Doctor of Philosophy in Urban Education Policy

The PhD application for a Fall 2022 start has now closed. Applications for a Fall 2023 start will open August 1, 2022 and will be due December 1, 2022. Information sessions for the next application cycle will begin in March 2022.

The Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Urban Education Policy program prepares you to conduct high quality, consequential research promoting educational excellence and social justice. This effort stands on three pillars: preparing students to pursue educational equity through research; studying educational equity across disciplines; and constructing a diverse, inclusive professional community.

Students in the PhD program are fully funded for four calendar years, and we welcome applicants whose research interests align with USC Rossier’s mission. The program seeks both personal and disciplinary diversity in our student body and prepares leaders to achieve educational equity through practice, research and policy, and seeks candidates who plan to pursue careers as research scholars. Students will benefit from close interaction with a distinguished faculty and a collaborative research community at the University of Southern California.

Our areas of research and study are:

  • Educational Psychology
  • Higher Education
  • K12 Education Policy
  • Teacher Education
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USC Rossier School of Education

Curriculum Overview

As a graduate of the PhD program, you will have first-rate research skills, substantive knowledge of urban education, and a strong professional network. Additionally, your record of achievement will include the academic publications and presentations necessary for success as faculty at top research universities, or as research analysts and policy-makers.

Coursework Examples

  • Organization and Policy: Current Issues
  • Ways of Seeing: Applying Social Science and Critical Theories to Education

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Monica Christina Esqueda, PhD'15

People are saying

The preparation and access to renown faculty mentors have allowed me to navigate my own professional path while building a vast network of professional colleagues and peers, many of whom I fortunate to now call lifelong friends.

Monica Christina Esqueda, PhD ’15


All applicants are carefully considered through a holistic review process.

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Laura Romero Laura Romero
PhD in Urban Education Policy
(213) 740-6303

Alex Hazard Alex Hazard
Assistant Director
PhD in Urban Education Policy
(213) 740-4069