fields of interest at a level equivalent to the master's degree or a PhD minor in the appropriate university department.

Graduates of the PhD program in ICE typically choose research-oriented careers either within their countries' universities or with government agencies. Their expertise is sought from time to time by international and philanthropic organizations.

While there is no universal foreign language requirement for the ICE doctoral program, students must be proficient in the languages appropriate to their professional and geographical areas of interest. They are also encouraged to seek practical research training in their areas of interest.

For the PhD program requirements, please see the Doctoral Degree Handbook.

For more information about the ICE MA and Doctoral Programs, please visit: http://suse-ice.stanford.edu/

Affiliated faculty include (are not limited to): Eric Bettinger, Martin Carnoy, Francisco Ramirez, Christine Min Wotipka.

Job Placement

Many doctoral graduates of this program teach in a variety of disciplines in universities in the United States and abroad. A good proportion are officers or researchers in international development organizations, such as the World Bank, or in development consulting organizations and foundations.

Assistant Professor, Education
Florida State University

Assistant Professor, Economics
Wellesley College

Assistant Professor, Education
University of British Columbia

Assistant Professor, Business
Tel Aviv International School of Management

Associate Economist
RAND Corporation

Education Specialist
The World Bank

County Director for Tunisia
America-Mideast Educational/Training Services

Warren-Weaver Fellow
The Rockefeller Foundation

The program in Educational Linguistics is interdisciplinary, and draws substantially upon courses, faculty, and programs in various areas throughout Stanford GSE as well as departments within the School of Humanities and Sciences. Building upon a common core of linguistic foundations, graduates of the program in educational linguistics integrate theory, research, policy, and practices that are central to studies of language development and usage in schools and their surrounding communities.

Affiliated faculty include (are not limited to): H. Samy Alim, Arnetha Ball, Kenji Hakuta, Ray McDermott, Guadalupe Valdes

Doctoral Graduates

Social Science Researcher
SRI International

Assistant Professor, Education
University of Georgia

Assistant Professor
California State University San Bernardino

Director Master's Program
Stanford University

Program Officer
Community Foundation of Santa Cruz County

 

The Graduate School of Education has notable strength in the area of organization studies, particularly in terms of research on schools, universities, nonprofit and governmental organizations, as well as more creative associations, such as community or advocacy groups, and grass-roots associations. Students can elect to pursue a SHIPS concentration (i.e., sub-plan or emphasis) or a pre-approved Individually Designed Distributed Minor (IDDM) in Organization Studies.

The Concentration in Organization Studies includes a minimum of 20 units from the courses listed in this document.

Affiliated faculty include (are not limited to): Martin Carnoy, Susanna Loeb, Dan McFarland, Debra Meyerson, Woody Powell, Mitchell Stevens

Doctoral Graduates

Postdoc in Sociology
Duke University

Assistant Professor
Northwestern School of Learning Sciences

It is expected that the philosopher of education trained at Stanford will be able to

  • analyze and clarify concepts and chains of reasoning used by teachers, researchers, administrators, and policymakers;
  • assess arguments and clarify the rhetoric of educational debates;
  • identify implicit assumptions in such arguments or statements;
  • enter into productive exchange with researchers or policymakers in at least one branch of social or human science;
  • place educational issues, and issues arising from the social sciences, into a broader philosophical and sociocultural context.

Graduates of this SSE subconcentration traditionally become college or university professors of the philosophy of education in departments or schools of education. However, a few graduates have secured joint or courtesy appointments in a school of education and a department of philosophy because of the intensive training in the minor field of general philosophy (many students take a master's degree in philosophy or philosophy of science).

Affiliated faculty include (are not limited to): Eamonn Callan

Doctoral Graduates

Social Science Researcher
SRI International

Assistant Professor, Education
University of Georgia

Assistant Professor
California State University San Bernardino

Director Master's Program
Stanford University

Program Officer
Community Foundation of Santa Cruz County

 

The Sociology of Education Program offers students invaluable research apprenticeship opportunities that take advantage of faculty interests and expertise at Stanford University. Areas of emphasis include the following:

  • analysis of interpersonal dynamics in classrooms and schools
  • the sociology of development and peer cultures
  • the effects of organizational characteristics of schools and universities
  • transfer of knowledge and organizational learning
  • stratification within education and society
  • comparative macrosociology of education

Doctoral candidates in Sociology of Education ordinarily earn a master's degree in sociology and take advanced coursework in statistics. Doctoral students emerging from this specialization typically become faculty members at universities and carry on activities such as teaching Sociology and Education courses, training researchers, carrying out applied and basic research, and consulting.

Affiliated faculty include (are not limited to): H. Samy AlimAnthony Antonio, Martin Carnoy, Prudence Carter, Ari KelmanDavid Labaree, Dan McFarland, Woody PowellFrancisco Ramirez, Sean Reardon, Mitchell Stevens, Christine Min Wotipka

Doctoral Graduates

Social Science Researcher
SRI International

Assistant Professor, Education
University of Georgia

Assistant Professor
California State University San Bernardino

Director Master's Program
Stanford University

Program Officer
Community Foundation of Santa Cruz County

The learning sciences are dedicated to the systematic study and design of psychological, social, and technological processes that support learning in diverse contexts and across the lifespan. Students in the Learning Sciences and Technology Design (LSTD) Ph.D. program complete foundational research on learning, and they design innovative learning technologies. Graduates of the program take leadership positions as faculty, research scientists in universities and companies, designers and evaluators of formal and informal learning environments, and in learning technology policy-making.

A significant challenge for the field is to prepare scholars with expertise in the multiple areas relevant to learning in meaningful contexts. The LSTD curriculum includes courses on learning, research, and design, as well as small integrative seminars and explicit apprenticeship opportunities. Students also develop advanced technical proficiencies in a medium of their choice (e.g., programming, computer animation, graphics design, simulation modeling, robotics, user experience design, game development, video production, museum display).

Students interested in the program apply to the Learning Sciences and Technology Design specialization in the online university application for graduate admission form. In the online form, under Additional Academic Interests, applicants should indicate the area with which they wish their LSTD program be linked: Developmental and Psychological Sciences (DAPS), Curriculum Studies and Teacher Education (CTE) or Social Sciences, Policy and Educational Practice (SHIPS).  As a unique cross-area specialization, students will study the learning sciences and technology design within the context of the area (DAPS, CTE or SHIPS), to which they are formally admitted also. In their first year, students work within the requirements of their area to build a strong base of disciplinary knowledge while also developing additional discrete skills relevant to LSTD. Starting with the second year and working closely with their LSTD Faculty Advisor to design a personalized program, students advance their interests and abilities by integrating the distinct skills and area perspectives in applying their theoretical, research, and design work to specific topics in learning.

More information about degree requirements is available in the Doctoral Degree Handbook.

Stanford University, situated in Silicon Valley, provides unique resources for the doctoral student including interactions with world-class faculty who have expertise or interests in technology, access to industry leaders, and on-going exposure to state-of-the-art developments. Stanford University and the Graduate School of Education draw the finest students from around the world, ensuring a rich graduate experience. The LSTD program benefits from its close ties to the H-STAR Institute (Human Sciences and Technologies Advanced Research), an interdisciplinary center at Stanford focusing on people and technology, and its industry affiliates program, Media X, as well as faculty and courses associated with the d-School at Stanford – an institute using design thinking to drive multidisciplinary innovation. The Ph.D. program has grown from a common vision among a broad base of professors whose interests range from visualization and agent technologies to the analysis of cultural and collaborative processes in education and informal learning. The faculty believes that the development of new information and communication technologies provides a powerful coordination point for joining previously isolated bodies of scholarship to understand and enhance learning.

Graduate training in the LSTD program benefits from use of Stanford's advanced computing and teaching facilities, including Wallenberg Hall (Building 160) on the front of the campus on the central quadrangle, where H-STAR is located, and the Graduate School of Education's CERAS computer labs.

Area Faculty


Many other faculty within the Graduate School of Education and Stanford's departments related to the LSTD program (especially Computer Science, Communications, Psychology, Linguistics and Engineering) will contribute to a vibrant intellectual culture for LSTD students.

To learn more about the LSTD program, its requirements and faculty research interests, and other issues, please download our document providing many answers to frequently asked questions.

Contact Information

For additional inquiries, please contact LSTD Director and Professor Roy Pea.

To learn about the Department of Information Technology that serves the Graduate School of Education community and the LSTD program, see http://ed.stanford.edu/IT

Area Faculty