What will I learn?

The Social and Cultural Foundations program addresses fundamental questions about the meaning, purpose, and significance of education in society. It explores education from the perspective of the humanities and liberal arts, as well as from the perspectives of different stakeholders in society, using tools of analysis based in history and philosophy.

Schools are the subject of frequent and passionate debate. Citizens, taxpayers, parents, teachers and administrators debate not only what should be taught, but whom and with what methods; but how schools should be organized and funded; who should be included in classrooms and decision-making; and on what principles and standards schools should be governed. In Social and Cultural Foundations students examine these debates and explore the significance of education in society.

While many students complete doctoral work in Social and Cultural Foundations in order to become professors in a college or university, others pursue new careers or enrich existing ones in a variety of other educational contexts, including P-12 policy advocacy, teaching in P-12 schools, and work in educational foundations and social justice movements. In any case, doctoral students in Social and Cultural Foundations at the University of Washington ground their work in the disciplines of either History or Philosophy.

History: At the Ph.D. level, students in the history of education investigate educational ideas, experiences, policies, or practices of education in a particular historical time and context. Successful Ph.D. applicants will have a strong background in history (i.e., an undergraduate major or minor in history or related discipline and/or a Masters degree in history or related field). They also expect to complete at least one or two graduate courses in the Department of History and/or related fields at the University of Washington.

Philosophy: At the Ph.D. level, philosophy describes not only the kinds of question and topics one pursues: philosophy also is a method for systematically developing and defending normative and conceptual arguments. Successful Ph.D. applicants will have a strong background in philosophy (i.e., an undergraduate major or minor in philosophy or related discipline and/or a Masters degree in philosophy).

Which department am I in?

College of Education

Study options

Full Time (90 credit hours)

Tuition fees
US$44,512.00 per year
Quarterly Tuition: USD $11,128
Start date

Expected September 2022

Venue

University of Washington

Schmitz Hall, 1410 NE Campus Parkway,

SEATTLE,

Washington,

98195, United States

Entry requirements

For students from United States

Prospective graduate students must meet the following minimum requirements: Hold a baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited college or university in the U.S.1or its equivalent from a foreign institution; Have earned at least a 3.0 grade-point-average (on a 4 point scale) for the last 90 graded quarter credits or 60 graded semester credits. Other English Language Requirements: 580 paper-based TOEFL.

For international students

Master's degree or equivalent from an accredited institution

Minimum GPA of 3.00 for the most recent 90 (60 semester) credits

English Proficiency:

The Graduate School is temporarily accepting official test scores for both the Duolingo English Test and the TOEFL ITP Plus For China to assist international students with remote testing options. This policy is currently in effect through the autumn 2021 admission cycle (i.e., students enrolling in autumn 2021).

TOEFL iBT - Minimum Required Score (ELP Required): 80; Recommended Score (ELP Satisfied): 92 or higher

TOEFL pBT - Minimum Required Score: 500

Duolingo: Minimum Required Score (ELP Required): 105; Recommended Score (ELP Satisfied): 120 or higher

IELTS: Minimum Required Score 6.5

*There may be different IELTS requirements depending on your chosen course.

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