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Ph.D. in Culture and Teaching


This is a politically committed program dedicated to critical issues related to equity, democracy, and social justice in education. Interdisciplinary and collaborative, faculty and students engage in a variety of perspectives and methods in their study of education and schooling across broad social, cultural, and political contexts. CaT graduates are poised to assume faculty positions in higher education as well as leadership roles in local, national, and international systems.


Students can engage in research that ties into their area of interest. Faculty work closely with each cohort to achieve research and educational goals.

View Culture and Teaching student dissertation topics

Career Outlook

CaT graduates are poised to assume faculty positions in higher education as well as leadership roles in local, national, and international systems.

Recent graduates have found employment in the following positions:

Faculty Positions

  • Assistant Professor of Education at Macalester
  • Rhodes College, Assistant Professor of Education Memphis TN
  • SUNY New Platt, Assistant Professor of Educational Foundations
  • Program Director of Elementary Education, University of Minnesota

Administrative/Research Positions

  • School District Administrator. St. Paul Public Schools


Nina Asher Professor
Nina Asher
Vichet Chhuon Associate Professor
Vichet Chhuon
Mary Hermes Professor
Mary Hermes
Timothy Lensmire Professor
Timothy Lensmire
Bic Ngo Professor
Bic Ngo


Our curriculum requires students to consider the power and privilege that shape disparate opportunities in education by race, class, and gender.

For example, some courses examine the implications of globalization and immigration for teaching, learning and curriculum; others examine the salience of understanding white racial identity for pedagogy and social change; and, other courses explore popular culture and media in relation to contemporary critical theory and teaching practices.

“Teaching” in CaT includes thinking about how, as educational leaders and researchers in and outside of the classroom, we might take up radical democratic forms of life with our fellow learners.

Students enrolled in other tracks within the Department of Curriculum and Instruction may also choose to pursue a supporting program in CaT.

You will complete 15 credits in your track and 12 credits outside your track if pursuing a minor or supporting program. The program requires 51 course credits and 24 thesis credits for a total of 78 credits. See the detailed requirements and course listings in the graduate catalog and scroll down under Culture and Teaching sub-plan.

Admissions Information

Priority deadline: December 1

Admissions decisions: January

For detailed funding and admission information including transfer credits and international student admissions, visit our admissions page.

Diana Chandara PhD Culture and Teaching

"I could not have asked for professors who are more supportive of me not only as an academic but also as a human being. I am completely grateful for the generosity of their time and energy."

Diana Chandara, PhD candidate 2021