Graduate Programs


The mission of the graduate Social Foundations of Education program at The University of Toledo is to educate knowledgeable, skilled leaders who create effective change and build a more just, peaceful world. 

UToledo has the only doctoral program in Foundations of Education in the region. Our graduate students think deeply about how social, cultural and ideological forces shape education. Our program is distinctive in its emphasis on community and culture, social justice and peace education. 

If you have an interest in education, in all its forms across society, this is the program for you. UToledo mentors and nurtures local educators and other professionals striving to improve the world. We actively recruit graduate students from underrepresented populations in the Toledo area.  

The Social Foundations of Education program offers: 

Our graduate students bring extensive experience from working in schools and other community institutions. They also come with a strong desire to address the pressing issues they see in their communities. They want to understand the historical, social and institutional forces that lead to these issues. 

Alumni become positive leaders and role models, many in the central city of Toledo.   

Top Reasons to Study foundations of education at UToledo

  1. Flexibility.
    Our program caters to working professionals. Courses are offered in a variety of formats: on-campus (evening classes), asynchronous online (courses can be accessed any time) and blended (online and on-campus). 
  2. Add a certificate.
    Graduate students pursuing a doctoral degree in Social Foundations of Education can enhance their career opportunities by completing a certificate in foundations of peace education
  3. Community involvement.

    Our students have opportunities to learn and participate in these popular, community-based programs: 

    • Community Conversations for School Success — This education series attracts citizens, students and educators to discuss how to help all students succeed. 
    • Padua Alliance Participatory Action Research —  UToledo graduate students and community members team up to investigate how the history and culture of the community inform current social justice issues. Students present their research at regional and national events. 
  4. One-of-a-kind peace education collection.

    No one has made more of an impact on peace education than internationally renowned peace scholar and Nobel Peace Prize nominee Betty Reardon. UToledo is proud to house the Reardon Collection in our Ward M. Canaday Center for Special Collections in UToledo’s Carlson Library. Students have access to her extensive body of scholarship.  

    We also are home to the Betty Reardon Peace Education Resource Center in Gillham Hall Room 5260. This center is home to a variety of materials for faculty, student and public use. 

  5. Work on a peace education journal.
    UToledo faculty member Dr. Dale Snauwaert founded In Factis Pax, a peer-reviewed, online journal of peace education and social justice. Students participate as article submission reviewers. 
  6. Add a certificate in Peace Education or a minor in Peace Studies
    • Studies nonviolence and democratic education in an interdisciplinary fashion 
    • Develops curriculum 
    • Organizes seminars, symposia, discussion groups and more 
    • Houses a unique, extensive, peace education library open to students 

Graduate students in the program conduct research, present their work at national conferences and co-author articles with faculty. 

Faculty and students strive to address issues such as: 

  • Raising the academic performance of underserved students
  • Equity and access for all in a multicultural society
  • Social justice issues such as funding
  • Recruitment of a diverse teacher workforce
  • Our acclaimed, award-winning faculty members have diverse research interests, including:
  • Theories of democracy and social justice
  • Philosophy of peace education
  • The relationships between social policy and education in the U.S. and other countries
  • Urban education issues
  • The role of educational institutions in human development
  • The use of folkloristic theories, methods and materials in promoting democratic and social reconstructionist education
  • The relationship of race, class and gender to the education of historically marginalized populations in the U.S.
  • The impact of politics and institutions on the lives of educators and citizens in history
  • Human rights and human rights education


What jobs can I get with a foundations of education degree?

Social Foundations of Education graduate degree prepares students for careers as: 

  • Professionals in nonprofits and governmental organizations, community agencies and businesses valuing diversity
  • Scholars and researchers
  • Teachers and educational reformers
  • University administrators, faculty and staff
  • Urban developers and planners

Graduates of our doctoral program have been hired as:

  • Assistant professor, Wayne State College, Wayne, Neb.
  • Co-director of The Truth Telling Project and visiting assistant director, Juniata College, Huntingdon, Pa.
  • Dean, College of General Studies, Indiana Tech University, Fort Wayne, Ind.
  • Director of research and operations, Intermedia, Nairobi, Kenya
  • Educational consultant, Coimbatore, India
  • Faculty, American Language Institute, The University of Toledo, Toledo, Ohio
  • Professor, Al-Quds University, Palestine, Israel
  • Professor of English, Ningbo University, Zhejiang, China
  • Program and training specialist, Advocacy Learning Center, Minneapolis, Minn.
  • Toledo EXCEL coordinator, The University of Toledo, Toledo, Ohio






How to Apply to Graduate School

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Last Updated: 4/24/24