Educational Leadership and Cultural Foundations (ELC)

Ph.D. in Educational Studies, concentration in Cultural Foundations

The program in Educational Studies with a Concentration in Cultural Foundations is concerned with the breadth and depth of what is fundamental to educational practice-its ideology, philosophical assumptions, and moral claims – and is grounded in the study of education and culture with a particular interest in the integration of social analysis, cultural analysis, and praxis.

Career Opportunities

Internships, hands-on job experience, exciting career leads, and more. Get connected.

Program Contact

Silvia Bettez
358 School of Education Building


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Example Careers

  • Professor
  • Director of (Specific) Program in Higher Education
  • Director in K-12 education
  • Director in Nonprofit Organization
  • Academic Counselor
  • Community Organizer
  • Educator
  • School Director
  • And many more…

Designed For

Students who wish to develop a critical analysis about the concerns below and intend to apply their knowledge in a variety of contexts/learning spaces.

Career Opportunities

Students will often have the opportunity to engage in research alongside faculty, present and attend conferences, write for publication, serve in various associations or committees on campus, and pursue different opportunities fitting to their research interests and career goals.

Research Interests

The program focuses on theoretical and policy issues related to educational practice. In particular, the degree emphasizes the following concerns.

  • A concern for the disciplined study of the relationship between culture and education, encompassing philosophy, sociology, history, critical theory and pedagogy as it pertains to issues of power, equity, access, and privilege.
  • A concern for providing broad philosophical, moral, and spiritual perspectives on educational policies and practices.
  • A concern for the impact of current important intellectual movements in educational theory, including feminist theory, gender studies, queer studies, critical race theory and neoliberal critiques.
  • A concern for the disciplined study of the relationships among visual studies, media culture, and community engaged work.
  • A concern for the interdisciplinary work and serious study of emerging forms of inquiry.
  • A concern for integrating personal and professional selves and for providing synthesis, perspective, and direction.

Program of Study

Total hours: 60
The program has four course areas:

  1. Educational Foundations – Total of 18 credits
    Suggested foundational courses:

    • ELC 705: Foundations of Critical Theory
    • ELC 706: History of Education in the United States
    • ELC 707: Philosophies in Education
    • ELC 708: Educational Sociology: Race, Class, and Gender Power Dynamics
    • ELC 709: Introduction to Critical Pedagogy
  2. Curriculum and Teaching – 15 credit hours: courses that encourage a broad, critical understanding of school, pedagogy, and society.
  3. Research and Methods of Inquiry – 15 credit hours: Normally students take courses from a variety of qualitative and epistemological methodologies to guide in dissertation research.
  4. Dissertation – 12 credit hours: ELC 799 Dissertation

Graduate Program infobutton

Our goal is for every student in the School of Education (SOE) to be able to focus on their studies and not on student debt. A variety of financial aid is available to our students, including scholarships based on academic merit and financial need. We invite you to explore the many scholarship opportunities offered in the School of Education.