Education and Inequality Cross-Disciplinary Team

Apply to the Ph.D. in Education

Schooling offers the opportunity for social and economic mobility. Education also can maintain and harden social stratification. The inaugural Cross Disciplinary Research Team (CRT) will study the intersection of access and identity as two key areas informing consideration of education and inequality. Multiple research problems are being considered and will be refined with the input of the inaugural cohort of doctoral students. Areas of questioning include gender, citizen, disability, ethnic, racial, and conflict related identity as they intersect with access to K-12, higher education and social services. The CRT agenda may include questions such as:
  • How does exposure to positive psychology based interventions in K-12 settings affect post-secondary enrollment and success for students with disabilities? What defines resilience and how is it measured?
  • What is the experience and impact of stereotyping on student performance?
  • What policies and structures facilitate higher education retention, performance and completion for marginalized populations?
  • How do higher education systems react to unanticipated streams of migrants seeking access? Are there differences in the experience of first and second generation immigrants?
  • How is immigration influencing adolescent perspectives on global civic and political views?
  • What is the relationship between adolescent national identity and perspectives on gender and racial inequality?
When inequality is present, social and economic differences often harden identities causing conflict and unrest. Join our CRT and search for ways to create opportunities for learning, civic education, economic advancement and social mobility.

Admission Requirements


This degree will be accepting applications for a 2021 start only.


Master’s degree in a field relevant to the proposed cross-disciplinary graduate study.


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

Standardized Test Scores

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. Letters will document potential for analytical thinking, research skills/experiences, scholarly writing capabilities, and capacity to explore cross-disciplinary/complex issues.

Statement of Purpose

An essay of less than 1200 words, in which the candidate states his/her purpose in undertaking cross-disciplinary graduate study including: (a) rationale for seeking a Ph.D. in the specified cross-disciplinary research focus; (b) articulation of personal research interests; and (c) how his/her background and related qualifications have prepared him/her for this work and will align with long term goals. Please list your specified CRT at the top of your statement of purpose.

Curriculum Vitae

Current curriculum vitae.

Writing Requirement (Optional)

Candidates are encouraged 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 an example of the candidate’s research skills, as well as her/his engagement with scholarship in pursuing his/her research interests.


Interviews will include a presentation by the applicant of her/his work, and the skills and knowledge that make them prepared to undertake PhD study in topics of the Cross-Disciplinary Research Team.

For more information on any of these requirements, please visit our Admissions FAQ page.


Admitted students will be assigned an advising committee consisting of a primary and secondary advisor. Students will work with their primary advisor prior to the first semester to specify classes to be taken to complete the degree.

Required courses in Educational Foundations (12 credits)

SEHD 8100 Experimental Course/ Foundations of Education I and II (taken twice; 3 credits each time)
SEHD 8100 Experimental Course/Pro-Seminar (taken twice: 3 credits each time)

Research methods (12 credits)

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

6 credits from the following:
EDUC 8130 Survey Research Methods (3 credits)
EDUC 8131 Case Study Research Methods (3 credits)
EDUC 8140 Ethnographic Research Methods (3 credits)
EDUC 8142 Phenomenological Research Methods (3 credits)
EDUC 8144 Discourse Analysis (3 credits)
EDUC 8170 Educational Measurement (3 credits)
EDUC 8171 Predictive Designs and Analyses (3 credits)
EDUC 8172 Multivariate Analysis (3 credits)
EDUC 8173 Structural Equation Modeling (3 credits)
SEHD 8100 Experimental Course/(Advanced research method) (3 credits)

Cross-disciplinary concentration (24 credits)

Graduate-level courses determined in consultation with the advisor at the time of admission. Course selections are determined by the focus of the cross-disciplinary research team and the specific interests of the student.

Dissertation research (12 credits)

SEHD 8999 Dissertation Research

The successful completion of:

  • Second-year research project
  • Comprehensive examination
  • Oral dissertation proposal defense
  • Dissertation
  • Dissertation oral defense
Associate Professor
(202) 994-0272
Associate Professor
(202) 994-0623
Associate Professor
(202) 994-0997
Associate Professor
(202) 994-4959
Associate Professor
(571) 553-3787
Associate Professor
(202) 994-4672
Associate Professor
(202) 994-9860
(202) 994-2263
Transformation Begins Here

Learn more about the Cross-Disciplinary Doctorate in Education and Inequality program located on campus (202-994-3023).

In the News

GSEHD student Kelber Tozini (PhD, Education and Inequality CRT), had a book review published in the Journal of International Students entitled, "Global Perspectives on International Student Experiences in Higher Education."

Drs. Natalie Milman and Beth Tuckwiller published an article entitled, "Fostering blended and online students' well-being" in the journal Distance Learning [17(1), 48-52]. In addition, Drs.

Dr. Arshad I. Ali published a new book entitled, Critical Youth Research in Education - Methodologies of Praxis and Care.

GSEHD doctoral student Kelber Tozini (Education and Inequality CRT) published a paper entitled, "Faculty Development and Dissemination of Knowledge on Active Learning by Higher Education Leaders - A Case Study" in the International Journal on Active Learning.

Dr. Laura Engel co-authored the article, "Laboratories, Coproducers, and Venues: Roles Played by Subnational Governments in Standards-Based Reforms in Four Federations" in the journal, Comparative Education Review.