PhD in Critical and Sociocultural Studies in Education

Course Requirements  |  Program Requirements  |  Availability of Courses  |  Seminar: Scholarly Development  |  Research Apprenticeship  |  Comprehensive Exams, Advancement to Candidacy, and Dissertation

The PhD in critical and sociocultural studies in education (CSSE) requires successful completion of a minimum of 135 graduate credits. Of these, at least 84 credits must be earned after admission to the program.

All credits are assumed to be graduate-level courses, unless otherwise specified.

CSSE Handbook

Course Requirements

CSSE students must complete the course category, credit hour, and specific course requirements. These include:

Program Requirements — Total Credits: 130

Core Courses - 48 Credits

course and Title CREDITS

Required Core Courses:

EDST 662 Curriculum Theory: Contesting Educational Content
EDST 654 Learning and Motivational Sciences
EDST 661 Sociology: From Reproduction to Resistance
EDST 675 Indigenous Methodologies


Elective Core Courses:

Three additional core courses in EDST from at least two of these emphasis areas:

  • Cultural and Linguistic Context of Schools (CLS) – Study of the cultural and linguistic foundations of educational processes
  • Psychological Studies in Education (PS) – Study of the psychology of learning, motivation, teacher decision making, and assessment
  • Social Context of Education (SC) – Study of the social and economic influences on teaching learning, and schooling
  • Teacher Education (TE) – Study of the scholarship of preparing teachers to instruct in K–12 classrooms

Chosen with consent of advisor. May not be transferred in. May include courses in other departments and colleges, if courses are education related, and if approved by advisor.


Grant Writing Seminar

EDST 667 Grant Writing: Finding Funders


Thesis Writing Seminar

EDST 666 Thesis Writing


Seminar: Scholarly Development

EDST 607 Seminar

2-credit courses taken the first year of the program


Research Apprenticeship

EDST 601 Research

2 credits each quarter; taken during the second year of the program


Research Courses - 36 Credits

course and Title CREDITS

Philosophy of Research

EDST 670 Philosophy of Research


Required Qualitative Research Courses

EDUC 630 Qualitative Methodology I: Interpretivist Inquiry
EDUC 632 Qualitative Methodology II: Postcritical Inquiry


Quantitative Research Prerequisites

EDUC 612 Social Science Research Design


Required Quantitative Research Courses

EDUC 614 Educational Statistics
EDUC 640 Applied Statistical Design and Analysis


Additional Research Methodology Courses (select with advisor consent)

Four additional courses focused on either qualitative or quantitative research chosen with consent of advisor. May include courses from other departments outside the department and College of Education.

COE Qualitative options:
EDUC 634 Qualitative Methodology III: Posthumanist Inquiry
EDUC 636 Advanced Qualitative Methodology: New Materialisms
EDST 673 Advanced Qualitative Methodology: Arts-Based Approaches

COE Quantitative options:
EDUC 642 Multiple Regression & Educ Research
EDUC 644 Applied Multivariate Statistics
EDUC 646 Advanced Research Design


Cognate - 12 Credits

course and Title CREDITS

Discipline Oriented

A set of thematically organized doctoral-level courses taken outside the Department of Education Studies. These are usually taken all within one department (e.g., philosophy, psychology, anthropology, etc.) 500-level courses may be approved by advisor or program director.


Elective - 12 Credits

course and Title CREDITS

Interest Oriented

This is a minimum, not a maximum, and represents courses chosen with approval of faculty advisor. Some or all of these may be transfer credits.


Advancement - 22 Credits

course and Title CREDITS

Comprehensive Exam

EDST 605 Reading for Comprehensive Exam 
Students enroll in this course during the quarter they plan to take their comprehensive exam.


Dissertation Hours

EDST 603 Dissertation 
Enroll in a minimum of 3 credit hours after advancing to candidacy (9 hours if serving as a GE); a minimum total of 18 hours of dissertation credit required for degree.


Elective Core Courses

course and Title CREDITS

Cultural and Linguistic Studies

EDST 610 Second Language Literacy
EDST 662 Curriculum Theory: Contesting Educational Content (Required)
EDST 663 Education and Immigration



Psychological Studies

EDST 654 Learning and Motivational Sciences (Required)
EDST 655 Creativity and Conformity in Classrooms



Social Context

EDST 660 Urban Schools: History and Politics
EDST 661 Sociology: From Reproduction to Resistance (Required)



Teacher Education

EDST 610 Participatory Action Research
EDST 650 Teacher Education: Policy and Practice
EDST 652 Teacher Education: Analyzing Foundational Concepts



Availability of Courses

  • Education studies (EDST) and College of Education (EDUC) PhD-level courses are offered on a rotating basis.
  • To ensure timely completion of course requirements, students are required to enroll in the EDST courses being offered during the first two years of their program.
    • This creates an intellectual community around shared ideas within the cohort and ensures that PhD classes reach the minimal enrollment needed to be offered.
  • One PhD-level core course will be offered in fall, winter, and spring terms, provided there is need and sufficient enrollment.
    • In the event that does not happen (due to changes in faculty, sabbaticals, etc.) courses that can help students make progress in their program of study will be identified in collaboration with the student’s advisor.
    • Summer courses are also offered as need and resources permit.

Seminar: Scholarly Development – Year 1

Students are responsible for enrolling in EDST 607 Seminar: Scholarly Development, a 2-credit per term professional development seminar during their first year.

  • This seminar focuses on building community in the cohort and serves as an occasion for collective advising about program requirements.
  • Students set goals, make plans to attend conferences, are coached on crafting paper proposals to conferences, and discuss other aspects of professional academic work.

Research Apprenticeship – Year 2

During their second year, students are responsible for enrolling in three consecutive terms of EDST 601: Research Apprenticeship, for a total of seven credits for the academic year.

  • This course is designed to give students “hands on” scholarly research experience. The apprenticeship involves partnering with a particular faculty member to contribute to ongoing research project(s) over the course of the academic year.

Comprehensive Exams, Advancement to Candidacy, and Dissertation

Upon completion of 100 credits of course work, students are expected to arrange to take their comprehensive exams during the fall or spring term of year three of the program.

  • During this term, students should register for EDST 605: Reading for Comps (4 credits).
  • After passage of the comprehensive exams, completion of all required courses (except dissertation credits), and advancement to candidacy, students begin the dissertation process.

Detailed information concerning all category requirements is outlined in our current student handbook that you will receive when you enroll.