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What is the structure of the Concentration?

"Say It In Yiddish" book cover

The EdJS is primarily intended to support students at the doctoral level.  We neither support nor grant terminal MA degrees.  PhD students will enroll as full-time students in the GSE. There are no possibilities of part-time study for the PhD at Stanford. The Concentration is not a stand-alone program; it is fully integrated into the School of Education. This integration provides the best opportunity for students to take advantage of the expertise of our faculty across a variety of areas and disciplines.

What are the coursework requirements for the Concentration?

All PhD students in the GSE take a set of core courses during the first year and, in some cases, into the second. In addition, students in the EdJS Concentration are required to take two courses with professor Kelman. Other coursework is negotiated between the student and their advisor.

Do I need previous academic training in Jewish Education?

If by “Jewish education” you mean actual classroom or informal education experience, the answer is no. Education goes far beyond what happens in formal settings to embrace the totality of ways that society cultivates and transmits knowledge. The Concentration is committed to interdisciplinary scholarship, and that means acknowledging a rich diversity of scholarly approaches to education.

Can I study remotely?

No.  In the GSE, we expect all students to be full, engaged participants in the intellectual life of the campus, to take courses with our faculty, and to collaborate with peers for the duration of your Fellowship.  If research requires you to study elsewhere for a period of time, we can make accommodations, but the expectation is that students will be in residence at Stanford at least until they advance to candidacy. 

Do you accept international students?


Do I have to be Jewish to apply to the Concentration?

Absolutely not. Stanford’s non-discrimination policy “prohibits unlawful discrimination, including harassment, on the basis of race, color, national or ethnic origin, sex, age, disability, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, or any other characteristic protected by applicable law in the administration of the University’s programs and activities.”

What do the fellowships cover?

Our fellowships cover Stanford’s tuition and provide a monthly living stipend for five years of full-time study and supervised research experience. Students in the concentration will serve as research assistants on on-going research projects in the School of Education. This RAship is for ten hours a week during the first year, and twenty hours for each subsequent year.

What can I do with a PhD in Education and a concentration in Education and Jewish Studies?

As is the case with those who earn Doctorates in Education at Stanford in other fields, you can pursue any number of career paths. This concentration is an outstanding choice for people interested in studying education and its myriad effects. Universities, Jewish communal organizations, think tanks, foundations, and philanthropies are in desperate need of more and better information, and our graduates will actively seek to provide it, regardless of where they ultimately find employment.

What is the relationship between the Concentration in Education and Jewish Studies and the Taube Center for Jewish Studies?

The Concentration acts as a bridge between the GSE and the Taube Center for Jewish Studies in both formal and informal ways. Students will have access to faculty from both, and we expect that our candidates will take advantage of the opportunity to work with colleagues in Jewish Studies.  We also host a quarterly Colloquium on Jews, Judaisms, and Jewish Cultures, which provide graduate students with the opportunity to share their work in a conference-style format, and to recieve feedback from faculty.

What are you looking for in prospective students?

Students should possess a passionate interest in the dynamics of education, regardless of how they specifically understand the many facets of the educational process. We hope that the Concentration will become the center for creative, innovative, forward-thinking research at the intersection of Education and Jewish Studies, and we are looking for students who are eager to advance this conversation.

Is there a language requirement?

Yes. Insofar as our students must be capable of engaging in the global conversation about Education and Jewish Studies, every student in EdJS must demonstrate proficiency in Hebrew language before we can confer their degree. This means that students will be able to read and engage with scholarly literature in Hebrew. The intention behind this requirement is so that, as researchers, students will be able to engage broadly in scholarly discourse. We encourage but do not require learning an additional language, but we leave that decision to the student and their research needs.

I want to be a Camp Director for a Jewish summer camp. Is this the best program for me?

Perhaps, but our course of study will not focus on the nuts and bolts of how to run a camp or how to start a school.  There are many other excellent programs for people interested in becoming summer camp directors or synagogue educators (See, for example: The Davidson School at Jewish Theological Seminary or the Rhea Hirsch School of Education at Hebrew Union College) Stanford’s School of Education is an internationally recognized setting for preparing scholars of education. Our specialty is learning to ask educational questions in the most rigorous way possible, and learning how to explore those questions using a variety of research methodologies and disciplinary perspectives.

Do you accept people without a Master’s Degree?

Yes. Most PhD programs in the School of Education do not require a Masters to apply directly to the PhD. However, students holding an MA can often receive advanced standing by applying their MA credits toward their PhD degree.  This is not always advisable, though it is possible.

How do students apply to the PhD Concentration in Education and Jewish Studies?

The Concentration is located in the Stanford Graduate School of Education (GSE). Interested students should explore the organization of the PhD program including the four areas of study within the School of Education (Curriculum & Teacher Education; Developmental and Applied Psychological Studies; Social Science, Humanities and Interdisciplinary Policy Studies in Education; and the cross-area program in Learning Sciences and Technology Design), as well as each of their respective sub-programs. In the on-line application, after you have indicated the area the School of Education to which you are applying, you will be given the option of indicating your “Academic Interest.” In the appropriate drop-down menu select “Education and Jewish Studies” as your area of interest. You should clearly address your interests in Education and Jewish Studies in your Statement of Purpose, as well, and how this interest connects to existing strengths within the School of Education and the Taube Center for Jewish Studies.

Who was Jim Joseph?

Please see the Jim Joseph Foundation website for more information about Jim Joseph and the Foundation that bears his name. The Foundation endowed the Jim Joseph Chair in Education and Jewish Studies at Stanford and provided the impetus for creating the Concentration in Education and Jewish Studies.