Doctor of Education in Social Justice Education

A student listening intently in a lecture hall.
Doctor of Education in Social Justice Education

Doctor of Education in Social Justice Education Overview

Transform education and social justice for the next generation

The EdD in Social Justice Education (SJE) is designed for those with an interest in professional and/or voluntary practice in relevant field domains where there is an interface between theory and practice and where the vision, skills, and commitment of dedicated and research-informed practitioners are pivotal to outcomes.

It is distinct from the PhD in that students are encouraged to orient towards applied and theoretical dimensions of professional educational practice understood as knowledge, teaching, and learning which takes place within or beyond schooling. 

This program allows students to integrate doctoral level studies alongside social change work and praxis; the EdD attracts a diverse range of professionals, including teachers, school and community leaders, health and legal professionals, and those working, volunteering, or seeking employment in related fields in social justice education.

For detailed information about the program, please consult the School of Graduate Studies Calendar.

At a Glance

Study Options
Full-time (4 years)
Part-time (6 years)
Coursework plus thesis

Funding and Tuition
For detailed and up-to-date information about tuition fees, funding, and financial support, visit Tuition & Financial Support.  

Applications to the EdD in Social Justice Education for 2024-2025 admissions cycle is now open! The application deadline for our EdD program is December 1, 2023.


Ready to join one of the world’s top universities? Take the next step in your academic journey and start your application to graduate studies at OISE.

Speak with our Team

Have questions about our program, admissions, financial support or career options after graduation? Our team has the answer you’re looking for. Contact us for one-on-one support.

Attend an Info Session

We host information sessions, open houses and tours throughout the year. Come discover what it's like to study at OISE. Explore campus and meet our community.

Why I Chose Social Justice Education

OISE alum Marie Laing
Marie Laing (Master of Arts 2018)

Writer, educator, and youth leader, Native Youth Sexual Health Network
International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination Award recipient

"I was hungry for language to describe settler-colonialism and how it relates to my queer, two-spirit and trans Indigenous community. I was also eager to see how leading scholars were applying anti-racist education in a variety of contexts to create positive change. OISE’s Department of Social Justice Education was one of the few places I found where I could engage in all of these intellectual projects at once."

Doctor of Education in Social Justice Education Admission Requirements

General Admission Requirements

Please visit the OISE Admissions website for detailed information about the application process, including general minimum admission requirements and supporting documents. 


Program-Specific Information (Minimum Admission Requirements)

  • Applicants are admitted under the General Regulations of the School of Graduate Studies.
  • Admission requires a University of Toronto Master of Arts or Master of Education in Education, or its equivalent from a recognized university in the same field of specialization proposed at the doctoral level, completed with standing equivalent to B+ or better.
  • Students who are admitted without sufficient previous study in a humanities, social science, or a cognate discipline may be required to take additional courses.
  • At least one year of professional experience.


Required Supporting Documents

All applicants must submit: 

  • Transcript(s) from each post-secondary institution attended.
  • A résumé that provides clear and complete information about the applicant's work or field experience related to their proposed studies.
  • Two letters of reference, preferably from university instructors with whom the applicant has studied or worked, although one professional reference letter and one academic reference letter would also be acceptable.
  • Statement of Intent (Applicants are asked to answer each of the following questions in an essay format [bullet points are not acceptable]. Not only will the content of your responses be used in the assessment of the application, but so will the quality and clarity of your writing. Please limit responses to 200-250 words per question.)
  1. What research interests do you intend to pursue in your graduate studies?
  2. How did you become interested in this area of research? (Please feel free to refer to any relevant literature and/or personal experiences.)
  3. Why is Social Justice Education at OISE the best place to pursue your research interests?
  4. What faculty members in Social Justice Education could support your graduate studies and chosen research direction?
  5. What previous experiences, skills, and strengths will support you in your graduate studies?
  • At least one sample of written work that demonstrates engagement with the humanities or social sciences, and social justice in education.

Additional Program Information


Students are required to complete 4.0 full-course equivalents (FCEs), including:

  • Practicum in Social Justice Education (SJE3997H, 0.5 FCE, 72 hours)
  • Interdisciplinary Approaches to Humanities and Social Sciences: Theory and Praxis (SJE3905H, 0.5 FCE) is recommended.
  • Students who have completed the recommended course SJE3905H must take 3.0 other FCEs, of which at least 1.5 must be in the Social Justice Education program.
  • Students who are registered in a collaborative specialization may apply to have their SJE course requirement reduced by 0.5 FCE.
  • Students must consult with their faculty advisor before enrolling in any out-of-department course for which they wish to receive credit. 

The thesis (dissertation in practice) is the culminating component of the EdD in Social Justice Education, and must be the result of original research. The thesis (dissertation in practice) should include an identification and investigation of a problem of practice, the application of theory and research to the problem of practice, and a design for action to address the problem of practice.

The thesis (dissertation in practice) can take two formats: (1) a traditional format where a complex problem of practice and the inquiry is presented in an authored, multi-chapter document; (2) a mixed format where the problem of practice and related review and analysis of applicable scholarship and policy is presented in a written research document combined with a practical component.

* The full-time EdD student must have an approved thesis topic, supervisor and approved thesis committee, and completed all other program requirements by the end of Year 3. The part-time EdD student must have the same by the end of Year 4.  

Collaborative specializations provide graduate students enrolled in participating degree programs with an additional multidisciplinary experience as they complete their home degree program.
Learn more about the collaborative specializations offered to EdD students in the SJE program:

Faculty in the Social Justice Education program have multi-disciplinary teaching and research expertise in a wide range of fields, including but not limited to:

  • Anti-colonial and Indigenous education
  • Anti-racism education
  • Ethics and education
  • Critical race studies
  • Indigenous knowledges
  • Quantitative and qualitative research methodologies
  • Queer and gender theory

Ready to join one of the world’s top universities?

Take the next step in your academic journey and start your application to graduate studies at OISE.