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Education Studies majors integrate knowledge and research methods into a focused examination of the field of education. The program provides opportunities for students to examine the learning process of culturally and academically diverse students, the organization of schooling, and its links to the broader social context from a variety of disciplinary perspectives. This interdisciplinary approach enables students to examine the impact of political, historical, psychological, cultural, economic, and social forces on education. 

The distinction between Education Studies and Teacher Education

While graduates of the program will have developed a rich understanding of education, the program does not lead to a teaching license. Rather it is designed for students who are interested in studying education as a social science, developing skills related to analyzing educational and other social policies, working in non-school settings, such as governmental and nonprofit organizations, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), engaging in educational media analysis and development, and/or preparing for graduate studies in education, law, the social sciences, or business.

What makes this program unique?

Interdisciplinary Focus: Students majoring in education studies have a wide variety of minors and specialty areas available to them and may choose from many disciplines offered across the University. Popular choices for education studies majors include psychology, sociology, history, business, media and politics. Through its several foci, the program in education studies teaches students how to enter, manage, or begin businesses related to education; or how to design educational products; or how to obtain employment in educationally related mass media, including public relations, advertising or print journalism.  Education studies students can focus on education issues relevant to the work place, or the U.S. justice system, or those of concern to special populations, or those germane to second language education and cultural diversity. 

Study Abroad: Students majoring in education studies are encouraged to broaden their educational experience by spending a semester studying abroad. Our students have studied abroad in a variety of countries typically during their junior year. Schedule a meeting with Dr. Rona Frederick and visit the CUAbroad office for further information.

Internships: An internship is a unique academic opportunity that allows students to step out of the classroom and gain real-world experience in a professional setting. Students in the past have held internships at The U.S. Department of Education, The National Museum for Women in the Arts, The   Children’s National Medical Center, and on Capitol Hill, to name a few.
CUA Education Studies Club is a place for students who are interested in the field of education, particularly outside of the classroom. This organization will share educational ideas, network for future careers, and bring in professionals from different fields for brown bag lunches, colloquiums and fireside chats.

Student Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of the Education Studies Major, undergraduate students will be able to:

  • Display an understanding of teaching and learning and how educational institutions function, individuals grow and change, and how diverse cultural groups are shaped by educational processes.
  • Demonstrate general knowledge and competence regarding policy, organizational, curricular, economic, philosophical, and social issues of education.
  • Conduct research and/or understand research methods and analyze educational research and its implications.
  • Develop critical thinking skills and apply them in verbal and written expression.


For additional information, contact Dr. Rona Frederick:


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Proposed Program of Study

EDUCATION CORE (9 credits)
EDUC 251 Foundations of Education
EDUC 261 Human Growth and Development
EDUC 271 (formerly 361) Psychology of Education
EDUC 522 Race, Class, Gender and Disability in Education
EDUC 421 or PSY 226 Interpersonal Communications, Consultation and the Process of Change
Psych 350 or SOC 202 Research Methods Course
EDUC 442 Internship in a Non School Setting
Electives (choose 1)
EDUC 381 Diverse Learners
EDUC 312 Curriculum and Instruction in Early Childhood and Elementary Schools
EDUC 313 Classroom Management for Regular and Special Needs Children
SOC 307 Sociology of Education

Other Requirements

In addition to all of the core courses, students must satisfy 1 additional requirement.   Students must successfully complete a major research paper as part of 442: Internship in a Non-School Setting or a major research paper as part of the EDUC 445: Contemporary Issues in Education. See Dr. Frederick for more details. 

Faculty Resources

Dr. Rona Frederick earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from Hampton University, her Master’s Degree in Africana Studies from Cornell University, and her Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Maryland, College Park. Dr. Frederick ‘s research focuses  on diversity and culturally relevant instruction, with a special emphasis in computer technology. She has over twenty years of experience as an elementary and secondary educator.   She currently serves at the coordinator for Education Studies and teaches Foundations of Education, internship courses, research methods and technology courses. 



Are you interested in being involved in education, but not interested in being a classroom teacher?  Do the requirements for obtaining a teaching certificate seem too confining for you interests?
Consider the program in education studies offered through the Department of Education at The Catholic University of America.
  • People do learn outside of classrooms
  • Many not-for-profit organizations have as their central mission to educate the public.
  • Museums, zoos and libraries spend millions on their educational efforts.
  • Businesses educate, and a teaching certificate is generally not a prerequisite for a job in business.
  • The mass media is the largest and most influential educational platform in the modern world.
Educational institutions, businesses and government agencies at home and abroad are looking for people with educational knowledge, strong in second language skills and possessed of an easy familiarity with other cultures.  No teaching certificate required.
If education and flexibility are words that help define your future, consider majoring in education studies at The Catholic University of America.
See how far an education studies major can take you.


This individually designed program does not lead to teacher certification.  Instead it serves students who want to apply in settings not requiring the teaching certificate the skills they developed while pursuing a degree in Education.  It is the most flexible undergraduate major offered by the Department of Education at The Catholic University of America.  Each major usually enrolls in one or more field experiences that serve as culminating activities directed toward preparing Education Studies majors for entry into the world of work.

Education studies students explore administrative, curricular, economic, legal, philosophical, psychological and social issues in education that may be applied to jobs in any of the following arenas:

  • The public sector: local, state or federal governments.
  • The private, for-profit sector: including industries & trade associations.
  • The public or private, not-for-profit sector: hospitals, museums, foundations, associations, or charitable organizations.

This concentration teaches student who want to work with or for children in non-school settings.  It prepares students to understand the ways schools function and to gain firsthand knowledge of how outside agencies may enhance or impede the work of schools.  Students majoring in education studies gain knowledge enabling them to be informed citizens and parents who understand how to interact constructively with schools.  Through its several foci, the program in education studies also teaches students how to enter, manage, or begin businesses related to education; or how to design educational products; or how to obtain employment in educationally related mass media, including public relations, advertising or print journalism.  Education studies students can focus on education issues relevant to the work place, or the U.S. justice system, or those of concern to special populations, or those germane to second language education and cultural diversity.  This later focus might be of interest to students who want to apply their education abroad, or assist students whose first language is not English.  Or education studies students may add to their education base an exploration of the complex issues surrounding violent and nonviolent approaches to resolving conflicts and issues associated with the study of peace, justice and world order.


Admission Procedures

Students must apply to major in education studies:

  • The student must be admitted to the School of Arts and Sciences.
  • The student must be in good standing, not be on academic probation for any reason prior to admission to this program, and maintain a GPA of 2.3.
  • The student must provide at least one reference from an education professor.
  • The student must have an interview with the program coordinator, Dr. Rona Frederick.

At least one special focus area must be completed.

Advising about course selection will take into consideration the student's needs and career goals.  It is the advisor's job to help each Education Studies major identify a suitable career and to design a program of studies that leads to this career.


Candidates can obtain the form to declare their minor from the Dean's office (107 McMahon).  Once the form is completed, candidates must meet with their minor and major advisor to plan their program of studies for a timely graduation.
Education Studies Majors - can minor in many disciplines, such as religion, philosophy, language, music, art, biology, chemistry, drama, history and others.  See the undergraduate list of minors for a complete list of minors and their requirements.
Arts & Sciences Majors - can minor in Education Studies.  In order to get a minor in Education Studies, students must declare the minor in Education Studies in the dean's office (107 McMahon) and take the following courses:
EDUC 251 Foundations of Education
EDUC 261 Human Growth and Development
EDUC 271 (formerly 361) Psychology of Education
EDUC (3 electives) A three course sequence in an approved single focus area 
as approved by the Education Studies program coordinator.

 Policies on Arts & Sciences minors can be found here.


As part of the Education Studies program students will do a one semester field experience in which the student spends 150 clock hours observing and working on-site in a non-school setting that has educational implications.  Students are under the direction of on-site personnel.  Assignments include journal keeping and a site-based research paper.

PREREQUISITES: EDUC 251, 261, 271, and a research methods course.

ELIGIBILITY: Education Studies concentrators.

Application Process
Each Student confers with the education Studies coordinator (Dr. Rona Frederick) and registers for EDUC 441 no later than the pre-registration period of the previous semester.  Because of the time it takes to locate and confirm a placement site, students may not register for this course a the beginning of the semester in which they expect to take it.  Many practicum sites require the student to apply months in advance in order to obtain a field placement.
Each student must discuss possible placements with the Program's site placement coordinator at the beginning of the semester prior to the semester that the student hopes to take EDUC 441.  It is the student's responsibility to find a placement.
NOTE: There must be mutual agreement among the agency's contact person, the student and the program's site placement coordinator about the appropriateness of the placement before the placement is made.
After placement is negotiated, the student must assume responsibility and fulfill requirements for clearances specified by the agency (health, transportation, etc.).  The student assumes the financial costs involved in fulfilling these requirements, including providing one's own transportation and obtaining liability insurance through Catholic University.
NOTE: Failure on the part of the student to complete all aspects of this process by the beginning of the semester will result in the student being required to drop this course.
Clock hours on site
A total of 150 clock hours are required.  This amounts to more than 10 hours a week for one semester.  This scheduling of the hours on-site will be at the discretion of the student and the on-site supervisor.  Students are expected to be punctual, log in and report to the on-site supervisor each assigned day, and to sign out at the end of each day.  The time spent on site is to be looked upon with the same seriousness as one would look upon a paying job.
On-campus obligation
Students will be in contact with the program's site coordinator on a regular basis through individual and group, formal and informal conferences.  The specific arrangements and times will be made at the beginning of the practicum experience each semester.
Students are required to keep a weekly journal which will be submitted bi-weekly throughout the semester to the program's site coordinator.  Students will also develop a site-based research paper of at least 25 pages dealing with some problem or aspect of the practicum experience.  Students are expected to be reflective about their practice.  At the end of the semester the student will prepare an oral presentation of the research paper and present it to all Education Studies' majors in a culminating general session.  The paper itself should be submitted to the program's site coordinator, typed, double-spaced, following a recognized format, and containing both references and an appropriate bibliography (a minimum of 25 citations of bibliographic references is required), two weeks before the end of the semester in which the student is enrolled for EDUC 441.

Final grade

This will be based on the evaluations of the on-site supervisor and the program's site coordinator; the quality of the student's work; and the quality of the participation in the individual and group, formal and informal conferences.  The program's site coordinator will keep in contact with the on-site supervisor and oversee, with the on-site supervisor, and evaluation of the student at the mid-tern and at the end of the semester.

Comprehensive Exams

Education Studies majors who do not complete a major research paper in EDUC 441 must take and pass a senior comprehensive examination.  The usual format for comprehensive examinations for education studies is as follows:

  • Students are to be given six questions five weeks before the last day to withdraw from courses and be required to answer five of these take-home questions.
  • Answers are to be completed by the student without assistance from others, though the student may consult library sources in answering each of the questions.
  • The answer to each question is to be typed, double-spaced, following a recognized format.
  • The answer to each question should be 7 or 8 pages in length and should be appropriately referenced.  Each question will be read by one reader for accuracy, adequacy, and cogency.
  • The exam will be graded following the department's usual grading system for comprehensive examinations.
  • In order to pass, the student must obtain a total score of 15 from the sum of the means obtained in each of the five questions.

Failing the Comprehensive Exam

A student who fails the comprehensive examination may be granted the privilege of a re-examination during one of the subsequent annual periods assigned for senior comprehensives.  Passing the senior comprehensive examination is a requirement for receiving a bachelor's degree in Education Studies from Catholic University.


Dr. Rona Frederick
Director of Education Studies Program
229 O'Boyle Hall
(202) 319 - 6694