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Doctor of Education (EdD) in Social Justice Education

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.

Study options: Full-time or part-time

Components: Coursework and thesis or dissertation in practice

Program Length: 4 years full-time
                               6 years part-time

Time Limit: 6 years full-time
                     6 years part-time



For detailed information about the program, please consult the School of Graduate Studies Calendar and the OISE Graduate Studies Bulletin


Note: EdD in Social Justice Education is accepting a limited number of applications for 2021-2022.




1. Coursework: 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. 

2. Thesis (Dissertation in Practice):

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.  

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Registration information

  • Students may begin their studies on a part-time basis. However, they must register full-time for a minimum of two consecutive sessions, not including Summer, of on-campus study.
  • Once enrolled full-time, students must maintain continuous registration full-time and pay full-time fees until all degree requirements, including the thesis, are completed.
  • Full-time and part-time EdD students must complete their degrees within six years.
  • Students cannot normally transfer between the EdD and PhD programs.


Collaborative specializations

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 SJE 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

To learn more, see our faculty profiles.



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


Admission and application information

General information

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

Program-specific information

The Department of Social Justice Education’s admission guidelines are attentive to challenging barriers of systemic discrimination in education. Applicants may voluntarily self-identify as members of equity-seeking groups (women, visible minorities, Aboriginal peoples, persons with a disability, sexual/gender minorities, francophone, etc.), if this is considered relevant to research interests or experience in social justice education.

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?

For details, visit:

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.



Applications to the EdD in Social Justice Education for 2022-2023 admissions cycle is set to open early October 2021.

The main application deadline is Monday November 15, 2021. For the most up-to-date information on application deadlines, please visit OISE Admissions.


Questions about applying? Please contact the OISE admissions office at 416-978-4300 or

Questions about the program? Please contact us