UC Berkeley approves new major in Educational Sciences

Glynda Hull at undergrad minor celebration

Professor Glynda Hull honors Berkeley's education minors at the 2023 celebration of graduates. 

Berkeley students have long lobbied for a major in education, and we are now thrilled to offer this major and BS degree.
Professor Glynda Hull
Travis Bristol and undergraduates

Berkeley School of Education Associate Professor Travis Bristol teaches classes for Berkeley undergraduates, many of whom are students enrolled in the popular education minor. 

Building on Berkeley School of Education’s popular education minor established more than 30 years ago, campus officials have approved a new major in Educational Sciences for undergraduates. Berkeley students can take classes toward the major immediately and declare the major in fall 2024.  

“The undergraduate major will prepare students to become educational researchers, curriculum and learning specialists, and policy analysts, as well as position them for future careers as teachers and educational leaders — all committed to a shared mission of fostering human thriving through learning,” said Berkeley School of Education Professor Glynda Hull, who spearheaded the proposal with BSE Adjunct Professor Erin Murphy-Graham. 

After the major is open next fall, BSE will look to expand opportunities for undergraduates further by deepening collaborations with CalTeach and the Berkeley Teacher Education Program (BSE’s teacher preparation program), and establishing additional pathways that lead to a master’s degree or teaching credential. Berkeley’s education minor will continue to be offered now and into the future. 

Berkeley’s efforts come during an enduring and extensive nationwide shortage of teachers and school leaders as well as an increased demand in California for early childhood educators with the rollout of the state’s Universal Transitional Kindergarten program. 

“The Educational Sciences major will bring together many disciplines to understand — and improve — the role of education in our society,” said BSE Dean Michelle D. Young. “We look forward to bringing Berkeley’s brilliant undergraduates to this dynamic major and into the field of education.” 

Educational Sciences major courses will focus on promoting equity and social transformation in pre-K–16 schooling as well as advance equity, inclusion, diversity, and belonging for undergraduate students at Berkeley.  

“Berkeley students have long lobbied for a major in education, and we are now thrilled to offer this major and BS degree,” said Hull. 

BSE will welcome double majors and joint degrees and is especially keen to serve community college transfer students. Hull said classes will be discussion-based,  promote inquiry, and offer engagement outside the classroom. For example, a practicum course will give Berkeley students the chance to work with partners in Oakland and Berkeley K–12 schools.  

BSE will also offer unique online classes that feature a more interactive approach to online learning in a new high-tech virtual classroom coming to Berkeley Way West in October 2023 and will provide a number of summer session classes.

“The major will explore the interdisciplinary field of education science through academic inquiry and direct engagement with schools, families, and local and global communities,” said Murphy-Graham, who currently teaches some of the courses offered in the major. 

Read more about the forthcoming degree program, Bachelor's of Science in Educational Sciences.