Doctor of Philosophy in Social Policy

Economic and Racial Equity Policy

The Economic and Racial Equity policy concentration will enable students to develop a theoretical and empirical understanding of the causes, manifestations and consequences of social and economic inequities, and prepares them for challenging careers developing research and policy that addresses and aims to eliminate these inequities.

Focus of the Concentration

Students in the concentration will grapple with questions such as:

  • What are the causes and consequences of social and economic inequities associated with race/ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, immigration status, social class, and age?
  • How are aging and disability, health, mental health and substance abuse, and children, youth, and family policies and programs shaped by current social and economic inequities, and how may these programs and policies best contribute to reducing and eliminating such inequities?

Graduates of the program assume roles as policy analysts, researchers, educators, program planners, and advocates. The concentration helps students achieve their goals through mentoring and advising, formal courses, colloquia, research responsibilities, and interaction with faculty.

Students in this concentration are advised by faculty and work on research projects directed by the Institute for Economic and Racial Equity, a research institute dedicated to promoting a better understanding of how assets and asset-building opportunities improve the well-being and financial stability of individuals and families left out of the economic mainstream.

Required Concentration Courses

Sample Dissertations

  • Zita Dixon, 2021. “Creating, Passing, and Protecting a Racially Equitable Higher Education Social Policy Program:  A Critical Historical Case Study of a State's Policymaking Process and Its Participants.”
  • Misti Jeffers, 2021. “From Rural Working Class to ‘Scholar Status:’ Student Academic Capital Formation and Organizational Habitus within the McNair Program.”
  • Benjamin  Kreider, 2021. “Labor’s ‘New Kids on The Block:’ Three Essays on Collaboration Between Immigrant Worker Centers and Unions.”
  • Shamekka Kuykendall, 2021. “The Safety Net in Hard Times: State Spending on Temporary Assistance for Needy Families in the Great Recession.”

  • Giselle Routhier, 2021. “Multidimensional Housing Insecurity: A New Approach to Measuring, Understanding, and Addressing Problems Among Renters in the United States.”

  • Sana Shaikh, 2020. “Aligning Relational Coordination and Racial Identity to Center Teachers’ Narratives: A Mixed-Method Study on Culturally Responsive Teaching.”