The PhD program in Education is committed to a multidisciplinary approach to educational theory and research as well as to developing educational environments that are just, relevant, and rigorous.

CGU’s PhD program in Education is designed for working professionals interested in applying theory and research to important challenges in the field of education. You’ll conduct research in a diverse community of mature professionals who bring a wealth of educational experience to their scholarly endeavors. Faculty-scholars knowledgeable in education, sociology, cultural studies, philosophy, psychology, law, and more will help you design a PhD program that fits your individual background, interests, and educational goals, connecting you to disciplines outside education to broaden your perspective. Our program produces administrators, scholars, and educators who promote equity, excellence, accountability, and social justice in every area of education.

Program Highlights
  • Flexible programming for working and commuting professionals. Most classes meet once a week at 4:00 or 7:00 pm, and others are held on weekends.
  • Apply up to 20 MA units of graduate work to your PhD
  • Enjoy small, interactive classes. You will also work closely with a faculty mentor who helps you navigate your way through graduate school based upon your specific aspirations and interests.
  • Take some or all the classes needed to concurrently earn an Allies of Dreamers certificate. The first program of its kind nationally, Allies of Dreamers is a graduate‐level certificate program that provides the historical context, theoretical framework, and specific knowledge needed by K12 teachers and administrators, student affairs professionals in higher education, and community leaders to offer mentorship and advocacy for Dreamers and other undocumented students.
  • Join a well-established network of alumni from the School of Educational Studies. There are educators across the nation (and especially prevalent in California) who are ready to welcome new students as kindred spirits and advocates of “the CGU Way.”
  • For those interested in a cohort-model PhD program for working professionals in urban K–16 education, check out our Urban Leadership PhD in Education program.

Program at a Glance

72 units

4-7 years (depending upon full- or part-time status)

*Actual completion times will vary and may be higher, depending on full- or part-time course registration, units transferred, and time to complete other degree requirements.

Fall | Spring | Summer

PhD in Education

Featured Courses

EDUC 667
Research & Theory on Effective Schools & Teachers

Examines the literature on school and teacher effectiveness particularly as it relates to academically vulnerable children, adolescents, and young adults, as well as studying the history and current status of the achievement gap by race, language, and economic status.

EDUC 657
Access & Equity in Higher Education

Introduces the research, theoretical, and practical issues surrounding access to college and equity in higher education institutions as they relate to racial/ethnic minority groups and socioeconomic status.

EDUC 502
Preparing Highly Effective & Socially Just Educators

Introduces empirical and conceptual scholarship on preparing highly effective and socially-just educators in current accountability and social contexts. Explores the preparation of highly effective and socially-just educators, critical questions and perspectives, and implications for policy, practice, and research.

EDUC 425
Race & Racism in Education

Broadens student understanding of the foundations of racial inequities in education and how racism has shaped students’ educational experiences and outcomes.

EDUC 424
Gender & Education

Examines the historical and current debate surrounding the historical impact of gender on education—in particular the role of race, ethnicity, immigrant status, religion, sexual orientation, and social class.

EDUC 434
Inclusive Pedagogy

Introduces and analyzes inclusive pedagogies and practices in K-12 and higher education. Explores the differences between inclusion, equity, and diversity in education and educational experiences.

Degree Concentrations

Choosing a degree concentration is optional. Whether you choose one of the official concentrations below or not, you will be paired with a faculty mentor, and together design a doctoral program custom-fit to your aspirations and interests. Past students have focused on a myriad of topics, including gender equity, policy (sometimes focusing on the school, district, state or federal level), the school-to-prison pipeline, learning pedagogies, and family/school/community partnerships, professional development for K-12 educators, and undocumented youth.

Higher Education/Student Affairs

Take an approach to study based on a multidisciplinary view of theory and research and a commitment to developing educational environments that are just, relevant, and rigorous.

Learn more about HE/SA

K12 Education & Equity

Prepare for a career as a forward-thinking educator who focuses upon the important roles schools play to support our diverse communities.

Learn more about K12 Education & Equity

Urban Leadership

Join an innovative cohort program designed to meet the needs of urban K–14 educational leaders who have a demonstrated potential for leadership in education or a related field.

Learn more about UL

Program Features

Faculty & Research

  • Deborah Faye Carter profile image

    Deborah Faye Carter

    Associate Professor of Higher Education

    Research Interests

    Higher education; transition to college; college student outcomes; access to college; race in education; mentoring, equity, and diverse learning environments in STEM

  • David Drew profile image

    David Drew

    Professor of Education
    Joseph B. Platt Chair in the Management of Technology

    Research Interests

    STEM education, data science, model building, technology development and management

  • DeLacy Ganley profile image

    DeLacy Ganley

    Dean, School of Educational Studies
    Professor of Education

    Research Interests

    Culturally relevant education; resiliency and achievement of marginalized populations; intersection of families, community, and school; language acquisition; social capital theory; systems theory

  • Tom Luschei profile image

    Tom Luschei

    Professor of Education

    Research Interests

    International and Comparative Education; Economics of Education; Teacher Quality, Teacher Policy, and Teacher Distribution; Education Policy across the Americas; Bilingual Education Policy and Practice

  • Dina C. Maramba profile image

    Dina C. Maramba

    Professor of Education

    Research Interests

    Equity and diversity issues in higher education; theory and practice in student affairs; college student development; access and retention; first-generation college students; Asian American and Pacific Islander populations; minority serving institutions

  • Susan J. Paik profile image

    Susan J. Paik

    Professor of Education

    Research Interests

    Educational productivity; talent and leader development; giftedness and creativity; learning and achievement; psychosocial and environmental factors; urban and international studies; underserved students; Asian Americans and education; family-school-community partnerships; research methods, design, and evaluation

  • Linda Perkins profile image

    Linda Perkins

    University Professor
    Director, Applied Gender Studies

    Research Interests

    Women and African-American higher education, history and contemporary issues on women in higher education, especially Black women, global gender issues.

  • Mary Simpson Poplin profile image

    Mary Simpson Poplin

    Senior Research Fellow
    Professor Emerita

    Research Interests

    Highly effective teachers in Los Angeles area; effective teaching methods; students, schools and poverty; differences between Judeo Christian and secular thought; Mother Teresa (worked with her in 1996)

  • Guan K. Saw profile image

    Guan K. Saw

    Associate Professor of Education

    Research Interests

    Educational inequality; diversity and inclusion; STEM education and workforce; college access and success; sociology of education; educational psychology; educational evaluation and policy analysis; quantitative, qualitative, and mixed methods; health disparities

  • Deborah Deutsch Smith profile image

    Deborah Deutsch Smith

    Professor Emerita of Education

    Research Interests

    Special education, Special education faculty, Disability policy, Learning disabilities, Cross-cultural and inclusive education

  • Torie Weiston-Serdan profile image

    Torie Weiston-Serdan

    Clinical Assistant Professor
    Director, MA in Community Engaged Education & Social Change

    Research Interests

    Critical mentoring; critical youth work; non-profits and social enterprises; diversity and equity; non-profits and philanthropy; youth-serving non-profits; culturally sustaining pedagogy; abolitionist teaching; Black Feminism in education; learning and teaching

  • Carl Cohn profile image

    Carl Cohn

    Senior Research Fellow
    Professor Emeritus

    Research Interests

    Education, Urban education, Education policy

  • Daryl G. Smith profile image

    Daryl G. Smith

    Senior Research Fellow
    Professor Emerita

    Research Interests

    Organizational implications of diversity, Assessment and evaluation, Leadership and change, Governance, Diversity in STEM fields, Faculty diversity

  • Eligio Martinez profile image

    Eligio Martinez

    Senior Research Fellow

    Research Interests

    P-20 education pipeline; college access and retention; community colleges; boys and men of color; middle school education; Chicana/o and Latina/o Students

Where You Can Find Our Alumni

Request information about the Education program

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Gabriela Krupa

Associate Director of Admissions
T: 909-607-9101