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Education Studies

Welcome to Education Studies! Undergraduate concentrators study education in a rigorous, multi-dimensional way that allows them to investigate thorny questions of opportunity and equity in real-world settings. Our ever-expanding array of education courses allows undergraduates to explore fundamental issues of race, class, power, privilege, equity and identity through the lens of education. From introductory courses to advanced seminars, our classes examine how to teach for social justice, how students learn and develop, and how education policies promote or limit opportunity and equity.


Our faculty includes experts in teaching and learning, human development, education policy, and the history of education. We take a multi-disciplinary approach to the field, offering courses from perspectives in anthropology, economics, history, human development, political science, social work, and sociology, among others.


For more information, please visit our website ( or contact John Papay, Director of Undergraduate Studies. 

Concentration Requirements 

Redesigned for the 2020-2021 academic year, the concentration in Education Studies requires a total of 10 credit-bearing courses and 1 non-credit-bearing experiential component, allowing students to develop a personalized plan of study to structure their Education experiences. The new Education Studies coursework is as follows:

  • 3 Core Courses:  2 introductory courses (EDUC 0300 and EDUC 0750) will provide students with a broad-based introduction to the field of education and empirical methods used in the field, while 1 Senior Seminar, EDUC 1900, offers a culmination of students’ experiences in the concentration.
  • 4 Specialization Courses: Students must take 4 courses total in their chosen area of emphasis (Education Policy Analysis; Human Development; Education and Inequality; Education for Social Justice; Adolescence; Immigrant Families, Communities & Education; Child Development; Teaching and Learning; Education and Economics; or any related topic of interest) within the education field.
  • 3 Elective courses related to the field of education and the student's field of study. Only 1 independent study can count towards concentration requirements. No more than 3 courses in an Education Studies concentration can come from other departments outside of Education, and all courses should be approved by the student's advisor and meaningfully tied to education. 
  • 1 Experiential Component: By the end of fall semester of senior year, students must complete an Experiential Component designed to promote practice-based engagement with the field of education and reflect on their experiences, tying them into their academic learning in the Education Studies concentration. Students can satisfy this requirement in one of three ways:
    1. By completing an existing Community-Based Learning and Research (CBLR) in the Department. 

    2. By writing a paper reflecting on their experience through the lens of their coursework in the Department. The student’s academic advisor will assess the paper. It is to be completed independently of coursework and is not credit bearing (although students may do it as an additional assignment associated with a class they are taking). 

    3. By completing the reflection in an independent study-like course “Reflecting on Fieldwork.” 


Education Studies Concentration Plan of Study

Foundational Courses Required for Education Studies Concentration

Introduction to Education and Society: Foundations of Opportunity and Inequality
Evidence and Method in Education Research
Senior Seminar


Other Courses in Education Studies Concentration 

4 Courses in Area of Emphasis (could include any 4 of the following)4
New Faces, New Challenges: Immigrant Students in U.S. Schools
Controversies in American Education Policy: A Multidisciplinary Approach
The Afterschool Hours
Juveniles for Justice: Youth Civic Engagement and Activism
Brown v. Board of Education
Cradle of Inequality: The Role of Families, Schools, and Neighborhoods
Introduction to Human Development and Education
Sports in American Society
Fieldwork and Seminar in Secondary Education
The Craft of Teaching
The History of American Education
Comparative Education
Sociology of Education
Sociology of Higher Education
History of African-American Education
Politics and Public Education
Adolescent Literature
Introduction to Qualitative Research Methods
Introductory Statistics for Education Research and Policy Analysis
Economics of Education I
Education, the Economy and School Reform
Adolescence in Social Context
Language and Education Policy in Multilingual Contexts
Social Psychology of Race, Class, and Gender
The Psychology of Teaching and Learning
Ethnic Studies & Education
Cross-Cultural Perspectives on Child Development
Policy Implementation in Education
Literacy, Community, and the Arts: Theory into Practice
Urban Schools in Historical Perspective
Beauty Pageants as an American Institution
American Higher Education in Historical Context
Moral Development and Education
Social Context of Learning and Development
Education and Human Development in East Asia
Family Engagement in Education
3 Foundational course in Education (from the table above)3
3 Electives3
1 Experiential Component 0
Total Credits10


Concentrators seeking to graduate with honors must apply for honors candidacy by the end of their sixth semester. Successful candidates must meet all requirements for the concentration; maintain a minimum grade average that includes more A’s than B’s in Education courses (a B must be counterbalanced by two A's) ; and successfully complete EDUC 1990 and EDUC 1991, in which they write a senior thesis under the guidance of a thesis advisor. Honors are awarded on the basis of thesis quality. Students whose theses meet or exceed the standards established in the Department Rubric earn honors upon graduation.  Students interested in writing an Honors thesis should contact David Rangel, the Honors/Capstone Advisor. 


Capstones are voluntary, student-initiated projects or experiences outside the classroom that build on and contribute to students' Education Studies concentration.  They can take various forms, including a research project, website design, curriculum design, policy analysis, or scholarly paper. Capstones can be designed and executed in the senior year, or can be based on a previous experience that the student wants to explore further in some way, such as an internship or teaching experience. While capstones do not confer academic credit or departmental honors, students who complete capstones will be recognized at the department graduation ceremony and will have the opportunity to present their work at a conference in the spring of their senior year. Through capstones, students have the opportunity to work closely with a faculty member in an area of their interest and are able to reflect on and extend their learning in the concentration.  

Concurrent Baccalaureate/Master of Arts in Teaching Degree

Beginning in 2020-2021, the Education Department offers a concurrent degree program in which Brown undergraduates can apply to earn a B.A. or B.S. in a subject field (English, history, math, biology, chemistry, physics, engineering and allied concentrations) and MAT degree in 5 years.

Brown undergraduates can apply through the Education Department during their junior year. During their first four years, candidates must complete all baccalaureate requirements and may take up to two of the required graduate courses. In their fifth year, they will complete the remaining required graduate courses, including the one-year teaching residency. The minimum requirements to complete both degrees are 36 credits, of which a maximum of two may count toward the concurrent baccalaureate/MAT degree.  

Engaged Scholars Program

The Engaged Scholars Program (ESP) in Education is intended for Education Studies concentrators interested in making connections between their concentration curriculum and long-term engagement, including internships, public service, humanitarian and development work, school-based education work, social service in education, or other forms of community and clinical involvement. The program combines preparation, experience, and reflection to provide students with opportunities to integrate academic learning and social engagement. (Note: This program is separate from the department's required experiential component.). Students can learn more about the program and its requirements on the ESP in Education website.