Sociology of Education PhD Programs

This program hopes to provide its students with the foundation to critically analyse the education systems of wherever they plan on working and potentially influence future policy in education to make it a more equitable environment. Schools offering Education degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Common Areas of Study in a Sociology of Education Ph.D. Program

The area known as sociology of education aims to give you an understanding of the role education plays in society, and how schools in and of themselves are communities, with power relationships, influences, and meta-communities. Ph.D. programs in this field discuss how education influences how people act or react in the wider world, and the long-term impacts a good or bad experience in education can have on individuals. For you, the student, the required and elective courses you take may have to be completed as early as possible before you can officially pursue your dissertation.

Sociology of Education

Given that this field can be considered rather niche, many programs give you the opportunity to learn more about the foundation of the field itself. You may explore how the type and quality of education within a society can be a reflection of the society as a whole. These courses may also introduce you to many of the prevailing theories of the field and give you a map as to whose research you should be considering when conducting your own research.

Educational Inequality

Educational inequality classes may ask you to look at how education differs due to a variety of inter-related factors, such as race, socio-economic status, disability, and geographical area. You may be asked to deeply analyze different policies, budgets, and curricula to possibly find reasons for this inequality or propose other reasons for why this may be occurring. You may see the long-term impacts of education inequality on students and their communities.

Culture Within Education

These courses analyze how different cultures value education and how miniature cultures can form within schools. You may look to answer questions such as 'How does attending this school affect students' view of themselves within the world?' You may analyze the social dynamics that occur between students or how the administration tries to instill certain values within the students.

Education Politics and Policy

Education is often a central point in many political campaigns, so it can be unsurprising that this topic may come up during your Ph.D. program. These courses may include analyzing policies both past and present to see what worked, what did not, and why these policies may or may not have worked. You may be asked to analyze how education is used in political campaigns and other promotional events to further a person's, or company's, own goals.

Research Methods

You may be expected to write a dissertation, and as such you will likely need to conduct research in order to bring new information into the field. A research methods course can give you the tools you need to successfully design and execute your research to bring back valid results. Whether you choose to take a qualitative, quantitative, or a mixed methods approach may dictate what information you need to pick up to successfully complete your project.

Admission Requirements for a Sociology of Education Ph.D. Program

To prepare an application for this program, you may be required to pull together a number of different documents. Some of the most common requirements include a resume, an academic writing sample, transcripts from all previous postsecondary institutions, and GRE scores. Programs may also ask you to write a statement of purpose explaining why you want to attend the program and what you hope to study and accomplish. They may also ask you for 2-3 letters of recommendation from previous instructors, supervisors, or other sources of authority. However, every school can have different requirements so be sure to carefully check whichever program(s) you plan on applying for.

In short, in the pursuit of a PhD in Sociology of Education you may have to come up with a plan of attack for your dissertation, which may have to be looked over by your advisor before you can start actually researching. You may also be required to take some coursework, including courses on research methods, education policy, and culture within education, to give you a foundation upon which you can build your own new research.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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The schools in the listing below are not free and may include sponsored content but are popular choices among our users. Tuition and costs will vary across programs and locations. Be sure to always request tuition information before starting a program.

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  • Liberty University

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  • University of Georgia

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