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Sociology and Education
Teachers College, Columbia University
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Sociology and Education

In the Department of Education Policy and Social Analysis

Degrees > Degree Programs

Degree Programs

The graduate program in Sociology and Education offers four degree programs: the M.A., the Ed.M., the Ed.D., and the Ph.D. Each program is designed to meet the needs of students with a particular combination of prior experience and career objectives. The M.A., Ed.M., and Ed.D. programs may be completed on a part-time basis with classes offered in the evening hours. The Ph.D. program requires full-time study. Although students from all of the degree programs in sociology and education are prepared to assume positions in educational institutions, the program does not offer teacher certification. Certification programs are available in other departments at Teachers College.

Master of Arts (M.A.)

Master of Arts (M.A., 32 points)

Program Requirements

Master of Arts Degree in the Program in Sociology and Education – minimum of 32 points

Requirements for the M.A. program without the educational policy option: 

I.  Core Courses (minimum 14 points) 

A. Foundational Coursework in Social Analysis of Education

  • EDPS 4021 Sociology of Education (3) (Required)
  • EDPA 4050 Logic & Design of Research in Educational Policy & Social Analysis (3)
  • EDPS 4620 Introductory Colloquium in Sociology and Education (2 or 3) (Required)
  • EDPS 5620 Advanced Colloquium in Sociology and Education (3)

B. Education and Social Inequality (minimum 3 points)

  • EDPS 4022 Sociology of Urban Education (3)
  • EDPP 5045 Race, Ethnicity and US Educational Policy (3)
  • EDPS 4024 Social Stratification and Education (3)
  • EDPS 4032 Gender, Difference and Curriculum (3)
  • C&T 4032 Gender, Difference and Curriculum (3)

C. Education and Social Organization (minimum 3 points)

  • EDPS 4029 Sociology of Schools (3)
  • EDPS 4030 Sociology of Organizations (3)
  • EDPS 5022 Sociology of Education Systems (3)
  • EDPA 6030 Institutional Theory: Sociological Perspectives on Institutional Change in Education (3)
  • EDPS 5199 Sociology of Teaching and Leadership in Education (3)
  • ITSF 5023 Family as Educator (3)
  • ITSF 5026 Family and Television (3)
  • ITSF 5120 Education in Community Settings (3)
  • HUDK 4031 Sociology of Evaluation (3)

D. Education and Social Change (minimum 3 points)

  • EDPS 4000 Education and Public Policy (3)
  • EDPS 4028 Sociology of the Life Course (3)
  • EDPS 5050 Sociology of Knowledge (3)
  • HUDK 4011 Sociology of Online Learning (3)
  • HUDK 5621 Technology and Society (3)

II. Research Methods (9 points)

A. Quantitative Research Methods (3 points)

  • EDPA 4002 Data Analysis for Policy & Decision Making I (3), or
  • HUDM 4122 Probability and Statistical Inference (3)

B. Qualitative Research Methods (3 points)

  • EDPS 5057 Qualitative Methods for Education Policy and Social Analysis (3), or
  • ITSF 5000 Methods of Inquiry:  Ethnography and Participant Observation (3), or
  • C&T 5502 Introduction to Qualitative Research in Curriculum and Teaching (3)

C. Advanced Research Methods (3 points)

  • EDPA 5002 Data Analysis for Policy & Decision Making II (3)
  • HUDM 5122 Applied Regression Analysis (3)
  • EDPA 4050 Logic & Design of Research in Educational Policy & Social Analysis (3)
  • EDPS 5646 Evaluation of Educational and Social Programs (3)
  • ORL 5522 Evaluation Methods I (3)
  • HBSS 6100 Program Evaluation (3)
  • T6416 Program Evaluation in Social Services (at Columbia School of Social Work) (3)
  • EDPS 5020 Survey Research Methods (3) 

III. Electives/Concentration (6-9 points)

IV. Culminating Integrative Experience (0-3 points)

Master’s comprehensive examination (0), or

Master’s essay and EDPS 6021 Master’s Essay in Sociology and Education (1 point in the fall and 2 points in the spring, for a total of 3 points)

Additional requirements for the M.A. program with the policy concentration: 

Choose one course from each of the following four categories: 

I. Foundational Studies in Education Policy

  • EDPS 4000   Education and Public Policy

II. Policy Analysis

  • EDPA 5645 Craft of Policy Analysis
  • EDPA 4047 Politics and Public Policy
  • EDPA 4048 Policy Analysis & Implementation

III. Program Evaluation

  • EDPS 5646 Evaluation of Educational and Social Programs
  • ORL 5522 Evaluation Methods I
  • HBSS 6100 Program Evaluation
  • T6416 Program Evaluation in Social Services (at Columbia School of Social Work)

IV. Topics in Education and Social Policy

  • EDPA 4013 Education Policy and the Management of Instruction
  • EDPA 4017 Topics in Higher Education Law
  • EDPA 4025 Higher Education Policy
  • EDPA 4033 Comprehensive Educational Opportunity
  • EDPA 4046 School Finance Policy and Practice
  • EDPA 4086 Law and Education:  Regulation, Religion, Free Speech and Safety
  • EDPA 4899 Federal Policy Institute
  • EDPA 5016 Educational Equality:  The Rule of Law
  • EDPA 5023 Policymaking for Effective High School to College Transition
  • EDPA 5086 Educational Policymaking and the Courts
  • EDPA 5880 School Law Institute
  • EDPA 6013 Early Childhood Development and Education
  • EDPA 6027 International Perspectives on Early Childhood Policy
  • EDPE 4057 Economics of Urban and Minority Education
  • EDPE 4058 Economics of Higher Education
  • EDPE 4155 Evaluating Educational Privatization and School Choice
  • EDPP 5041 Politics of Centralization and Decentralization
  • EDPP 5045 Race, Ethnicity and US Educational Polic
  • C&T 4615 Young Children, Families and Social Policy
  • C&T 5050 Education Policy:  Prologue to the Future
  • C&T 5074 Curriculum and Teaching Policy
  • HBSS 4112 Social Policy and Prevention
  • ITSF 4060 Latinos in Urban Schools
  • ITSF 4098 Education Development Policies in China
  • ITSF 4160 Human Rights Education in Africa:  Politics, Policies and Pedagogies
  • ITSF 5006 International Education Policy Studies

Master of Education (Ed.M.)

Master of Education (Ed.M., 60 points)

Program Requirements

Ed.M. Degree in the Program in Sociology and Education – minimum of 60 points

Requirements for the Ed.M. program without the educational policy option: 

I.  Core Courses (Minimum of 14 points) 

A. Foundational Coursework in Social Analysis of Education

  • EDPS 4021 Sociology of Education (3) (Required)
  • EDPA 4050 Logic & Design of Research in Educational Policy & Social Analysis (3)
  • EDPS 4620 Introductory Colloquium in Sociology and Education (2 or 3) (Required)
  • EDPS 5620 Advanced Colloquium in Sociology and Education (3)

B. Education and Social Inequality (minimum 3 points)

  • EDPS 4022 Sociology of Urban Education (3)
  • EDPP 5045 Race, Ethnicity and US Educational Policy (3)
  • EDPS 4024 Social Stratification and Education (3)
  • EDPS 4032 Gender, Difference and Curriculum (3)
  • C&T 4032 Gender, Difference and Curriculum (3)

C. Education and Social Organization (minimum 3 points)

  • EDPS 4029 Sociology of Schools (3)
  • EDPS 4030 Sociology of Organizations (3)
  • EDPS 5022 Sociology of Education Systems (3)
  • EDPA 6030 Institutional Theory: Sociological Perspectives on Institutional Change in Education (3)
  • EDPS 5199 Sociology of Teaching and Leadership in Education (3)
  • ITSF 5023 Family as Educator (3)
  • ITSF 5026 Family and Television (3)
  • ITSF 5120 Education in Community Settings (3)
  • HUDK 4031 Sociology of Evaluation (3)

D. Education and Social Change (minimum 3 points)

  • EDPS 4000 Education and Public Policy (3)
  • EDPS 4028 Sociology of the Life Course (3)
  • EDPS 5050 Sociology of Knowledge (3)
  • HUDK 4011 Sociology of Online Learning (3)
  • HUDK 5621 Technology and Society (3)

II. Research Methods (12 points)

A. Quantitative Research Methods (6 points)

  • EDPA 4002 Data Analysis for Policy & Decision Making I (3), or
  • HUDM 4122 Probability and Statistical Inference (3), and
  • EDPA 5002 Data Analysis for Policy & Decision Making II (3), or
  • HUDM 5122 Applied Regression Analysis (3)

B. Qualitative Research Methods (3 points)

  • EDPS 5057 Qualitative Methods for Education Policy and Social Analysis (3), or
  • ITSF 5000 Methods of Inquiry:  Ethnography and Participant Observation (3), or
  • C&T 5502 Introduction to Qualitative Research in Curriculum and Teaching (3)

C. Advanced Research Methods (3 points)

  • EDPA 4050 Logic & Design of Research in Educational Policy & Social Analysis (3)
  • EDPS 5646 Evaluation of Educational and Social Programs (3)
  • ORL 5522 Evaluation Methods I (3)
  • HBSS 6100 Program Evaluation (3)
  • T6416 Program Evaluation in Social Services (at Columbia School of Social Work) (3)
  • EDPS 5020 Survey Research Methods (3) 

III. Electives/Concentration (28-31 points)

IV. Culminating Integrative Experience (0-3 points)

Master’s comprehensive examination (0), or

Master’s essay and EDPS 6021 Master’s Essay in Sociology and Education (1 point in the fall and 2 points in the spring, for a total of 3 points)

Additional requirements for the Ed.M. program with the policy concentration: 

Choose one course from each of the following four categories: 

I. Foundational Studies in Education Policy

  • EDPS 4000   Education and Public Policy

II. Policy Analysis

  • EDPA 5645 Craft of Policy Analysis
  • EDPA 4047 Politics and Public Policy
  • EDPA 4048 Policy Analysis & Implementation,

III. Program Evaluation

  • EDPS 5646 Evaluation of Educational and Social Programs
  • ORL 5522 Evaluation Methods I
  • HBSS 6100 Program Evaluation
  • T6416 Program Evaluation in Social Services (at Columbia School of Social Work)

IV. Topics in Education and Social Policy

  • EDPA 4013 Education Policy and the Management of Instruction
  • EDPA 4017 Topics in Higher Education Law
  • EDPA 4025 Higher Education Policy
  • EDPA 4033 Comprehensive Educational Opportunity
  • EDPA 4046 School Finance Policy and Practice
  • EDPA 4086 Law and Education:  Regulation, Religion, Free Speech and Safety
  • EDPA 4899 Federal Policy Institute
  • EDPA 5016 Educational Equality:  The Rule of Law
  • EDPA 5023 Policymaking for Effective High School to College Transition
  • EDPA 5086 Educational Policymaking and the Courts
  • EDPA 5880 School Law Institute
  • EDPA 6013 Early Childhood Development and Education
  • EDPA 6027 International Perspectives on Early Childhood Policy
  • EDPE 4057 Economics of Urban and Minority Education
  • EDPE 4058 Economics of Higher Education
  • EDPE 4155 Evaluating Educational Privatization and School Choice
  • EDPP 5041 Politics of Centralization and Decentralization
  • EDPP 5045 Race, Ethnicity and US Educational Policy
  • C&T 4615 Young Children, Families and Social Policy
  • C&T 5050 Education Policy:  Prologue to the Future
  • C&T 5074 Curriculum and Teaching Policy
  • HBSS 4112 Social Policy and Prevention
  • ITSF 4060 Latinos in Urban Schools
  • ITSF 4098 Education Development Policies in China
  • ITSF 4160 Human Rights Education in Africa:  Politics, Policies and Pedagogies
  • ITSF 5006 International Education Policy Studies

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)

The coursework for the Ed.D., which totals a minimum of 90 points, has seven components: basic social research design and methods, advanced social research design and methods, social theory, core coursework in the sociology of education, seminars and colloquia, coursework in the social context of teaching and learning, and elective courses. All of the required coursework is offered at Teachers College.

Basic social research design and methods (12 points) involves coursework in research design, probability and statistics, applied regression analysis, and qualitative research methods. Courses in advanced social research design and methods (minimum 6 points) build on these basic courses in the quantitative and/or qualitative domains. Social theory courses (3 points) draw from sociology and other social sciences. Ed.D. students also pursue a minimum of 15 points in core classes in the sociology of education and 6 points in seminars and colloquia designed to prepare students for dissertation research.  The balance of the 90-point minimum is earned through elective courses selected in collaboration with the student's advisor.

Policy Studies in Sociology Concentration Option:

  • EDPS 4000 Education and Public Policy (3)
  • EDPS 5645 Craft of Policy Analysis (3)
  • EDPS 5646 Evaluation of Educational and Social Programs (3)
  • Approved content-driven policy course (3)

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)

The coursework for the Ph.D., which totals a minimum of 75 points, has seven components: social theory, basic social research design and methods, advanced social research design and methods, foundational coursework in sociology, core coursework in the sociology of education, seminars and colloquia, and elective courses. The required coursework is offered at Teachers College and in the Sociology Department in Columbia’s Graduate School of Arts and Sciences. With advisor permission, students may pursue courses in other professional schools at the University or through the Inter-University Doctoral Consortium. (Please refer to the Inter-University Doctoral Consortium section of this bulletin for participating schools.)

Social theory (6 points) includes coursework in classical and contemporary sociological theory. 

Basic social research design and methods (12 points) involves coursework in research design, probability and statistics, applied regression analysis, and qualitative research methods. Courses in advanced social research design and methods (minimum 6 points) build on these basic courses in the quantitative and/or qualitative domains. Students also enroll in at least one 3-point course offered by the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences at Columbia or a Consortium institution in each of the areas of social stratification/ inequality, social organization, and social change.

Ph.D. students also pursue a minimum of 12 points in core classes in the sociology of education and 6 points in seminars and colloquia designed to prepare students for dissertation research. The balance of the 75-point minimum is earned through elective courses selected in collaboration with the student’s advisor.