Languages, Cultures and Literacies PhD


This PhD program is designed for educators who wish to focus on the cultural and linguistic diversity that characterizes contemporary classrooms globally, who wish to participate in ongoing faculty research, and ultimately conduct their own research regarding how diversity might be recognized, strengthened and taken as a resource in public education. The program’s instructors are committed to practices of equity and access. Courses offer a range of opportunities to question meanings and practices of social difference including those based on race, gender, language, class, and sexuality. The program pays close attention to dialogue across difference. We uniquely model this in the structure of our program, as students will interact in every class session with two professors, each contributing their varied expertise.

  • Start Term: Fall 2015
  • Apply from: Nov. 15, 2014
  • Apply by: January 15, 2015
  • Tuition 2014/15: $1728.80/term
  • Tuition 2015/16: $1763.37/term*
    *subject to senate approval
  • Application Process


Strong statements have been recently made about the necessity for graduate students in education to be involved from the outset of their graduate education in collaborative interdisciplinary work with colleagues (Eisenhart and DeHaan, 2005). This program explicitly attempts to set up a doctoral program in which students will learn interdisciplinary research methods, participate in educational research projects with mentors, have opportunities to report on that research, and finally to conduct their own research projects for their dissertations. Through this work, they will also become familiar with current theory and practice in their specific fields of interest.

Students complete:

EDUC 923-4    The Politics Of Difference: Coalition Building and Critical Pedagogy

Students will become familiar with current theories, practices and research about anti-racist and critical pedagogies, and democratic dialogue for coalition-building in educational contexts.

EDUC 926-2    Doctoral Seminar A: Anthropological Approaches to Educational Research

This seminar is designed for the first term of the doctoral program in Languages, Cultures, and Literacies in the Faculty of Education. It will provide students with opportunities to examine and practice analytical research procedures that are currently in the forefront of socio-cultural, transformative educational scholarship. Students will become familiar with and discuss anthropological approaches in education research.

EDUC 924-4    Multilingual Societies and Identities in a Globalizing World

The course will introduce participants to theoretical perspectives and developments in the fields of multilingualism, identity formation and globalization, and to their impacts inside and outside of classrooms. Participants will be encouraged to employ, adapt, and challenge analytic paradigms, and to apply them to the contexts of the classrooms in which they teach and/or the societies in which they have lived.

EDUC 927-2    Doctoral Seminar B: Sociolinguistic Approaches to Educational Research

Participants will discuss methodological approaches in sociolinguistic research in educational and other social contexts. Courses instructors will introduce a range of sociolinguistic research following different methodologies, as well as presenting their own research. Participants will be involved in discussions and analysis in three areas: analysis of data from instructors' research; applicability of methodologies in participants' own social and educational contexts; relevance and applicability of methodologies in terms of participants' emerging research plans.

EDUC 925-4    Critical Literacies in Multilingual Contexts

Students will become familiar with current theory, practice and research in multiliteracies and multimodal literacies in multilingual contexts, in critical literacy pedagogies, and critical discourse analysis with respect to interaction as well as text. Participants will also discuss current critical literacy research practices, and demonstrate the design and execution of such studies.

EDUC 928-2    Doctoral Seminar C: Critical and Sociocultural Approaches to Educational Research

Participants will discuss examples of critical and sociocultural research in multiliteracies and multimodal literacies in multilingual contexts. Course instructors will present their own as well as others' research, and course discussion will centre on methods and techniques for this approach to critical educational research. Participants will be involved in analyzing data from instructors' projects.

EDUC 866-5    Qualitative Methods in Educational Research (Formerly EDUC 867)

This course introduces students to qualitative research in education and examines topics such as identifying problems, using conceptual frameworks, coding, data analysis, drawing interpretations, and constructing arguments. 

EDUC 983-5    Comprehensive Examination

The examination is graded on a satisfactory/unsatisfactory basis. Normally, the comprehensive examination is completed in the term in which course requirements are completed, or the term immediately following.

EDUC 899-10    Doctoral Thesis

A major part of this program is original research. A thesis describing this is submitted and defended. Normally, before the fourth course a thesis research plan is presented to the supervisory committee. Upon entry to the program, every term students enroll in EDUC 899-10 Doctoral Thesis

Students are encouraged to take elective courses both within and outside the Faculty of Education. EDUC 923, 924, 925 are usually offered during the day; other Education courses are offered in the late afternoon/evening during most terms.

Program Faculty

Admission Information

Program Prerequisites:

A thesis-based MA with a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.5/4.33 will normally be required for admission, as well as submitted evidence that the applicant is capable of undertaking substantial original research. SFU doctoral admission requirementsAcademic equivalency by country.

Frequently Asked Admission Questions on the Dean of Graduate Studies website.

Program Format:

This program is designed to offer flexibility for students by holding most classes in the late afternoon/evenings (exceptions: EDUC 923, 924, and 925 are usually offered during the day). Classes tend to be held on our Burnaby campus.

Program Fees:

Fees for 2014/15

Tuition                             $1728.80/term

Other Fees
Recreation/Athletics          $71.06
Student Activity                 $63.59
Student Services               $42.64
Graduation(first 3 terms)   $12.00
Universal Transit Pass      $140.00 (Students who do not live in the GVRD and are registered in off-campus courses can apply for an exemption.)

Extended Health/Dental – for information please go to If students have existing extended health and dental coverage, an opt out process is required if no further coverage is wanted.

Interim primary medical insurance for International students - for information please go to

Tuition is reduced to $864.45/term from the 9th term onwards for PhD students. All other costs remain the same each term.

On leave fee $216.14/term

Fees are subject to change annually.  Please refer to the SFU Calendar for further information.

Admissions Contacts:

For admissions/course registration, contact Mauvereen Walker (; 778-782-4787). If Mauvereen is unavailable, contact other staff in the Graduate Programs office.

Financial Support:

Students offered admission to the Doctor of Philosophy, PhD program may be eligible for a Faculty of Education Graduate Entrance package.  The Graduate Entrance package is valued at $18,000 per year for two years and is made available through a combination of scholarships, research assistantships. 

Additional information about financial support can be found on our Financial Resources page and the Dean of Graduate Studies Office also has useful information regarding financial support.

Additional information can be found on our Frequently Asked Questions page as well as in the Student Calendar.