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Mitchell L. Stevens


I am an organizational sociologist with longstanding interests in educational sequences, lifelong learning, alternative educational forms, and the formal organization of knowledge. With John Mitchell, I co-direct the Stanford Pathways Lab (

Other Titles

Professor, Graduate School of Education
Professor (By courtesy), Sociology
Faculty Affiliate, Institute for Human-Centered Artificial Intelligence (HAI)

Program Affiliations

SHIPS (PhD): Educational Policy
SHIPS (PhD): Higher Education
SHIPS (PhD): Organization Studies
SHIPS (PhD): Social Sciences in Education
SHIPS (PhD): Sociology of Education

Research Interests

Alternative Schooling | Educational Policy | Higher Education | Leadership and Organization | Lifelong Learning

See a full list of GSE Faculty research interests >

Recent Publications

Kindel, A. T., & Stevens, M. L. (2021). What is educational entrepreneurship? Strategic action, temporality, and the expansion of US higher education. THEORY AND SOCIETY.

Stevens, M. L. (2021). Indebted: How Families Make College Work at Any Cost. AMERICAN JOURNAL OF SOCIOLOGY, 126(5), 1302–1304.

Chaturapruek, S., Dalberg, T., Thompson, M. E., Giebel, S., Harrison, M. H., Johari, R., … Kizilcec, R. F. (2021). Studying Undergraduate Course Consideration at Scale. AERA OPEN, 7.

Mitchell L. Stevens in the News & Media

Stanford-led research finds that college application essay content is strongly related to household income and SAT scores.
April 4, 2021
Professor Mitchell Stevens puts forward a proposal for two new U.S. government programs to bridge the divide between higher education and the workforce system.
October 13, 2020
Professor Mitchell Stevens discusses why parents might see traditional schooling as risky.
September 13, 2020
Vanity Fair
Professor Mitchell Stevens considers the pandemic's long-term impact on colleges and universities.
July 8, 2020
Professor Mitchell Stevens talks about the uncertainties facing colleges in re-opening during the COVID-19 pandemic.
June 15, 2020
Treating online and in-person instruction as essentially equal puts residential universities in an awkward position, says Associate Professor Mitchell Stevens.
May 17, 2020
August 8, 2018
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