Education and Inequality Cross-Disciplinary Team

The Cross Disciplinary Research Team (CRT) will study the intersection of power, race, place, and identity as key areas informing consideration of education and inequality. Areas of inquiry include race, gender, sexuality, citizenship, (dis)ability, and power as these concepts relate to identity and intersect with access to k-20 education, out of school learning, and social services. We focus on understanding the intersections of communities, families, schools, service providers, and children as part of the larger society and world in which they exist. Example topics that students and faculty in the Education and Inequality Cross-Disciplinary Team may explore include:


  • Communities, Youth and Schools
  • How do students experience systems of privilege and oppression differently as they move between their institutions and home communities and how does navigating these different spaces impact their learning and development?
  • How does the history and practices of white supremacy and settler colonialism continue to find resonance in the lives and schooling experiences of students in the United States?
  • How do families, communities and schools contribute to the identity development and socialization of minoritized children, adolescents and young adults?
  • How do queer students and faculty navigate heteronormative academic spaces?
  • Higher Education
  • What policies and structures facilitate higher education retention, performance and completion for marginalized, minoritized, (im)migrant, and/or BIPOC student populations?
  • How do student affairs practitioners develop an anti-oppressive praxis to counteract systems of oppression that have been historically embedded within institutions of higher education?
  • (Dis)Ability & Capability
  • What are the experiences of individuals identified with (dis)abilities in educational spaces?
  • How do socio-political constructions of (dis)ability and normative ideologies influence the educational and developmental experiences of individuals identified by others (or self-identified) as being (dis)abled ?
  • How do hierarchies of capability interact with race, class, and/or gender over the course of an individual’s educational and developmental experiences?
  • Global Difference and Belonging
  • How do schools and educational programs influence adolescent national and racial identity, and perspectives of belonging?
  • How do indigenous and subaltern peoples as well as members of other marginalized groups (minoritized communities, working children, children-affected by conflict) experience and make sense of the education system of the majority, in countries outside the US?
  • Educational Policy and Leadership
  • How have educational institutions (k-20) responded to the ongoing national protests against racial violence?
  • How do the projects of policing, militarism, and carcerality structure the learning and teaching experiences of teachers, families, and students in and out of the United States?
  • How might narratives of leadership practice inform mechanisms to counter hegemonic systems, policies and unjust practices in schools and/or educational institutions?
  • Pedagogy
  • How can anti-oppressive pedagogies inform how we teach and learn, how we make choices regarding teaching and learning enactments of inclusion and exclusion, of marginalized and minoritized people and communities in education?
  • What is the experience and impact of stereotyping on student performance?
  • Inner-Lives in Educational Spaces
  • What is the subjective experience and inner meaning of racialization, gendering, and other forms of social normalization for particular students, teachers, and community members?
  • How might practices of self-analysis, self-reflexivity, and subjective reconstruction (e.g., autobiography, psychoanalysis, and aesthetic creation and perception) inform educational projects committed to understanding and dismantling systems of oppression?

Join our CRT and search for ways to create opportunities for understanding, disrupting, and dismantling systems of oppression that have adversely and disproportionately affected the lives of marginalized, minoritized (im)migrant and BIPOC student populations.



Admission Requirements



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

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. 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.'

Application Deadline

Please contact if you are interested in applying.

The application for this program is not currently open.  If you would like to be notified once it becomes available, please contact our Admission Office at or at 202.994.9283.



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



Ali, Arshad Associate Professor, Educational Research
Casemore, Brian Associate Professor, Curriculum and Pedagogy; English
Engel, Laura Associate Professor, International Education and International Affairs
Howard, Lionel C. Associate Professor, Educational Research
Nganga, Christine Assistant Professor, Education Administration
Tuckwiller, Beth Associate Professor and Department Chair, Special Education and Disability Studies


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