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Cultural Foundations of Education, Ph.D.

The Ph.D. program in Cultural Foundations of Education is a community of scholars focused on fundamental inquiry into the nature of education, and using their work to teach future scholars or make an impact of the field of education.

The Department of Cultural Foundations of Education is unique in how flexible and customizable our programs are for students among other Foundations or Philosophy of Education programs. Each student’s program is individually designed in close collaboration with our faculty, based on personal, professional, and research interests. The department and programs have maintained our identity and individuality, preserving distinctive critical and foundational perspectives that the program takes to the study of educational issues.

This program offers particularly strong resources in qualitative research training, giving our graduates a competitive advantage for faculty or research positions. You will explore, compare, and contrast research methodological frameworks to help you shape the conceptualization, design, and process of your educational research. Personalized student research combines varied research approaches such as philosophical analysis with empirical work, or historical research with policy analysis. Development as a researcher will be accelerated by opportunities to work with faculty members on their research, writing, consulting, and participation in professional conferences.

Students develop awareness and understanding of the complexities across different intellectual and interdisciplinary approaches to the study of education, while also developing an expertise through a single program concentration that directly aligns to faculty expertise:

  • Anthropology of Education
  • Disability Studies
  • Gender and Education
  • History of Education
  • Philosophy of Education
  • Popular Culture
  • Race, Racism, and Education
  • Sociology of Education

Expertise in teaching and instruction is also developed with the department and with participation in the Future Professoriate Program. This includes orientations, year-round services for teaching assistants, and opportunities to co-teach with fellow doctoral students and department faculty, guest lecture, and independent instruction.

Alumni of the Cultural Foundations of Education Ph.D. program work in a broad range of academic and policy contexts, including teaching and administration at some of the top universities in the country, research and policy work, and working with foundations, NGOs, or K-12 schools and districts.

Program Contacts

Barbara Applebaum, Chair of Cultural Foundations of Education; Professor
bappleba@syr.edu|315.443.3702
Barbara Applebaum
Maryann Barker, Office Coordinator
mabarker@syr.edu|315.443.3343
Maryann Barker
Speranza Migliore, Assistant Director of Graduate Admissions and Recruitment
smiglior@syr.edu|315.443.2505