PhD in Education for Social Justice

Build a more equitable, tolerant, and socially-just society.

The PhD Program in Education for Social Justice was established to build critical scholars capable of impacting the complex world of education through their research and practice. Scholars graduate with rich understandings and experiences of how they might use education to build more equitable, tolerant, and socially just societies and institutions.

Students will emerge poised to take on a variety of roles in the educational realm including:

  • Change-agents in institutes, districts, and schools
  • Educational researchers and instructors
  • Teacher-researchers with instructional expertise

View the admission deadline and prepare for the upcoming application cycle. 

Eligibility By State: Due to regulations from the Department of Education, the University of San Diego is unable to enroll students in its online degree programs who reside in Alabama, Arkansas, District of Columbia, Georgia, Iowa, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Rhode Island, and Wisconsin. The restriction does not apply to applicants interested in a campus-based program. 

A Program Built With Your Goals In Mind

Students can choose from either a professional or academia-focused pathway based on your career goals. Course delivery modes include seminars, immersive experiences, research-intensive coursework, asynchronous instruction, synchronous discussion, and independent work. Each pathway also includes a global studies experience requirement. 

Candidates will:

  • Use theory to address pressing educational questions and challenges
  • Engage in critical conversations of social justice, culture, and opportunity
  • Analyze and critique existing educational research using qualitative, quantitative and mixed-method research techniques
  • Apply the knowledge gained to their personal and professional lives

Program Pathways

Description of 3 pathways for PhD in Education for Social Justice program
Professional (Online) PhD Academia* (Hybrid) PhD Education Specialist EdS
  • 4 Years Online (48 Units)
  • 6 Units per Semester
  • 48 Units
  • 2 Years Online
  • 2 Year in Resident at University of San Diego
  • 6 Units per Semester
  • 48 Units
  • 3 Years Online
  • 6 Units per Semester
  • 36 Units

*Academia Option is subject to Doctoral Committee recommendation and approval following successful completion of 2 years of online courses.

Social Justice Thought Leaders

  • b. hooks - Teaching to Transgress
  • P. Freire - Cultural Action and Conscientization
  • C. G. Woodson - The Miseducation of the Negro
  • J. Oakes, M. Lipton, L. Anderson, & J. Stillman - Teaching to Change the World