Question: Graduate programs in the History of Education

Rick Mikulski's picture

Dear All,

I only recently read that NYU suspended applications for Fall 2019 admissions to their PhD in History of Education, and are suspending applications for Fall 2020 admission to the MA in History of Education program.  I know Columbia University Teachers College offers degrees in History and Education, which "explores broad questions in education by looking at them through a historical lens." Other schools, such as Stanford, offer a concentration in History of Education through their SHIPS - History program.

It makes me curious: how many universities have distinct History of Education programs/departments, or offer a formal history of education concentration?


Rick Mikulski, PhD
Assistant Professor & Librarian
Portland State University 

Categories: Query

We still offer a doctoral-level concentration in History of Education here at the University of Toledo.

PhD candidates in the Schools, Culture, and Society program at the University of Iowa must choose either a history of education or a sociology of education concentration. I believe the Ohio State also has a history of ed concentration.

The Department of Educational Policy Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison has a PhD concentration in History of Education.

Following up on Kristen Chmielewski's comment, Ohio State University does offer a PhD and MA in "Educational Studies, Philosophy and History of Education" through their Dept of Educational Studies:

The Ontario Institute for Studies in Education at the University of Toronto, used to have a History and Philosophy of Education PhD program. I’m a graduate of its History of Education program. I don’t think they offer this anymore. I wrote about this in a 2012 book chapter titled “Historicizing Comparative and International Education, and Internationalizing History of Education: A Personal reflection on Ruth Hayhoe's Call for Cultural Dialogue”. In Karen Mundy and Qiang Zha (Eds.), Education and Global Cultural Dialogue: A Tribute to Ruth Hayhoe, (pp. 69-82). New York, USA: Palgrave Macmillan.
I recall a presentation on the state of the teaching of history of education and social foundations of education in teacher education programs in the US. Perhaps there needs to be a study on the existing history of education PhD programs in the US and Canada?

Other programs appear to be:

Illinois (EdM, MA, PhD)

Loyola (concentration in MA and PhD in Cultural & Educational Policy Studies program)

Syracuse (concentration in Cultural Foundations of Education, Ph.D.)

Boston College (concentration in Doctor of Philosophy in Higher Education)

At one time the University of Wisconsin-Madison had a History of Education program. Juergen Herbst and Carl Kaestle were among its luminaries, who held joint appointments in the Educational Policy Studies department of the School of Education.  Currently William T. Reese holds the Kaestle WARF chair of Educational Policy Studies and History; he teaches the subject in courses at all levels.  The History Department lists five scholars who could oversee thesis work.


I believe the University of Chicago had a History of Education PhD program at some point as well.

Peter raises a good point: there are a number of universities that don't have a formal History of Education program or concentration exactly, but do have excellent faculty who could easily and gladly advise a strong history of education dissertation. That does muddy the waters a bit.

Hi All,

Many thanks to everyone who replied to my question!

Based on this discussion thread, I have compiled a list of History of Education programs:

The list had been added to the H-Education resources page: