Comparative and International Education Cross-Disciplinary Team

Apply to the Ph.D. in Education

Our Comparative and International Education Cross-Disciplinary Team will research education as a means of developing individuals, communities, nations, and the world, as well as the institutions that support educational improvement and the common good. With focus on migration issues, armed and social conflict, the undeveloped capabilities of marginalized groups, and the need for local/global development of human capacity, this team will work to answer questions such as:

  • How do the academic trajectories of 1st generation immigrants vary in relation to educational interventions in middle school? A secondary analysis of ELS: 2000—Educational Longitudinal Study of 2002.
  • How does public discourse about international students affect state and federal and institutional policies for international education?
  • How are U.S. higher education institutions responding to increasingly restrictive anti-migration policies and a growing wave of xenophobic activity?
  • How do ethnic relations mediate the implementation of mother-tongue instruction in three post-British colonial countries in Africa?
  • Does participation in a high school education abroad program lead to positive youth, racial, and intercultural identity development?
  • How do educational stakeholders in three systems use international large-scale assessments in education policy-making?
  • How does decision-making related to international schooling compare among the global middle classes in three countries?
  • How does the formal and informal teaching of civics vary in U.S. schools with more and less cosmopolitan-oriented student bodies?



Master’s degree in a field relevant to teaching and learning is required.


Official transcripts from every institution attended whether or not a degree was completed; graduate and undergraduate.

Standardized Test Scores

GRE is optional. Official GRE Test scores not older than five years. International students must also submit TOEFL scores not older than two years. TOEFL score minimum for admission is 100 on the Internet-based or 600 paper-based; IELTS of 7.0. The institutional code is 5246.

Recommendations Required

Three (3) letters of recommendation, with one preferred from a professor in the applicant’s Master’s degree program.

Statement of Purpose

An essay of 1200 words or less, through which the candidate clearly identifies the purpose in undertaking cross-disciplinary graduate study in teaching and learning that includes: (a) rationale for seeking a Ph.D. in Comparative and International Education; (b) articulation of academic objectives, personal research interests and how those align with what Washington, DC, GW as an institution, GSEHD as an education school offers, how the applicant feels they will benefit from training with the faculty in the program and across the university; and (c) how the applicant’s background and related qualifications prepared for this work and align with long-term goals.

Curriculum Vitae

Current curriculum vitae.

Writing Requirement

Candidates are required to submit a current writing sample. The sample should reflect the candidate’s abilities to articulate complex ideas and to utilize evidence in support of his/her arguments. The writing sample should also provide evidence of the candidate’s research skills and engagement with scholarship.


Interviews may be required. Applicants should be prepared to discuss the alignment of their research interests with those of the program faculty,

Application Deadline

The application deadline for Fall 2022 has passed.  For information on applying for Fall 2023 admission, please contact our Admission Office at or at 202.994.9283.


Core Classes for Ph.D. (12 total credits)

Foundations I, II (3, 3)
ProSeminar I, II (3, 3)

Research Methods: Core (9 credits)

EDUC 8120 Group Comparison Designs and Analyses (3)
EDUC 8122 Qualitative Research Methods (3)
EDUC 8171 Predictive Designs and Analyses (3)

International Education Core (9 total credits)

EDUC 6601 International and Comparative Education (3)
EDUC 8xxx Social Theory for Comparative Educators (3)
EDUC 8xxx Research in International/Intercultural Contexts (3)

Second Year Project

For example: head starts and invisible barriers: Interviews with immigrant 16 year olds in the national capital as they look to the future

Structured Individualized Coursework (18 total credits)

PPOL 8022 Econometrics for Policy Research-II (3), or PSC 8122—Longitudinal Analysis (3)
SOC 6230 Sociological Research Methods
EDUC 81XX Analysis of Secondary Data and Complex Survey Design (wish list of courses to be developed)
SOC 6246 Comparative Race and Ethnicity
SOC 6268 Race, Gender and Class
SOC 6252 Current Issues in Immigration Policy
SOC 6238 Seminar: Development of Sociological Theory
SOC 6239 Contemporary Sociological Theory
SMPA 6602 Media Effects, Public Opinion, and Persuasion (3)
SMPA 6204 Strategic Political Communication (3)
SMPA 6242 Analytics and Data Analysis for Strategic Communication (3)
EDUC 6640 International Education and Public Diplomacy (3), or EDUC 6640 International Development and Higher Education (3)

Comprehensive Examination Dissertation

EDUC 8999 Dissertation Research (12 credits, minimum)


Ali, Arshad Associate Professor, Educational Research
Engel, Laura Associate Professor, International Education and International Affairs
Green, Colin Academic Dean; Associate Professor, Curriculum and Pedagogy
Rotberg, Iris Research Professor, Education Policy
Streitwieser, Bernhard Associate Professor, International Education and International Affairs
Williams, James Professor, International Education and International Affairs