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Social Sciences and Comparative Education Division (SSCE)

In the Social Sciences and Comparative Education graduate division, students explore issues of social, cultural, historical, philosophical and comparative/international contexts of education. The Division is multidisciplinary and brings various methodologies and vocabularies to the study of education. The SSCE Division offers two degree programs: the M.A. and Ph.D. Sub-specializations in Comparative/International Studies in Education or Race, Ethnic, and Cultural Studies in Education are offered for both programs.
Students climbing a flight of stairs on campus


Overview of Program

The Social Sciences and Comparative Education (SSCE) Division is concerned with issues of social, cultural, historical, and comparative/international contexts of education. The Division is multidisciplinary and brings various methodologies and vocabularies –– discourse analysis, philosophical analysis, agency, representation and structure –– as well as classical approaches to the study of education.

SSCE shares its commitment to theory with an equal commitment to empirical research, policy, and practice in terms of formal education (e.g., classroom research), informal education (e.g., mass media research and representation) and non-formal education (e.g., participatory action research, popular education).

SSCE aims to prepare students to:

  • Teach and conduct research in philosophical, cultural, race, ethnic, gender, and comparative/international studies in education
  • Act as specialists for U.S. and overseas programs, non-governmental agencies, and multilateral and bilateral technical assistance agencies
  • Engage in philosophical, critical theoretical, cross-cultural, comparative, and social science analysis of educational issues in the United States and in other areas of the world
  • Provide resource assistance for institutions and programs concerned with cultural studies, media technology, critical pedagogy, and multicultural, ethnic and cross-cultural education.


What Graduates Do

The education that SSCE students receive prepares them for work in a variety of fields. Recent SSCE graduates have assumed positions either as faculty, consultants, specialists or researchers in a number of institutions around the globe.
Student OiYan Poon
OiYan Poon, '10
Poon is an assistant professor of Higher Education Leadership at the School of Education and the director of the Race & Intersectional Studies for Education Equity (RISE) Center at Colorado State University. Her research focuses on the racial politics and discourses of college access, higher education organization and policy, affirmative action, and Asian Americans.
Student Stephanie Cariaga
Stephanie Cariaga, '18
Cariaga is an assistant professor in the Division of Teacher Education, College of Education at CSU Dominguez Hills. She was honored for her dissertation on “Pedagogies of Wholeness: Cultivating Critical Healing Literacies with Students of Color in an Embodied English Classroom,” by AERA’s Critical Educators for Social Justice SIG.
Our Students
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Graduate students at UCLA Department of Education benefit from — and contribute to — the resources of the country’s number one public graduate school of education.

A distinguished faculty committed to research and teaching and excellent research centers and institutes offer extraordinary opportunities for graduate endeavors. We are preparing the next generation of researchers and professionals to address some of the most pressing challenges in the field. Learn how SSCE could be the right fit for you.

The ED&IS Office of Student Services looks forward to assisting you through the application process. If we can be of service to you in any step of this process, please feel free to contact any one of our advisors.

Degree Specializations

Find Your Place
UCLA Ed&IS provides pathways for all.


Our Faculty

Professor Robert T. Teranishi
Robert T. Teranishi
Professor of Education; Morgan and Helen Chu Endowed Chair in Asian American Studies; Co-Director, Institute for Immigration, Globalization, and Education
Edith Mukudi Omwami, associate professor
Edith Mukudi Omwami
Associate Professor
Carlos Alberto Torres, distinguised professor
Carlos Alberto Torres
Distinguished Professor; Director, UCLA Paulo Freire Institute
David Garcia, associate professor
David G. Garcia
Associate Professor

Contact Us

Division Head
Division Administrative Assistant
Division Graduate Advisor
Student Ambassadors