Ph.D. Concentration in Theory, Organization & Policy

Program Details

Area(s) of Study:
  • Education, Culture, and Society
  • Educational Policy
  • History of Education
  • Leadership
Associated Degree:
  • Ph.D.
  • On-Campus
Program Level:
  • Doctoral
Program Type:
  • Degree


The concentration in Theory, Organization, and Policy within the Ph.D. in Education prepares students for research in higher education, policy organizations, and governmental/nongovernmental organizations concerned with education, broadly defined.

Over the past three decades, political leaders have increasingly recognized the critical importance of education to economic, political, social, and cultural improvement. Their decisions have implications for the well-being of families, communities, and the United States’ place in the world. Unfortunately, decision makers often pursue educational goals without a clear understanding of their own philosophical assumptions, the needs for change, the possible results of change, or the social forces that affect actions that legislatures and governments take. This program prepares scholars who can help find answers to these questions and, in the process, inform policymakers, educators, and the public about the progress and challenges of education.

Our faculty conduct research in organizational leadership, policy, and international and comparative education as well as in the social science and humanities disciplines of education. Our students specialize in one area of study but learn about others, allowing them to develop stronger educational analyses and research designs. Following an apprenticeship model and working closely with their academic adviser, students design their own course of study, taking courses offered at the GSE and across Rutgers.


Please visit to apply. (Online applications are required.)

Applications are due by December 1 for fall admission.

Students applying to this program will need:

  • Transcripts from their undergraduate program and for any other degree they have received.
  • Three letters of recommendation.
  • A personal statement that describes why you are interested in studying education at Rutgers. We are especially interested in knowing what your research interests are and with which faculty members you would like to work.
  • GRE scores (from within the last five years) -verbal, quantitative, and analytic writing are necessary. For more information on the GRE, please go to

Please refer to the GSE website for details about programs, faculty, admissions criteria, financial aid, and tuition. Questions about admissions procedures are answered by Graduate and Professional Admissions at the website listed above.


Proseminars (6 credits)
Required Research (6 credits)
Methodology (12 credits) Concentration (18 Credits)
Cognate Courses (6 Credits) Dissertation (24 credits)

Program Requirements

The Ph.D. in Education requires 48 credits of coursework and 24 credits of dissertation research. All students in the Theory, Organization, and Policy concentration take a common set of courses, accumulating 18 credits within the concentration, of which 6 credits must be classes within the concentration but outside the faculty adviser’s specialty.

A complete listing of degree requirements is available for download or at the Office of Student and Academic Services.

If you have more specific questions about this concentration, please contact W. Steven Barnett.