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
Assistant Professor
(202) 994-0272
Associate Professor
(202) 994-0623
Associate Professor
(202) 994-0997
Associate Professor
(202) 994-4959
Associate Professor
(571) 553-3787
Assistant 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 faculty and students participated in the Council for Exceptional Children's Convention and Expo in Portland, Oregon. Dr. Lisa RiceDr. Beth Tuckwiller, doctoral candidate Susan Jaffe, and doctoral student Emily Baker presented work titled, "Why Do We Stay?

Drs. Elisabeth Kutscher and Beth Tuckwiller had their manuscript "A Mixed Methods Study of K-12 Influences on College Participation for Students with Disabilities" accepted for publication in Career Development and Transition for Exceptional Individuals.

Dr. Lionel Howard was invited by The Center for Innovative Teaching, Learning, and Engagement (CITLE), at Clark Atlanta University (a HBCU), to give a presentation entitled "Engaging Social Justice-Oriented Research." The center provides professional development opportunities to engage faculty in innovation and excellence in teaching, learning and scholarship that will further the goals of the undergraduate curriculum at the University.

Dr. Bernhard Streitwieser co-lead a three-day conference at Herrenhausen Palace in Hanover, Germany in June funded by the Volkswagen Foundation: “Studium gleich Integration? [Does Higher Education Promote Integration? The Dynamics of Integration and Academic Success for Students of Refugee Background at German Universities]. He gave the opening remarks and moderated a panel of international researchers on “International Comparisons: What Can we Learn from International Initiatives and What Can they Learn from Germany?”

GSEHD doctoral student Harriet Fox (Ph.D., Education Inequality, Access and Identity CRT) participated in the 6th Annual D.C. Public Health Case Challenge at the National Academy of Sciences. Along with three other GW students representing the Milken Institute School of Public Health and the School of Medicine, the GW team was awarded the Practicality Prize. The GW team’s Project ART PAC (Adolescents Resisting Tobacco and Partnering Alongside Communities) proposed a multifaceted intervention that would provide a continuum of support for young people from middle school through young adulthood, using arts education and integration with the existing D.C. Youth Prevention Leadership Corps. Dr. Beth Tuckwiller was the GW Team Faculty Co-Advisor.