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Explore Degrees


Educational Studies

Overview & Requirements
Careers & Internships

The Educational Studies program focuses on the improvement of K-12 education. We do this through research and scholarship on educational practice and through the preparation of knowledgeable, skillful, and thoughtful teachers and education administrators. We offer a number of PhD specializations that will allow you to pursue the specific set of knowledge and skills you need to make your unique contribution to our common goal.

In keeping with our traditions of interdisciplinary scholarship, the Educational Studies program allows you to create and complete an individualized set of requirements developed in coordination with faculty on your advising committee.

Our faculty are situated in one or more of the following fields of specialization. Review faculty profiles to learn more about our work in Educational Studies.


  • Foundations and Sociopolitical Contexts of Education
  • Critical Race Studies
  • Educational Policy and School Improvement
  • Learning Design and Technologies
  • Literacy, Language and Culture
  • Disciplinary Learning and Teaching (e.g., Mathematics, Science, Social Studies)
  • Teacher Education and Learning
  • Measurement and Research Methods

Additional Certificate and Endorsement Opportunities


Total Credit Hours Required

Foundational Coursework / Research Core


Students complete the following:

  • EDUC 787 – Educational Equity Lab & Studio (5 credits)
  • EDUC 790 – Foundations of Schooling (3 credits)
  • EDUC 791 – Foundations of Teaching & Learning (3 credits)
  • EDUC 792 – Methods of Educational Research: Qualitative (5 credits)
  • EDUC 793 – Introduction to Quantitative Methods in Educational Research (5 credits)
  • EDUC 895 – Logics of Inquiry (2 credits)
  • An advanced research methods course (3 credits)

Professional Development and Training Core


Students complete the following:

  • EDUC 898 – Professional Development Seminar (1 credit); need 6 credits total

Specialization Core


Students design their specialization in coordination with faculty on their advising committee. Specialization courses support development as an expert in a particular field or subfields.

Students complete the following:

  • EDUC 897 – Race & Social Justice Institute (1 credit)
  • Specialization/Elective Courses (12-20 credits)

COGNATE: Cognates are defined as graduate, non-Educational Studies courses. Cross-listed, meet-together courses with Educational Studies can be elected to fulfill the cognate requirement. Students may choose Higher Education courses with the approval of their primary faculty advisor. (3 credits)

APPRENTICESHIPS: Students complete a minimum of one and up to three credits in each of the following:

  • EDUC 789 – Research Apprenticeship (1-3 credits)
  • EDUC 798 – Teaching Apprenticeship (1-3 credits)

PRELIMINARY EXAMINATION: Students complete a minimum of one and up to three credits in each of the following:

  • EDUC 991 - Scholarly Paper (1-3 credits)
  • EDUC 992 - Portfolio (1-3 credits)



Frequently Asked Questions

Prospective students

Prospective Students

2018 Ed Studies masters cohort poses in front of School of Education building

Explore more offerings


Connect with ES


Phone: (734) 763-9497
Master's: [email protected]
Doctoral: [email protected]


Interested in ES? Schedule an appointment with our recruitment team:


Location and Office Hours

610 E. University Avenue
Room 4218 - Educational Studies
Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109-1259

8:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.

Application Deadline

Fall (Aug)
December 1

Application Process

Step 1: Prepare your application materials

To submit a successful application for admission, you need to provide the following:

  • Academic Statement of Purpose
    • The Academic Statement of Purpose serves to demonstrate a fit between your background/interests and the Educational Studies doctoral program philosophy, structure, and offerings. The statement should take the form of a concise and coherent essay, approximately 2-3 pages in length, double-spaced. Please be sure to address the following elements in your statement: 
      • 1. A clear statement about the opportunities, issues, and/or problems of education that motivate you to pursue the Educational Studies doctoral program
        2. A concise summary of relevant academic or professional experience. Please explain the connection between your academic or professional experience and the opportunities, issues and/or problems of education introduced in #1.
        3. An overview of your short-term and long-term career goals. Please introduce how you will go about addressing the opportunities, issues, and problems of education introduced in #1.
        4. A clear statement explaining how you expect that the doctoral program will allow you to better understand the opportunities, issues, and problems of education that motivate your graduate studies and on which you will focus your career. Please make specific reference to details such as course offerings, experiential learning opportunities, and campus resources.
        5. A clear indication of the faculty members that you would like to work with and what aspects of their work and projects.
  • Personal Statement 
    • 500 word limit
    • How have your background and life experiences, including cultural, geographical, financial, educational or other opportunities or challenges, motivated your decision to pursue a graduate degree at the University of Michigan? For example, if you grew up in a community where educational, cultural, or other opportunities were either especially plentiful or especially lacking, you might discuss the impact this had on your development and interests. This should be a discussion of the journey that has led to your decision to seek a graduate degree. Please do not repeat your Academic Statement of Purpose. 
  • Sample of Academic Writing
    • Ten to 20 pages (approximately) of your academic writing.
    • Sample can come from a course paper, Master's thesis, published work, etc.
    • Applicant should be the solo or main (first) author of the submitted sample.
  • Three (3) letters of recommendation
    • We strongly encourage two of your letters come from individuals who are familiar with your academic performance. The third may be from a professional reference.
    • Register your recommenders' names and contact information on the online application so that they will be sent instructions for submitting their letters via the application system. Let your recommenders know that they need to upload a letter and that it is required by the program. 
    • As soon as you click "save" on the page of the application where your recommenders' contact information is entered, they will receive an email with instructions for completing the process. Proceed to this point in the application process as soon as possible to trigger that email.
  • Resume or Curriculum Vitae (CV)
  • Test Scores (See test details in Step 5 below) 
    • English proficiency scores (for non-native speakers of English only)
    • GRE Test Scores are not required for admission
Step 2: Create an ApplyWeb account, managed by Rackham Graduate School

Create an account with Rackham Graduate School.

This program, like all of the Marsal Family School of Education's graduate programs, is administered through the University of Michigan's Horace H. Rackham School of Graduate Studies. Rackham offers a host of resources and administrative support to help see you through from submitting your application to completion of your degree.

Step 3: Complete pages 1-5 of application using ApplyWeb
  • After completing page 5 of the application, you will receive an e-mail with your U-M ID. A U-M ID number will be issued to you via email within 5 business days of completing pages 1-5 and advancing to page 6 of the ApplyWeb application. Having your U-M ID number to include on all your application materials ensures accurate and timely processing, so we encourage you to complete pages 1-5 early in the process.
  • If you need to submit your application before you receive your U-M ID number, you may still complete the application. Include your date of birth and the program’s name on your application materials.
  • Current and former U-M Ann Arbor students, alumni and employees: You do not need to obtain a new U-M ID number. Use your previously obtained U-M ID number.
  • If your personal information has changed (for example, legal name, gender), make sure the personal information you submit with your application matches your previous Ann Arbor campus record. If your previous Ann Arbor campus record does not display your current personal information, contact the Registrar’s Office or the Shared Services Center to change your personal information before you apply.
Step 4: Upload academic statement of purpose, the personal statement, a sample of academic writing, and a curriculum vitae (CV) or resume to the ApplyWeb application

Include at the top of each document:

  • The type of document (Academic Statement of Purpose, Personal Statement, Sample of Academic Writing, or Curriculum Vitae or Resume)
  • Your name
  • The name of the graduate program (PhD in Educational Studies)
  • Your 8 digit U-M ID (if known)

Set document margins to one-inch and verify that any tables fit within the margins. Recommendation: Convert documents to PDF format before uploading.

Step 5: Submit test scores
  • TOEFL, MELAB, ECPE, or IELTS scores (for non-native speakers of English only; valid 2 years from test date)
  • GRE Test Scores
    • GRE test scores are not required for admission, but scores (valid 5 years from test date) can be included with your application.
    • Provide ETS with the U-M Institutional Code of 1839 and your scores will be sent directly to the university.
  • Test scores must be sent directly from the testing center to the Rackham Graduate School. We recommend starting this process early as it can take up to two weeks for the scores to be received. 
Step 6: Submit transcripts
  • Upload an electronic version of your official transcript(s) for each Bachelor’s, Master’s, Professional, or Doctoral degree earned or in progress through your ApplyWeb application account (part of the Rackham application system). Do not upload academic records printed from your school’s website or student portal.
  • You are not required to send official transcripts at the time of application. If you are recommended for admission, the Rackham Graduate School will require official transcripts. Admitted applicants will receive an email notification when the official transcripts are required.
  • Students who have studied in a country outside of the U.S. should review the required credentials from non-U.S. institutions. For all degrees obtained at non-U.S. institutions—Request that degree-granting institutions submit official transcripts/records to the Rackham Graduate School at the time of application.
  • Information for submitting official transcripts can be found on the Rackham Graduate School website.
Step 7: Check that letters of recommendation have been submitted
  • Check the status of your letters of recommendation, change a recommender, or resend the notification email to your recommender using the ApplyWeb Activity Page
  • Please reach out to [email protected] if there are any questions regarding the submission of the letters of recommendation.
Step 8: Create a U-M Friend Account

Check on your application status. If you’ve been accepted, you will receive an email with information on how to send your official transcripts.

Step 9: Respond to admission offer
Contact us

For general questions regarding the Educational Studies doctoral program:

Lisa K. Hawkins, Ph.D.
Educational Studies PhD Program Manager
[email protected]

U-M Office of Financial Aid

Quick Facts

GRE general exam scores

Not required

Financial aid


Entry term

Fall (August)

Connect with ES


Phone: (734) 763-9497
Master's: [email protected]
Doctoral: [email protected]


Interested in ES? Schedule an appointment with our recruitment team:


Location and Office Hours

610 E. University Avenue
Room 4218 - Educational Studies
Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109-1259

8:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.



of known graduates found full time employment in education


of known graduates are highly satisfied or satisfied with their current position


average first year salary
Graduates typically go into these industries
  • Educational foundations and policy
  • Educational leadership
  • Mathematics education
  • Science education
  • Teaching and teacher education
  • Higher education research
  • Independent research organizations
  • Non-profit organizations and research institutes
  • Museums and other informal learning settings
  • Curriculum development organizations
  • Organizations related to K-12 schooling (such as state departments of education, school district offices)
  • Policy communities at the local, state, and national levels
  • Reform and innovation communities within and beyond K–12 governance
Graduates often work as
  • Education Consultant
  • Director of Research
  • Policymaker
  • Professor
  • Research Design Specialist
  • Research Investigator
  • Research Specialist
  • Expert Practitioners

Recent job titles include

  • Associate Director of Education Research
  • Chief of Research
  • Clinical Professor
  • Deputy Director
  • Director of Enrollment Research and Data Management
  • Director of Mathematics Learning Center
  • Instructional Consultant
  • Principal Researcher
  • Research Scientist


Although no internship is required, students must satisfy the apprenticeship requirement by completing a minimum of one and up to three credits in each of the following apprenticeships:

  • EDUC 789 – Research Apprenticeship (1-3 credits)
  • EDUC 798 – Teaching Apprenticeship (1-3 credits)