University of California, Irvine

School of Education

About the school

School of Education

From its inception, the UCI School of Education has contributed to the vitality of Orange County by offering access to educational resources and enhancing the achievement of students, teachers and administrators. The UCI School of Education focuses on advancing educational sciences and contributing to improved educational opportunities and outcomes for individuals across the entire lifespan.

A diverse, dynamic and collaborative institution with more than 10,000 alumni worldwide, the School of Education is recognized for research, community partnerships and programming that produce innovative scholarship, address the needs of local schools, and inspire future generations of educators.

The School of Education is committed to promoting educational success and achievement of ethnically and economically diverse learners of all ages through research, teaching and service.


School of Education faculty members bring disciplinary strengths in a breadth of fields, including but not limited to economics, sociology, psychology, linguistics and neurosciences. Dedicated to research that advances educational science and improves learning outcomes for all students, regardless of background, faculty serve as principal investigators on grants funded by the most illustrious agencies in the world – the U.S. Department of Education, the National Science Foundation, and the National Institutes of Health, to name a few. In the past year, faculty members were awarded more than $36 million in grant money, more than $1 million per full-time faculty. As of June 2019, School of Education faculty members served as principal investigators on grants whose combined total exceeded more than $90 million.


The University of California, Irvine established the Office of Teacher Education in 1971. For 20 years, the unit focused on professional preparation and high-quality training for teachers and administrators. The office later grew to the Department of Education, emphasizing research and graduate study education; and in 2012, the UC Regents established the UCI School of Education.

The School of Education currently offers undergraduate, master’s, and doctoral degrees.

  • Bachelor of Arts in Education Sciences (BAES)
    The BAES degree focuses on four domains: human development, learning, and cognition; societal and policy contexts affecting education; media and communication systems for learning; and educational research and evaluation. The first undergraduate degree program in the nation to study education from a scientific perspective, UCI’s BAES enrolls more than 900 undergraduates each year.
  • Master of Arts in Teaching + Teaching Credential
    The largest such program in the University of California system, the MAT program graduates an average of 130 teacher candidates each summer. The MAT program combines classroom instruction with research and service opportunities. During their yearlong school site apprenticeship in an Orange County classroom, candidates apply the content-specific teaching practices and theories studied in coursework and receive mentorship from both UCI faculty and experienced classroom teachers.
  • Ph.D. in Education
    Established in 2007, the Ph.D. in Education program provides students with core knowledge of requisite educational theory and research while allowing them to focus on one or more areas of specialization: educational policy and social context; human development in context; and teaching, learning, and educational improvement. Ph.D. graduates currently are in teaching and leadership roles in higher education, research institutions, government, and public service organizations around the world.
  • CalTeach
    A collaboration among UCI’s Schools of Physical Science, Biological Science, and Education, the CalTeach program enables undergraduates to earn a STEM degree plus their teaching credential in four years. Undergraduates who participate in the program gain experience in inquiry-based science and mathematics teaching through hands-on fieldwork in elementary, middle and high school classrooms. Since 2012, CalTeach has graduated 253 STEM teachers, with 70% teaching in high-needs schools in Southern California.
  • A professional administrative services credential program is offered through UCI Extension.

Community Partnerships

The School of Education’s community partnership activities exemplify the School’s commitment to mutually beneficial engagement.

Orange County Educational Advancement Network (OCEAN)
Structured as a group of partnerships between the UCI School of Education and a growing number of local K-12 schools, OCEAN places a faculty member and a doctoral student at each K-12 school. They then work with school leadership to identify greatest needs and goals, conduct targeted research, and mobilize a Networked Improvement Community (NIC) to implement improvement plans for the benefit of multiple schools. Research thus far has informed leadership on students’ language development, their engagement with the school, and the efficacy of curriculum in preparing students for college.

Next-Generation Undergraduate Success Measurement Project
The University of California, Irvine - under the leadership of the School of Education and its dean, Richard Arum - is serving as a pilot demonstration site to develop and implement a state-of-the-art measurement project to improve understanding of the value of undergraduate educational experiences and promote evidence-based models of undergraduate student success. Researchers are exploring how data from learning management systems and other sources can be combined with institutional records to improve our understanding of the value of undergraduate educational experiences. Supported by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the project is designed to inform the development of a large-scale longitudinal study of colleges and universities (College and Beyond II) coordinated by the Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research (ICPSR) at the University of Michigan.

UCI Teacher Academy
The UCI Teacher Academy provides a home for teachers and school leaders to develop and enhance their professional practice in four areas: teacher preparation, professional development, teacher leadership, and administrator leadership. Supported by the SchoolsFirst Federal Credit Union, the Teacher Academy creates a context where teachers collaborate, inspire, and lead others in transforming their instruction. Established in fall 2018, the Teacher Academy has already hosted more than 2,500 teachers across several workshops and conferences.

Center for Educational Partnerships (CFEP)
Created in 1996, the CFEP employs new strategies to address ongoing systemic educational inequities and ensure equal access to higher education for all. CFEP programs support teachers and students in four areas: transfer preparation, K-12 student development, K-12 teacher development, and diverse UCI undergraduate student populations. Working collaboratively with schools and communities, CFEP programs impact more than 12,000 students annually.

Richard Arum, Dean

Richard Arum is the dean of UCI’s School of Education. Prior to joining UCI, Arum served as chair of the sociology department at New York University. During nearly 16 years at NYU, the professor of sociology and education also chaired the Department of Humanities & Social Sciences in the Professions and served as the Steinhardt School of Education’s director of research. Additionally, Arum served as interim director of NYU’s Institute of Human Development & Social Change. Previously, he was an assistant professor of sociology at the University of Arizona and an instructor in the teacher training program at Holy Names College in Oakland. Arum began his career as a high school teacher and technology consultant in the Oakland public school system. In 2013, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation named him senior fellow of its U.S. programs. He is currently president-elect of the American Sociological Association’s sociology of education section. Arum is an expert on the legal and institutional environments of schools, social stratification and digital education. He is the principal investigator on the Next Generation Undergraduate Success Measurement Project. He earned a doctorate in sociology at UC Berkeley, an M.Ed. in teaching & curriculum at Harvard University and a B.A. in political science at Tufts University.

Current research grants include:

  • Carol Booth Olson’s $14.7 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education seeks to close reading and writing achievement gaps among high-needs students in grades seven to 11.
  • Greg Duncan’s $7.86 million National Institute of Child Health and Human Development grant studies the links between income and children’s cognitive development and health.
  • The Center for Educational Partnership’s $5.4 million Gear Up grant from the U.S. Department of Education prepares Compton students for college access and success.
  • Jade Jenkins’ $3.3 million grant from the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development studies whether, for whom, and how the effects of successful early childhood school readiness interventions are sustained across a child’s development.
  • Rachel Baker’s $2.5 million National Science Foundation grant studies how cross-enrollment can improve the transition of community college students into university STEM programs.
  • Mark Warschauer’s $1 million NSF grant studies ways to develop, implement, and evaluate new curriculum to teach computational thinking and coding to upper elementary school students from linguistically diverse backgrounds.


  • In 2019, the School of Education was ranked 23rd in the nation among schools of education and 13th among public university schools of education by U.S. News & World Report.
  • Faculty members within the school currently are principal investigators on more than $90 million in grant funding.
  • Active grants include 16 from the National Science Foundation, 11 from the Institute of Education Sciences, 11 from the National Institutes of Health, and five from the U.S. Department of Education.
  • The School currently is collaborating with 498 partner schools, districts, and colleges to improve learning opportunities for all ages.
  • Four faculty members are members of the National Academy of Education; one is a member of the National Academy of Sciences; and one professor is a fellow of the American Academy of Political and Social Science.
  • Three faculty are UCI distinguished professors, Greg Duncan, Jacquelynne Eccles, and George Farkas. Carol Connor and Deborah Vandell, founding dean of the School of Education, are UCI Chancellor’s Professors.