How can we develop schools that are more responsive to diverse communities? The CGU/SDSU joint PhD program in Education prepares you to contribute to the knowledge base that supports creation of educational programs and systems that are democratic and effective.

The mission of the Joint PhD program in Education offered by San Diego State University and Claremont Graduate University is to develop scholars committed to research on democratic schooling, social justice, and equal educational outcomes for all students, as well as the improvement of educational systems serving diverse communities. The PhD is awarded on the basis of the candidate’s achievement in these areas:

    • Understanding of diversity and its implications for education
    • Analysis and development of educational policy
    • Expertise in systemic organizational change
    • Application of theory and research-based knowledge to the transformation of communities
    • Use of effective educational practices, including tools available through technology
    • Contribution to the knowledge base in education

The student demonstrates these capabilities through coursework, qualifying exams, and completion of a dissertation under the supervision of a committee composed of faculty from both universities. Students complete a minimum of 24 units at San Diego State University and 24 units at Claremont Graduate University.

The program has been in existence since 1978, established under the leadership of Tomas Arciniega and Peggy Hawley at SDSU and Paul Albrecht, then dean of faculty at CGU. Since 1981, more than 190 education professionals have earned PhDs through the program, which offers the benefits of a large, comprehensive public university and a small private university within a transdisciplinary learning environment. Graduates are currently employed as school principals, superintendents and program directors, college and university faculty and administrators, educational specialists in private and public agencies, and consultants to schools and businesses.

Program Highlights
  • Both CGU and SDSU offer a broad range of doctoral seminars and other graduate courses in education and related fields. In consultation with faculty advisors from the two universities, students develop an individualized program of study appropriate to their particular interests and designed to support their development.
  • Faculty at SDSU and CGU bring diverse research and teaching interests to the study of democratic schooling, social justice, and diversity in education, with expertise in such areas as public policy, organizational theory and leadership, curriculum and instruction, bilingual and cross-cultural education, educational technology, and more.
  • Although full-time study is encouraged, most students in the program are working professionals. Full-time students can expect to complete the program in as little as three years; part-time study significantly extends the time for degree completion.
  • All applicants must have completed a master’s degree program prior to admission and reside in, or commit to relocating to, San Diego or Imperial counties.
  • Fall and spring classes at both schools are offered in the late afternoon and evening. A variety of courses are also available during the summer at CGU. Students are required to integrate their SDSU and CGU coursework.

Program at a Glance

72 units

4–7 years (depending on 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.

Claremont, CA | San Diego, CA


SDSU College of Education

PhD in Education

Featured Courses

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 413
Foundations of Educational Policy

Examines the challenges facing public education in the United States and the policy-driven reforms that are re-configuring the nation’s elementary and secondary schools.

EDUC 459
Historical Foundations in Higher Education

Explores major trends in American higher education from colonial times to the present in political, social, and economic contexts within which American higher education has evolved.

ED 820
Advanced Educational Statistics (SDSU)

Covers theory and practice of statistical inference for research in education, including probability and sampling theory, data collection and organization, computer applications in educational research, and more.

ED 804
English Learner Education (SDSU)

Analyzes existing models of English learner education designed to meet diverse linguistic and cultural needs of students in current sociopolitical contexts.

ED 806
Ethnically Diverse Learners (SDSU)

Explores national, state, and school policy directed at providing the minority learner with equal educational opportunity.

Areas of Concentration


Faculty & Research

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • Frances Marie Gipson profile image

    Frances Marie Gipson

    Clinical Professor of Education
    Director, Urban Leadership Program

    Research Interests

    Urban schooling; distributed leadership; social-emotional learning; culturally relevant and linguistically responsive education; systems theory; learning and achievement; talent and leadership development; P-20 school policy

  • Gwen Garrison profile image

    Gwen Garrison

    Clinical Professor of Education
    Director of Educational Evaluation and Data Analysis

    Research Interests

    Organizational effectiveness; diversity & inclusion; research & evaluation process; data systems; data management; data visualization and storytelling

  • 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)

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • Rebecca Hatkoff profile image

    Rebecca Hatkoff

    Clinical Assistant Professor

    Research Interests

    Critical Social Justice Teaching Competencies; Classroom and School Ecology; Effective and Empowering Pedagogy for all Students, Teacher Candidates, and Teachers; Strength-Based Views of Schools, Teachers, Students, Households, and Communities

  • 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

  • Jack H. Schuster profile image

    Jack H. Schuster

    Senior Research Fellow
    Professor Emeritus

  • Charles Kerchner profile image

    Charles Kerchner

    Senior Research Fellow
    Professor Emeritus

    Research Interests

    Institutional Change in Public Education

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Gabriela Krupa

Associate Director of Admissions
T: 909-607-9101