Politics and Education | Education Policy & Social Analysis

Back to Education Policy & Social Analysis

Politics and Education

Department of Education Policy & Social Analysis

Visit Program Website


Program Description

The Politics and Education program serves students who wish to study the ways in which governance institutions, political ideologies, and competing interests (both within and outside of the education community) influence the content, form, and functioning of schooling. Schools represent a powerful instrument for shaping the development of future generations of citizens and workers as well as an important source of jobs and investment in many communities. How do societies handle conflicting visions of what schools should and should not be doing, and what are the specific changes in political and governance processes that might facilitate better decision-making and policy implementation? Students will study in depth the ways power and politics affect and are affected by such issues as reform and innovation, centralization and decentralization within federal systems of governance, privatization and school choice, race and ethnicity, poverty and inequality, professionalization and bureaucratization, and testing and accountability.

Faculty contributing to the program are drawn from throughout the College and possess research and teaching interests in urban, suburban, state, and federal levels of school governance, as well as in cross-national and other comparative settings. The balance of control and cooperation, coalition building and competition, resistance and bargaining in each of these settings, as well as the central roles of power and agency in the political science discipline, inform the perspectives of faculty and students in this program.

In addition to courses listed within the Politics and Education program, the Department of Education Policy and Social Analysis, Teachers College and the Departments of Political Science and School of International and Public Affairs at Columbia University are all resources available to students as they develop their programs of study. Ph.D. students are expected to master the discipline of political science in addition to the specialty of politics in education. Depending on their interests, students with a master’s degree in Politics and Education conduct research in think-tanks and education policy shops; teach politics, history, or civics in secondary school; or hold public office or other leadership positions in educational settings as diverse as private and public schools, corporations, citizen groups, and foundations. Doctoral graduates in Politics and Education teach in colleges and universities, conduct research in think-tanks and research centers, and advise public officials. Although students from all of the degree programs in politics 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. For profiles of some recent alumni please visit our website at http://www.tc.columbia.edu/epsa/politics/

Degrees

  • Master of Arts

    • Points/Credits: 33

      Entry Terms: Fall/Spring

      Degree Requirements

      Students follow a core program of coursework and other learning experiences developed by the Politics faculty and individually adjusted in consultation with an assigned advisor. Up to 30 points of transfer credit are accepted towards an Ed.M. but only upon approval of an assigned faculty advisor after the student is admitted. Under College policy, no transfer credits are accepted for M.A. students. Most students in the program enroll in the M.A., but the Ed.M. sometimes is appropriate for applicants who already have a relevant graduate degree.

      For further information on specific program requirements, consult the program website at www.tc.edu/epsa/politics.

      Newly admitted students are asked to participate in a set of core political science and general foundation courses in education and public policy. Each student will also complete methodological requirements including but not limited to statistics, qualitative, and quantitative methods. After completing the core, each student is expected to focus his or her studies on a set of policy debates in education or a particular political arena.

  • Master of Education

    • Points/Credits: 60

      Entry Terms: Fall/Spring

      Degree Requirements

      Students follow a core program of coursework and other learning experiences developed by the Politics faculty and individually adjusted in consultation with an assigned advisor. Up to 30 points of transfer credit are accepted towards an Ed.M. but only upon approval of an assigned faculty advisor after the student is admitted. Under College policy, no transfer credits are accepted for M.A. students. Most students in the program enroll in the M.A., but the Ed.M. sometimes is appropriate for applicants who already have a relevant graduate degree.

      For further information on specific program requirements, consult the program website at www.tc.edu/epsa/politics.

      Newly admitted students are asked to participate in a set of core political science and general foundation courses in education and public policy. Each student will also complete methodological requirements including but not limited to statistics, qualitative, and quantitative methods. After completing the core, each student is expected to focus his or her studies on a set of policy debates in education or a particular political arena.

  • Doctor of Philosophy

    • Points/Credits: 75

      Entry Terms: Fall Only

      Degree Requirements

      Students are asked to participate in a set of core political science and general foundation courses in education policy. These are selected with the approval of the faculty advisor in order to best meet each individual student's interests and professional goals. Students may be required to take as many as 12 points of coursework at Columbia University in the Political Science Department.

      Ph.D. students must demonstrate command of two research tools, selected from the following list: 1) a reading knowledge of a foreign language, 2) a reading knowledge of a second foreign language, 3) an approved two-course sequence in quantitative analysis,* 4) an approved two-course sequence in formal modeling or advanced multivariate statistics, 5) a comparable level of proficiency in a research tool approved by the college. Using a foreign language to satisfy the research tool is appropriate only if the student’s dissertation or future research will be enhanced by developing such knowledge.

      For further information on specific program requirements consult the program website at www.tc.edu/epsa/Politics.

      * Satisfied by meeting 6-point statistics requirement.

Faculty

  • Faculty

    • Sarah R. Cohodes Associate Professor of Economics & Education
    • Kevin J. Dougherty Professor of Higher Education and Education Policy
    • Ansley T. Erickson Associate Professor of History and Education Policy
    • Jeffrey Henig Professor of Political Science and Education
    • Luis A Huerta Associate Professor of Education and Public Policy
    • Aaron M Pallas Arthur I. Gates Professor of Sociology and Education
    • Douglas David Ready Professor of Education and Public Policy
    • Michael A. Rebell Professor of Law and Educational Practice
    • Amra Sabic-El-Rayess Associate Professor of Practice
    • Amy Stuart Wells Professor of Sociology and Education
    • Priscilla Wohlstetter Distinguished Research Professor
  • Adjunct Faculty

    • Samuel Eli Abrams Adjunct Assistant Professor
    • Catherine Guerriero Adjunct Associate Professor

Courses

  • EDPP 4040 - American Politics and Education
    Introduction to the basic analytical categories of political science as they apply to the politics of education, including the influence of federal, state, and local governments in school policy-making, decentralization, school finance, and desegregation.
  • EDPP 4042 - Comparative Politics and Education
    The politics of education in settings outside the U.S. topics, including the role of education in political development, political socialization, and student politics.
  • EDPP 5041 - Politics of Centralization and Decentralization
    Analyzes the political underpinnings and consequences of centralization versus decentralization at various levels of governance with special but not exclusive attention to educational decision-making.
  • EDPP 5042 - Urban Politics and Education
    Politics in the nation's largest cities with a particular focus on educational politics and policy.
  • EDPP 5045 - Race, Ethnicity, and U.S. Educational Policy
    Examination of the impact of race and ethnicity on the formation and implementation of policies such as desegregation, affirmative action, bilingual education, and choice.
  • EDPP 5640 - Colloquium on the Politics of Education
    Continuous participation required of doctoral students until their dissertation proposals are accepted. A critical review of important works in politics and education, discussions with invited guests, presentations of work in progress.
  • EDPP 5642 - Colloquium in Political Economy and Education
    Political and economic perspectives on contemporary problems of public policy and education.
  • EDPP 6540 - Seminar in Politics of Education
    Selected topics in the politics of education.
  • EDPP 6900 - Research and Independent Study in Politics and Education
    Permission required.
  • EDPP 6940 - Studies in Politics and Education
    Permission required. Independent study.
  • EDPP 7503 - Dissertation seminar
    Permission required. Development of doctoral dissertation proposals.
  • EDPP 8900 - Dissertation Advisement in Politics and Education
    Individual advisement on doctoral dissertations. Fee to equal 3 points at current tuition rate for each term. For requirements, see section in catalog on Continuous Registration for Ed.D./Ph.D. degrees.
Back to skip to quick links