University of California, Berkeley

About the Program

The Berkeley School of Education (BSE) prepares leaders in education practice, policy, and research. BSE faculty members support a vision of public education that promotes equity and social justice by empowering practitioners to meet the highest standards of engagement and enrichment in classrooms, schools, communities, and districts.  Through this commitment, the Berkeley School of Education supports cutting-edge research and positive social transformation in education. The faculty and students at the Berkeley School of Education develop projects and strategies in interdisciplinary scholarship and field studies that positively impact educational outcomes at the state, national, and international levels.

The Berkeley School of Education offers Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), Master's of Arts (MA), and credential degree programs as well as an Education major and minor for undergraduate students.

PhD and Master's Programs at the Berkeley School of Education

Students collaborate in dynamic learning environment that develops expertise in areas including:

Leadership and Excellence in K-12

Students develop professional leadership skills and explore new opportunities in pedagogy, curricula, and policy.  Innovations in teaching and leadership in the classroom prepare students for influential administrative roles — e.g. for principals, district and system-wide administrators, and policy influencers.

Learn more about the Berkeley School of Education's Professional Programs.

Additional Programs

Graduate Group in Science and Mathematics Education (SESAME) 
SESAME is the Berkeley School of Education's interdisciplinary graduate program for students who seek advanced expertise in a scientific discipline. SESAME students earn a doctoral degree by researching the educational theories and research methodologies in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education.

Intersection of Sport and Education
In the Intersection of Sport and Education program students research facets of institutionalized sports that complements and conflict with the educational missions of American secondary and post-secondary schools.

School Psychology
The Berkeley School of Education's School Psychology program brings together psychology professionals, teachers, and educational leaders to clarify and resolve problems regarding the educational and mental health needs of children in classrooms.

Special Education (Joint Doctoral Program with San Francisco State University)
The Special Education Joint Doctoral program prepares leaders in research, teaching, administration, and supervision to address the professional needs facing children, youth, and adults with disabilities. By combining the resources of both Berkeley and SFSU, students pursue theoretical interests and applied practices in a broad spectrum of specializations within Special Education.

Leaders for Equity and Democracy (LEAD)
Berkeley’s educational doctorate (EdD) is a three year program that engages passionate, equity-conscious leaders who apply practice, theory, and research design to develop excellence and integrity in education. Using guiding principles, operational efficiencies, and professional networks, LEAD doctoral students influence all-encompassing change and innovation in education.

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Admission to the University

Applying for Graduate Admission

Thank you for considering UC Berkeley for graduate study! UC Berkeley offers more than 120 graduate programs representing the breadth and depth of interdisciplinary scholarship. The Graduate Division hosts a complete list of graduate academic programs, departments, degrees offered, and application deadlines can be found on the Graduate Division website.

Prospective students must submit an online application to be considered for admission, in addition to any supplemental materials specific to the program for which they are applying. The online application and steps to take to apply can be found on the Graduate Division website.

Admission Requirements

The minimum graduate admission requirements are:

  1. A bachelor’s degree or recognized equivalent from an accredited institution;

  2. A satisfactory scholastic average, usually a minimum grade-point average (GPA) of 3.0 (B) on a 4.0 scale; and

  3. Enough undergraduate training to do graduate work in your chosen field.

For a list of requirements to complete your graduate application, please see the Graduate Division’s Admissions Requirements page. It is also important to check with the program or department of interest, as they may have additional requirements specific to their program of study and degree. Department contact information can be found here.

Where to apply?

Visit the Berkeley Graduate Division application page.

Doctoral Degree Requirements (PhD)

Doctoral Degree Coursework Requirements

There are two kinds of coursework requirements to consider: BSE-wide courses required for all PhD students, and courses that are program or cluster specific. All courses are one semester in duration unless otherwise noted.

BSE-Wide Course Requirements

  • EDUC 268: First Year Doctoral Seminar in Education Research and Practice (offered in two consecutive semesters)
  • EDUC 282: Introduction to Disciplined Inquiry

These two courses outline the big ideas of research to elucidate how ideas and problems have been conceptualized and systematically studied by introducing students to the foundational ideas of epistemology, methodology, and research proposal-writing. 

Students must take at least two methodology courses: one quantitative and one qualitative. 

  • EDUC 375: Art of Teaching or equivalent 375 course in taught in another department

Graduate Division requires all graduate students who serve as Graduate Student Instructors (GSIs) take a “375” course. Graduate students must enroll in a 375 course before or concurrent to their first time serving as a GSI. Thus, it is strongly recommended that students take EDUC 375 as early as possible. Students may also choose to take a “375” with another department on campus to meet this requirement. 

  • Two non-BSE (“Outside”) Courses on the UCB Campus

Taking courses “outside” the BSE strengthens a student’s interdisciplinary fluency and dexterity in theory, methodology, and perspectives, while also engaging a wider scholarly 24 community of students and faculty. This is also a way for students to collaborate with faculty across campus who could serve on a qualifying exam or dissertation committee. “Outside” courses must be taken for letter grade and approved by your faculty advisor.

PhD Normative Time Schedule

“Normative Time” refers to the amount of time that the Graduate Division has determined it should take a student who is enrolled full time to complete a particular degree program. The normative time for all doctoral degree programs in the BSE is six years, whether you enter with an MA or not. The following schedule reflects the maximum time to complete the various stages in the BSE’s PhD programs in order to complete your degree within the six-year limit.

Year 1
  • 1st Semester - Coursework
  • 2nd Semester - Coursework/SRM Orals
Year 2
  • 3rd Semester - First Year Evaluation
  • 4th Semester - Complete First PreQualifying Paper
Year 3
  • 5th Semester - Annual Review
  • 6th Semester - Prequalifying Review (Completion of Position Papers and a Dissertation Prospectus)
Year 4
  • 7th Semester - Qualifying Examination/Advance to Candidacy
  • 8th Semester - Dissertation Proposal Review Meeting
Year 5
  • 9th Semester - Conduct Dissertation Research/Annual Review/Candidacy Review
  • 10th Semester - Conduct dissertation research
Year 6
  • 11th Semester - Annual Review/Doctoral Candidacy Review
  • 12th Semester - File Dissertation

Master's Degree Requirements

Duration of the Master’s in Education Academic Program: 1–2 years (2–4 semesters)

Minimum Units to Complete and Course Series Parameters

  • Students must complete 24 units of coursework.
  • At least 12 units must be in the 200-series of Education (EDUC) courses.
  • The remaining required units may be from the upper division 100 or 200-series offered in Education and from other UC Berkeley departments.
  • EDUC 299 Independent Study and 300-series courses may not be used to meet the 24 unit requirement for the Master’s in Education.

Master’s in Education: Required Core Courses [BSE-Wide]

EDUC 290B: Introduction to Liberatory Education (3 units)

● At least one methodology course. Students should check CalCentral or the BSE Course Guide for course offerings. Recommended introductory courses are:

  • EDUC 271B: Introduction to Qualitative Methods (3 units); and/or,
  • EDUC 274A: Measurement and Education in Social Sciences (3 units)

Master’s in Education: Required Specialization Courses

Most areas of specialization have two core courses and may also have a research group associated with this particular focus of inquiry. Please see the lists below, and consult your faculty advisor.

Master’s in Education:

Capstone Project The Capstone Project is required in addition to the completion of the required 24 units. The Capstone Project may be fulfilled as a pilot study or position paper. Two BSE faculty members participate in the approval of the Capstone Project requirement. The faculty advisor and at least one other faculty member evaluate the seminar study.


Required Courses

Critical Studies of Race, Class, Gender
A. Two Cluster-Level Core Courses Taken in Year 1
EDUC 280AProseminar: Sociocultural Critique of Education3
EDUC 280BProseminar: Sociocultural Critique of Education3
B. Two CSRCG Elective Courses Taken at Any Time
EDUC 222Politics and Pedagogies at the Intersections of Data, Technologies, and Inequalities3
EDUC 224CGender, Mathematics and Science3
EDUC 230ADesigned to Disrupt: Critical Approaches to the Design of Learning Environments3
EDUC 240BTheoretical Issues in the Study of Literacy3
EDUC 240DFoundations of Curriculum Theory in the United States: A Survey3
EDUC 248Learning & Identitiy in a Racially-Structured Society3
EDUC 257Theoretical Foundations for the Cultural Study of Sport in Education3
EDUC C265C/AFRICAM C265Research Advances in Race, Diversity, and Educational Policy3
EDUC 281ARace, Whiteness Studies and Education3
EDUC 283FUrban Education3
EDUC/AFRICAM C286The Education of African-American Students3
EDUC 241Autism as Neurodiversity: Scholarship, Politics, and Culture3
EDUC 241DPerspectives on Classroom Discourse3
EDUC 290CSpecial Topics Seminars: Cognition and Development1-4
Learning Sciences and Human Development (LSHD) Requirements
A. Three Cluster-Level Core Courses Taken in Year 1
SCMATHE 210Practicum in Science and Math Education Research and Development1-4
SCMATHE 292Research Seminar and Colloquium1
EDUC 203Cultivating Cognitive Development: From Sensorimotor Intelligence to Embodied STEM Concepts3
B. One Additional Methodology Course Taken at Any Time
C. Two LSHD Elective Courses Taken at Any Time
EDUC 215Socialization Processes Within the Family3
EDUC 222Politics and Pedagogies at the Intersections of Data, Technologies, and Inequalities3
EDUC 224AMathematical Thinking and Problem Solving3
EDUC 224CGender, Mathematics and Science3
EDUC 230ADesigned to Disrupt: Critical Approaches to the Design of Learning Environments3
EDUC 240BTheoretical Issues in the Study of Literacy3
EDUC 248Learning & Identitiy in a Racially-Structured Society3
SCMATHE 220CInstructional Design in Science and Mathematics Education3
EDUC 254Introduction to Cultural Historical Activity Theory3
EDUC 201APsychology of Reading3
EDUC 290CSpecial Topics Seminars: Cognition and Development1-4
Policy, Politics, and Leadership (PPL) Requirements
A. One Cluster-Level Course in Education Policy or Politics Taken at Any Time
EDUC 267Economics of Education3
EDUC 265Higher Education Policy3
EDUC 290ASpecial Topics Seminars: Policy, Organization, Measurement, and Evaluation (Democracy, the Welfare State, and Public Education)1-4
EDUC 290ASpecial Topics Seminars: Policy, Organization, Measurement, and Evaluation (Neoliberalism and Education Policy)1-4
EDUC C265C/AFRICAM C265Research Advances in Race, Diversity, and Educational Policy3
B. One Cluster-Level Course in Leadership and Organizational Behavior Taken at Any Time
Students take at least one course in leadership or organizational behavior. These courses are typically taught by Drs. Fuller and Mintrop. Additional leadership courses are offered through the Principal Leadership Institute (PLI) and Leaders for Equity and Democracy (LEAD) programs. Students interested in pursuing such courses should do so in consultation with their advisor.
Social Research Methodologies (SRM) Requirements
A. Three Courses from the Following List of (Introductory Strand) Courses
EDUC 271BIntroduction to Qualitative Research Methods3
EDUC 274AMeasurement in Education and the Social Sciences I4
EDUC 276AIntroduction to Program Evaluation3
EDUC 275BData Analysis in Educational Research II4
EDUC 244/DATA 144Data Mining and Analytics3
B. Four Follow-On Courses Related to Two Strands of Specializations
SRM is organized around five strands as depicted below. The introductory course of each strand is in Bold and “follow on” courses are listed thereafter. Only course numbers are listed in the table (consult the BSE Course Guide for yearly offerings). Students are also encouraged to take courses in other campus departments/units.
1) Qualitative
Introduction to Qualitative Research Methods [3]
Advanced Qualitative Methods [3]
Discourse Analysis [3]
Ethnographic Methods in the Study of Language and Literacy in Traditional and Digital Environment [3]
2) Measurement
Measurement in Education and the Social Sciences II [4]
Measurement in Education and the Social Sciences II [4]
Research Seminar in Measurement [2]
Multidimensional Measurement [4]
3) Evaluation
Introduction to Program Evaluation [3]
Practicum in Evaluation [2-4]
Theoretical Issues in Evaluation [3]
4) Statistics 1
Data Analysis in Education Research [4]
Data Analysis in Educational Research II [4]
Hierarchical and Longitudinal Modeling [5]
5) Data Science 2
Data Mining and Analytics [3]
Course Not Available

See also graduate-level Statistics courses and/or Public Health Biostatistics courses.


See also graduate-level Statistics courses and/or Computer Science courses.



Contact Information

Graduate School of Education

2121 Berkeley Way

Phone: 510-642-5345

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2121 Berkeley Way

Head Graduate Advisor


2121 Berkeley Way

Director of Student Services


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