Loyola University Chicago

School of Education

Explore the Program

PhD in Cultural & Educational Policy Studies

  • Examine education policy and practice through a multidisciplinary approach, with an overarching emphasis on social justice.
  • Work with faculty members who are accomplished teachers, education researchers and prominent in their respective fields of specialization.
  • Learn to conduct original research that can inform educational policy and practice.
  • Apply disciplinary (humanities, social science) perspectives to issues and questions in educational policy and practice.
  • Possess an independent and specific area of expertise.
  • Critically assess the methodological, epistemological and ethical foundations of research.
  • Recognize education’s cultural dimensions and leverage cultural analyses in their work to improve educational experiences and institutions.
  • Bring educational research to bear on forming and implementing educational policy and practice.

Completion of the Ph.D. degree program requires 60 semester hours, a comprehensive examination, a dissertation and a final oral dissertation defense. Students are required to obtain adequate preparation in research courses appropriate to their depth area.


Cultural Foundations and Policy Core (12 semester hours) 
One course from each of the following areas: Comparative and International Education, History of Education, Philosophy of Education, and Sociology of Education.


Depth Area (15 semester hours) in one of the following areas: 
Comparative and International Education, History of Education, Sociology of Education, Philosophy of Education.


Research Courses and Electives (33 hours):

  • RMTD 420: Educational Research I: Building a Body of Evidence Using Qualitative Methods
  • RMTD 421: Educational Research II: Building a Body of Evidence Using Quantitative Methods

Additional research and elective courses are selected in consultation with an advisor.


Length of the Program: This is a 60-semester-hour program, of which up to 30 hours can be included from previous graduate study, as approved by the student's advisor. Students typically take two or three courses each term and up to two courses during the summer. Completion time for the dissertation depends on the topic selected, the project’s research design and the diligence of the student. Continuous enrollment each academic term is required until all requirements are completed. Time for degree completion, including the dissertation, is six years.


Continuous Enrollment: Doctoral students in cultural and educational policy studies are required to maintain the status of continuous enrollment during their program of studies. This means that during each semester of each academic year (excluding Summer Sessions), each student must do one of the following:


  • Enroll in one of the following:
    • At least one course OR
    • ELPS 610: Doctoral Studies (maximum enrollment two semesters) OR
    • ELPS 600: Dissertation Supervision
  • A formal  may be granted upon request and the approval of the Graduate School's Associate Dean.


Comprehensive Assessment: Three essays based on an agreed-upon reading list written over a three week period.



  • Dissertation - 
  • Preparing the Dissertation Proposal
  • Oral Defense of the Dissertation

Degree Conferral: While the commencement ceremony is every May, degrees can be conferred May, August, and December. Students must apply for graduation/degree conferral. Students should apply for graduation in the semester they anticipate completing all degree requirements. Failure to meet application deadlines may result in a delay of the conferral of the degree to the following semester.  are due:

  • August 1 for December conferral
  • December 1 for May conferral
  • February 1 for August conferral

Please note the degree conferral application is valid for only one semester. If the degree is not conferred for the semester requested, a new application is required for a subsequent semester.

Autumn 2019

  • ELPS 405: Introduction to Educational Policy (Thursday, 4:15-6:45)(Dr. Jules)
  • ELPS 410: Sociology of Education (Wednesday, 7-9:30)(Dr. Phillippo)
  • ELPS 420: Philosophy of Education (Tuesday, 7-9:30)(Dr. Shuffelton)
  • ELPS 512: Sociology of Teaching Seminar (Wednesday, 4:15-6:45)(Dr. Phillippo)
  • ELPS 520: Seminar in the Philosophy of Education: Justice (Tuesday, 4:15-6:45)(Dr. Shuffelton)

Spring 2020

  • ELPS 412: Urban Education Policy Seminar (Tuesday, 4:15-6:45)(Dr. Phillippo)
  • ELPS 444: American Schooling and Social Policy: A Historical Perspective (Monday, 4:15-6:45)(Dr. Deane)
  • ELPS 455: Comparative Education (Thursday, 4:15-6:45)(Dr. Jules)
  • ELPS 520: Seminar in the Philosophy of Education: Violence in Schools (Thursday, 7-9:30)(Dr. Deane)

Fall Application Deadline: December 1


A Completed Application Form
You may submit your application form online


Official Transcripts
Applicants must submit official transcripts for all undergraduate and any graduate work. To be eligible for admission, your transcript must show an earned bachelor's degree or a bachelor’s degree in progress. Certified copies of transcripts are acceptable; faxed copies of transcripts are not considered official. If you attended Loyola University Chicago previously, you do not need to request transcripts; we have them on record.


Transcripts must show an undergraduate GPA of at least a 3.0 and a graduate GPA of 3.5. In exceptional cases, applicants whose undergraduate GPA is below 3.0 may be admitted. Each program area gives meaningful consideration to the applicant's graduate GPA, GRE scores, recommendations, professional experience and reasons for pursuing a graduate program, as well as to the diversity of the student body.


Three Letters of Recommendation
If you supply your recommender’s email address as part of your completed online application form, then your recommendation letters may be submitted online. Or, your recommenders may choose to mail them to:


Graduate & Professional Enrollment Management
820 N. Michigan Ave.
Suite 1200
Chicago, IL 60611


We ask that you submit only three letters, no more, no less. Recommenders may be academic or professional in nature.


A Personal Statement
Your statement should be 1-3 pages, and you should describe your:

  1. Academic and research interests, as well as your professional goals
  2. Life experiences that have influenced your view of social justice

Standardized Test Scores
Applicants must submit general GRE. Loyola’s GRE institution code is 1412.




Research Paper
You may submit a recent research paper, article, or manuscript that is at least 5 pages and is authored solely by the applicant.


The admissions committee may request an interview. Interviews are by invitation only.

For detailed information, visit the Office of the Bursar's Tuition & Fees page for the Graduate School of Education.

For additional information on billing, payment, and policies, please visit the Office of the Bursar. For information on financial aid and scholarship opportunities, visit Loyola's Financial Aid Office and through the School of Education.

Faculty Profiles

Related Faculty