UC Santa Barbara General CatalogUniversity of California, Santa Barbara


Department of Education
Gevirtz Graduate School of Education
Education Building 3102
Telephone: (805) 893-4515
Website: http://education.ucsb.edu/education
Chair: Mian Wang

Graduate Program

The Department of Education prepares highly capable individuals to perform as researchers, scholars, and skilled professionals in the field of Education at universities and school districts, as well as for a variety of companies, nonprofit organizations, and governmental agencies that work with children and communities. The department offers a doctor of philosophy in Education as well as two options for the master’s degree. Most students pursue the doctorate. Doctoral applicants who do not have a master’s degree should apply for both the M.A. and Ph.D. Students admitted to an M.A./Ph.D. program may elect to exit the program with completion of the master’s degree.

The research master’s degree option prepares students to enter a doctoral program, either here or at another university. The professional master’s option is designed to enhance academic and research competencies of elementary or secondary school teachers and other educational leaders. All master’s degree course requirements are a subset of the doctoral requirements.

Students study in one of three Program Areas. These are:

Culture, Language, and Human Development (CLHD)

Faculty in CLHD take multidisciplinary research perspectives that bring anthropological, linguistic, psychological, and sociological theories to studies of children, youth, and adults in cultural contexts of education and other lifeworld activities. Areas of culture and human development include studies of lifelong learning and development, as well as the socialization of children, youth, and adults from diverse cultural and linguistic backgrounds in a variety of national and international settings. Areas of culture and language include first and second language learning, sociolinguistics, bilingualism/multilingualism of ESL/ELL and heritage learners, language socialization, sociolinguistics of education, language and identity, and the use of technology in language teaching and learning in the schools.

Policy, Program Evaluation, and Research Methods (PPRM)

Faculty in PPRM pursue programs of research that focus on the exploration of both substantive and methodological questions. Substantively, faculty examine the ways in which the broader contexts of education can be affected by the policies and practices of educational organizations and their leaders, and in turn, how those policies and practices can affect the lives of people both inside and outside educational settings. Methodologically, faculty research the application of diverse quantitative and qualitative approaches to the analysis of educational data, the development and assessment of new analytic approaches, and the evaluation of effective policies and practices. Students who work within this area will gain a multidisciplinary perspective on policy and practice that focus directly on issues of diversity and equity, and will receive comprehensive and rigorous training in the design and analysis of quantitative and qualitative data.

Learning, Teaching, and Teacher Education (LTTE)

Faculty in LTTE focus on issues related to learning, teaching, and teacher education. There are four sub-areas of focus within LTTE. (1) Faculty in the STEM Education area examine mathematics, science, engineering, and technology teaching and learning in both formal and informal contexts, ranging from preschool through college to teacher education, with a focus on diversity and equity issues. (2) Faculty in Special Education investigate autism; learning (including reading) disabilities; developmental risks; instruction and behavioral supports for students with mild, moderate, and severe disabilities; family support for families of children with disabilities; teacher education and professional development; and cross-cultural comparative study on inclusive education. (3) Faculty in the Teacher Education and Professional Development area examine the development of, influences on, and consequences of teaching practices in and out of school. Research interests include preservice teacher education; the professional development of practicing teachers; the development of subject matter and pedagogical knowledge; curriculum formation and implementation; teacher thinking, problem-finding, and decision-making; educational relations among teachers, students, and their communities; and the relationship between what teachers do and what students learn. (4) Faculty in the Literacy Education area examine issues in composition and rhetoric, including history and theory of composition and writing instruction; writing in the disciplines and writing across the curriculum; assessment of writing; sociolinguistics of literacy, including classroom discourse and the construction of knowledge; and the impact of digital technologies on writing and communication.

All doctoral students fulfill the same basic course and milestone requirements. Students pursuing a research master's have a set of course and milestone requirements that are different from students pursuing a professional master's. Particular requirements will be made by faculty advisors in cases where students need specialized skills in foreign language or other areas. Doctoral students must pass qualifying examinations to be advanced to candidacy. Doctoral candidates must conduct original research and write an acceptable dissertation to be awarded the Ph.D.


Applicants must submit the online Application for Graduate Study through the Graduate Division (www.graddiv.ucsb.edu). Admission to the program is based on past academic record, intellectual promise, professional experience, and programmatic fit. Required application materials include a detailed statement of purpose, official transcripts, and 3 letters of recommendation. Degree applicants may submit a writing sample based on your research experience (i.e., thesis, term paper, etc.).

In addition to departmental requirements for admission, applicants must also fulfill the university requirements for admission as described in the “Graduate Education” section of the UCSB online catalog. The final admission deadline is December 1 for doctoral students. Master’s students can apply by December 1 for primary consideration or by May 16 for secondary consideration.

See the Gevirtz School web site for specific program and department admission requirements: www.education.ucsb.edu.

Master of Arts – Education: Strand I (Requirements - PDF)

Master of Arts – Education: Strand II (Requirements - PDF)

Doctor of Philosophy – Education (Requirements - PDF)

Optional Interdisciplinary Emphases

Students pursuing a doctoral degree in Education may petition to add the following Optional Interdisciplinary Ph.D. Emphases: Applied Linguistics; Black Studies; Climate Sciences and Climate Change; Cognitive Science; Environment and Society; Feminist Studies; Global Studies; Information Technology and Society; Language, Interaction, and Social Organization; Quantitative Methods in the Social Sciences; Writing Studies.