Social Sciences, Humanities, and Interdisciplinary Policy Studies in Education (SHIPS)
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 by 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 education data science (EDS).
All doctoral students in SHIPS may pursue one of four program options:
A program in one of the seven HSS disciplines
A program in one of the four IDE areas
A program in one of the cross-area specializations
A dual specialization in two of the aforementioned programs
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 PhD minor in anthropology or as a master's in the Anthropology Department. See program requirements.
The program in Economics of Education 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. See program requirements.
The program in Education Data Science serves students looking to employ modern data science analyses and computational methods to solve the world’s greatest educational challenges. It offers training in data science skills anchored in educational data, applications, and concerns. Analytically, students are expected to become familiar with statistics, programming languages, computational methods (machine learning, data mining), data visualization, and specialized analytic concerns, such as relational and textual data (network science and text analysis). These skill sets enable students to perform state-of-the-art analyses salient to digital data found in most educational, organizational and web-based companies.
Students will take coursework focused on key data science principles, topics, and applications common to the use of data science in education contexts to ensure that they attain a common cohesive base of knowledge and skills with which to pursue academic areas of interest and specialization tracks later in their course plan. Students will also complete data science specializations in their course of study. The areas of specialization are Natural Language Processing, Network Science, Experiments & Causal Methods, Measurement, and Learning Analytics. See program requirements.
The Educational Policy specialization aims to produce leaders who will influence the nature of educational organizations and systems. 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.
This program champions methodological diversity, believing that varied methodological approaches equip our students with a broad spectrum of tools and perspectives, fostering innovative solutions. The Education Policy program also recognizes the interplay between education and the political economy, emphasizing that educational policy does not merely impact this dynamic but operates symbolically with it.
Variations in topics of interest 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.).
Doctoral graduates frequently become university faculty, as educational researchers or scientists. Some do research in for-profit or non-profit research firms, and in 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. See program requirements.
The doctoral 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.
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. See program requirements.
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. See program requirements.
The program in International Comparative Education (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.
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. See program requirements.
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. See program requirements.
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 Philosophy of Education program trains scholars that 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; and
place educational issues, and issues arising from the social sciences, into a broader philosophical and sociocultural context.
Graduates of this 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). See program requirements.
The Sociology of Education program offers students invaluable research apprenticeship opportunities that take advantage of faculty interests and expertise at Stanford. Areas of emphasis include
analysis of relational dynamics in classrooms, schools, and universities
the sociology of development and peer cultures
organizational and institutional features of schools and universities
transfer of knowledge and organizational learning
inequality in education and society
comparative macro sociology of education
social network analysis
study of nonprofits, advocacy and community groups, urban spaces and places
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. See program requirements.
Students in the Learning Sciences and Technology Design (LSTD) program complete foundational research on learning and design innovative learning technologies. As a cross-area specialization, the LSTD program links its content to one of the three academic areas: Curriculum Studies and Teacher Education (CTE), Developmental and Psychological Sciences (DAPS), or Social Sciences, Humanities, and Interdisciplinary Policy Studies in Education (SHIPS). See program requirements.
The cross-area specialization in Race, Inequality, and Language in Education (RILE) brings an interdisciplinary scholarly focus to the major factors that influence educational attainment, especially for underserved children. Students ground their RILE studies within the context of one of the three academic areas: Curriculum Studies and Teacher Education (CTE), Developmental and Psychological Sciences (DAPS), Social Sciences, Humanities, and Interdisciplinary Policy Studies in Education (SHIPS). See program requirements.
The majority of our PhD graduates in the SHIPS area express an interest in pursuing a university career in teaching and research. Other graduates seek employment in educational research and policy settings at both public and private research organizations. Some of our recent graduates are employed at the following locations: