Educational Studies

An interdisciplinary major and minor that emphasize the broader social context that surrounds, informs and shapes education.

Bringing disciplines together

Interested in education, but don’t see yourself as a classroom teacher? Our educational studies major was designed for students like you. Part of the department’s goal of offering various pathways for students to explore their interests in education, this major ensures you will use the insights of several disciplines (history, philosophy, anthropology, sociology and psychology) to understand the importance of education for individuals, communities and societies.

Examining the big picture

Educational Studies major and Women's Studies minor, Rylee Mann '21. Educational Studies major and Women's Studies minor, Rylee Mann '21.Social problems can’t be sufficiently understood, let alone solved, in the school setting alone. When majoring in educational studies, you develop a well-rounded, foundational understanding of education at the socio-cultural level by examining the historical, political, cultural and economic components of education in a pluralistic society.

This major examines the meaning of, challenges to, and possibilities of various forms of informal and formal education. You’ll enrich your knowledge of yourself and of society through a study of how different groups and populations experience education in its diverse manifestations and cross-cultural practices.

Career opportunities

Education is multi-faceted and occurs in diverse learning sites. The educational studies major will prepare you for a variety of careers (some of which may require more education or certification), such as:

  • School Counseling
  • Nonprofit & Community Organizations
  • Peace Corps
  • Education Policy
  • International Teaching and Education
  • Museum and Zoo Education
  • Speech Pathology
  • Teach for America (and other teaching programs)
  • Health Education
  • Admissions and Higher Education
  • Alternative pathways to teacher licensure

Graduate school opportunities

Students who major in educational studies will be well-prepared for graduate school. The major emphasizes a challenging academic approach to the study of society and education, encouraging collaboration across academic disciplines and underscoring a diversity of scholarly perspectives. The transferable skills acquired through theoretical explorations and academic research will equip students for the intellectual rigor of graduate school.

  • <blockquote class="callout-quote"><div class="callout-quote-text"><p> “I chose educational studies because I knew that I wanted to be involved in education, but I realized that the classroom wasn’t for me. I found that higher education really interested me after working in the College’s Alumni Office. I am so grateful that the ed studies major was created so I could explore education in a new way that really means something to me.”</p></div><footer class="callout-quote-footer">Rylee Mann ’21, educational studies major and women’s studies minor</footer></blockquote>
  • <blockquote class="callout-quote"><div class="callout-quote-text"><p> “The educational studies courses I took allowed me to become more empathetic to the needs and challenges of diverse groups of students. I learned to truly think and teach outside of myself — which should be the ultimate goal of any college student, regardless of their primary major.”</p></div><footer class="callout-quote-footer">Taylor Ewald ’19, history major and educational studies minor; outreach educator at Adirondack Experience, Blue Mountain Lake, New York</footer></blockquote>