This program provides a disciplinary grounding that allows you to approach education policy questions with a sociological lens. Many of the education policy issues of our time are grounded in sociological questions or problems that have interested scholars for decades, such as social inequality and education, schooling and student outcomes, and schools and the law.
The program's concentration in education policy prepares you to embark on careers as professional educational researchers in such settings as nonprofits, governmental agencies, and school districts. The program also equips you to apply for and pursue doctoral-level work in the sociology of education or a related field if that is your career goal.
You take a common core of courses in qualitative and quantitative sociological research methods, sociological theory, and the sociology of education.Â You tailor course selection and thesis research to your chosen topics of interest, taking advantage of course offerings from across the university. Flexibility is an important feature of the program.
The thesis is the central component of the program. You spend about two semesters, meeting together with peers in an intensive thesis seminar and working closely with a faculty mentor, to write a substantial thesis, which could include original research that employs quantitative or qualitative methodology or offers a critical and synthetic review of research in an area of your interest.