Students in the Program in Education are enrolled in and receive their degree from the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, even though they may work primarily with faculty at the Harvard Graduate School of Education and at other Harvard Faculties.
The interdisciplinary nature of this program is unique, as you are encouraged to work with multiple Harvard faculty members to study education as a core, while also engaging with different disciplines such as economics, psychology, public policy, sociology, or organizational behavior.
Each concentration—culture, institutions, and society; education policy and program evaluation; or human development, learning, and teaching—will equip you with domain knowledge in education, provide training in relevant disciplines, ensure rigorous preparation in a range of research methods, and promote the development of new research and knowledge with a transformative impact on education.
Student research includes a study of policies and practices to increase college student outcomes, an investigation of ethical decision-making by teachers in classrooms at the intersection of philosophy, political theory, and teacher practice, and an exploration of early behavioral and environmental predictors of language skills in infants at high and low risk for autism spectrum disorder.
Graduates have gone on to universities like Vanderbilt, University of Massachusetts Boston, George Mason University, and the University of California, Irvine. Others have secured research positions at Abt Associates, the Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research, Rand Corporation, Mathematica, and Netflix.
Please review GSAS admissions requirements and other information before applying. You can find degree program-specific admissions requirements below and access additional guidance on applying for the PhD in Education.
Successful candidates for admission will have outstanding academic preparation and a deep commitment to the field of education, as demonstrated through prior research, work experience, and/or volunteer experience. Prior academic study in education is not required.
Statement of Purpose
In your statement, please describe your area of research interest. What experiences led you to your research ambitions? Why is there a need for further research in this area? How do you anticipate your research fitting in within the larger education sector? Concisely state your past work in your intended field of study and in related fields. Briefly indicate your career objectives. The statement should be no more than 1,000 words.