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Oklahoma State University

What is Social Foundations?

Social Foundations of Education is an interdisciplinary program that highlights the influence of social, historical, cultural and philosophical forces on education. Defined by the American Educational Studies Association, it is a "broadly-conceived field of study that derives its character and fundamental theories from a number of academic disciplines, combinations of disciplines, and area studies: history, philosophy, sociology, anthropology, religion, political science, economics, psychology, comparative and international education, educational studies, and educational policy studies." The interdisciplinary nature of the Social Foundations specialization allows us to welcome prospective students with diverse interests and varied academic backgrounds, including education, the humanities, and social sciences. Our courses are also ideal for contributing to the professional development of students in other human service and administrative professions. Social Foundations graduates are prepared to work as teachers and researchers in higher education, to advance teaching careers in elementary and secondary schools, or to seek policy-making and research positions in a variety of organizations, including schools, governmental, and non-governmental institutions both in the United States and abroad.


SCFD at OSU is recognized for its rigorous program, its excellence in teaching and research, and its strong commitment to knowledge production and methodology conceptualization. The SCFD Ph.D. program requires rigorous preparation in research design and methodology, and all students are encouraged to collaborate, present, and publish scholarly papers. Our internationally respected team of scholars has research expertise in a broad range of areas and methodologies that can support individual students’ development as scholars.