Each concentration path consists of four courses and a dissertation in practice in a concentration-specific format. You will complete your dissertation under the guidance of a faculty member within your concentration. You must have career experience relevant to the concentration to which you apply.


Educational Psychology

The educational psychology concentration* focuses on research and practice in the areas of learning, motivation and development in diverse social contexts. Courses in the concentration explore how people learn, what motivates them, which instructional and motivational strategies are most effective within varied cultural systems and how the social context of instruction affects learning.

*The educational psychology concentration does not meet the requirements for licensure as an educational psychologist.

Recommended career background for this concentration: Professional in K-12, higher education, or counseling, special education, social services, instructional technology, non-profit organizations, or other non-traditional educational settings.

Dissertation in Practice: Study an existing problem of practice and complete a five-chapter dissertation or design curriculum to address existing problem of practice.

Concentration Faculty

Stephen Aguilar, PhD Ruth Chung, PhD Alan G. Green, PhD Briana Hinga, PhD Kimberly Hirabayashi, PhD
Courtney L. Malloy, PhD Erika Pattall, PhD Helena Seli, PhD Gale Sinatra, PhD Kenneth Yates, EdD


EDUC 712 | (3 units)

Advanced Study of Motivation: Theory, Research and Application

Analyze motivational principles, diagnosis and solutions to motivation gaps in learning environments and understand motivation and efficacy theories and principles.

EDUC 714 | (3 units)

Measurement and Evaluation for Decision-Making

Collect, analyze and use quantitative data to solve problems of practice and evaluate educational institutions, programs and policies.

EDUC 713 | (3 units)

Human Lifespan Development

Examine issues related to the development of diverse students and the development of environments that promote motivated behavior.

EDUC 715 | (3 units)

Advanced Study of Learning and Instruction: Theory, Research, and Application

Review current research in the application of learning theories, and the applicability of this research across a variety of contexts.

Higher Education Administration

The higher education administration concentration focuses on administrative theory and best practices for leading higher education institutions. Courses in the concentration address policy, economic issues, assessment, student learning and the history and major philosophical assumptions that undergird the system of higher education.

Recommended career background for this concentration: Professional in higher education administration at a two- or four-year college or university (including student, academic and administrative affairs) or secondary and postsecondary college advising.

Dissertation in Practice: Study an existing problem of practice and complete a traditional five-chapter dissertation.

Concentration Faculty

Shafiqa Ahmadi, JD Darnell Cole, PhD Rob A. Filback, PhD Adrian H. Huerta, PhD
Tatiana Melguizo, PhD Julie Posselt, PhD Tracy Tambascia, EdD Patricia Tobey, PhD


EDUC 706| (3 units)

Higher Education Professional Seminar

Gain philosophical and historical understanding that will help you understand today’s higher education system as an educational leader.

EDUC 708 | (3 units)

Student Development Theory and Today’s Critical Issues

Engage and apply student development theory to contemporary issues and campus crises that arise within your educational context where student learning, growth and development are a fundamental objective of your leadership role.

EDUC 707 | (3 units)

Administration in Higher Education

Examine administrative issues in higher education, including academic leadership related to undergraduate and graduate education, quality standards and assessment and how administrators create efficiency, effectiveness, performance and change.

EDUC 709 | (3 units)

Financing and Assessing Colleges for Equity

Examine and understand the finance and assessment of higher education institutions and their effect institutional policies and practices.

K-12 Leadership in Urban School Settings

The K-12 concentration helps educators become leaders in classrooms, schools and school districts. The courses help develop an understanding of how to create high performing schools that address the diverse needs of all students regardless of school setting. The course sequence culminates in either EDUC 720: Leadership for Principals or EDUC 721: Leadership for Superintendents, an integrated composite of effective leadership practices that result in more effective organizational outcomes, including increased student achievement.

Recommended career background for this concentration:

Teacher, administrator or education professional in preK-12 education at the local, state and federal levels.

Dissertation in Practice: Study an existing problem of practice and complete a traditional five-chapter dissertation.

Concentration Faculty

Patricia Burch, PhD Rudy Castruita, EdD Karen Symms Gallagher, PhD Adam Kho, PhD
Cathy Krop, PhD Julie Marsh, PhD Maria Ott, PhD Larry Picus, PhD
Morgan Polikoff, PhD David Quinn, PhD Darline Robles, PhD Kathy Stowe, EdD


EDUC 717 | (3 units)

Resourcing Schools for Equity and Excellence

Apply economic theory to the study of education and market theory to education, partnerships, allocation of resources and the examination of educational enterprises.

EDUE 719 | (3 units)

Education Policy and Politics

Apply economic theory to the study of education. Gain an understanding of the application of market theory to education, partnerships, allocation of resources and the examination of educational enterprises.

EDUE 718 | (3 units)

Leading for Instructional Improvement

Improve your instructional leadership capacity as a K-12 practitioner, addressing power and its impact on creating and perpetuating educational inequities for historically marginalized and minoritized children and adults.

Select one of the following:

EDUC 720 | (3 units)

Leadership for Principals

Understand the role of the principal as an instructional leader with a focus on improving student achievement.

EDUC 721 | (3 units)

Leadership for Superintendents

Understand the role of the superintendent in establishing a focus on student achievement and holding school sites accountable. Learn how superintendents support student learning through leadership.

Leading Instructional Change

The Leading Instructional Change concentration focuses on theories, practices and policies supporting curriculum and instruction that foster equitable educational opportunities for students from historically marginalized groups in urban PK-12 and higher education settings. This concentration is designed for individuals interested in leading and teaching teachers (pre- and in-service) and faculty (Higher Ed) so that they are prepared to provide their students with high-quality instruction that is anti-racist, culturally relevant and LGBTQ+ inclusive.

Recommended career background for this concentration: Teacher or administrator in preK-12 or higher education, instructional leader or designer, curriculum developer or professional in non-traditional educational settings.

Dissertation in Practice: Conduct action or participatory action research addressing the relationship between leadership and instructional improvement in pre-K-20 educational settings and complete a non-traditional written product (not a five-chapter dissertation) and public presentation.

Concentration Faculty

Paula Carbone, PhD Laila Hasan, PhD Sandra Kaplan, EdD Akilah Lyons-Moore, EdD
John Pascarella, PhD Artineh Samkian, PhD Julie Slayton, JD, PhD


EDUE 722| (3 units)

Leading Transformational Learning

Prepare to enact leadership within urban PreK-20 teaching and learning environments by examining curriculum and instruction from historical, social and political standpoints.

EDUE 724 | (3 units)

Culturally Responsive Leadership

Prepare to enact culturally responsive change in order to transform teaching, learning and educational practices in their urban professional context.

EDUE 723| (3 units)

Curriculum and Instructional Leadership  

Explore social, political, economic and scholarly factors determining curriculum and instructional design and implementation and implications for formal and informal leaders in PreK-20 contexts.

EDUE 725 | (3 units)

Interdisciplinary Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment

Use spatial data and technologies to study your leadership trajectory across urban PreK-20 settings and bring interdisciplinary approaches to curriculum, instruction and assessment.