At a Glance

Photo of Peabody Hall

Peabody Hall

Founded in 1885, the School of Education was one of the first professional schools established at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Our mission is to support students, educators, schools and families in the state of North Carolina and across the nation through innovative instructional programs, scholarship and partnerships. Our goal is to help ensure that every student has the opportunities and support needed to reach her or his maximum potential as an individual, worker, family and community member and citizen of a democratic society.


Teaching, Research & Outreach

  • Commitment to Teaching

    The School offers a broad range of degrees and programs for undergraduate, graduate and post-baccalaureate students. Our faculty members prepare our students to be leaders in early childhood education, public schools, higher education, policy and public service careers, and their communities.

  • Usable Research
    Our faculty pursues rigorous, practice-oriented research, attracting substantial funding. Research projects range broadly, including studies of child development in impoverished environments, investigations of adolescent development and learning, examinations of students’ growth as mathematical learners and policy studies of how schools achieve both excellence and equity. We have become a national leader in improving education in rural schools through an array of research and intervention programs.
  • Outreach to Communities and Schools
    Outreach is central to the School’s mission. We inculcate this in our students through service-learning experiences. Our faculty and staff support North Carolina’s educators through a variety of centers and programs.
  • Commitment to Educational Equity
    The School of Education is deeply committed to educational opportunity for all. We are particularly focused on the needs of children and their families who have been historically under-served by our schools. This commitment motivates and informs all our research, teaching and outreach.



Photo of commencement ceremony


The organization of the School reflects our responsibilities, our commitments and the shared teaching and research interests of our faculty:

  • The Professional Leadership & Practice division includes the baccalaureate and master’s degree programs that educate and prepare students to be practitioners in careers in P-12 schools.
  • The Graduate & Undergraduate Research & Policy division includes master’s and doctoral programs that prepare educators who intend to pursue careers in which disciplined inquiry plays a central role.

Faculty members from these various areas collaborate to offer a wide range of programs at the undergraduate, master’s and doctoral levels, as well as many flexible post-baccalaureate programs to accommodate practicing professionals. Specific programs are listed under Academic Programs.



The School of Education at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill is committed to realizing the transformative power of education, and — in turn — is redefining what it means to educate. Education has the power to break down barriers, lift up individuals, and empower communities to rise and thrive. To that end, we inspire educators to lead; to think creatively, act with passion, and strive toward equity for all.

Rankings & Recognitions

Photo of commencement ceremony

In March 2019, U.S. News & World Report ranked the School of Education 27th among the public and private schools of education across the United States that were included in the ranking, a rise of eight places in the previous three years. We were ranked No. 17 among schools of education at public universities.
In addition, seven of our program areas were ranked in the top 20 in their fields:

• Special Education: 11th
• Educational Psychology: 15th
• Secondary Education: 15th
• Education Policy: 16th
• Administration/Supervision: 17th (tie)
• Elementary Education: 18th
• Curriculum and Instruction: 18th (tie)

Read more about our latest rankings here.  

Faculty & Students

(as of Spring 2019)
Faculty Number
Full-Time Faculty


Level Enrolled Students
Spring 2019
Undergraduate Students
Graduate and Post-Baccalaureate* Degree Students

*Includes lateral entry, licensure only and add-on licensure



We have more than 22,600 alumni contributing to communities across North Carolina and the United States. Our alumni have received state teacher of the year awards, been nominated as national teachers of the year, served in high-level policy positions in the U.S. Department of Education as well as the N.C. Department of Public Instruction, filled senior-level positions in foundations and research centers, served as presidents of universities and colleges, and taught in higher education across North Carolina and the nation.


Fouad Abd-El-Khalick leads the School of Education as Professor and Dean. Abd-El-Khalick joined the School in July 2016. Before coming to Carolina, Abd-El-Khalick was Grace Wicall Gauthier Professor of Education and Associate Dean for Research & Research Education in the College of Education at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where he was a tenured full professor in, and also served as Head of, the Department of Curriculum & Instruction.

Assisting Abd-El-Khalick are Interim Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and Director of Graduate Studies Jeffrey A. Greene, Associate Dean for Academic Affairs Jill Hamm, Assistant Dean of Student Affairs Anne Bryan, Assistant Dean of Educator Preparation and Accreditation Diana Lys, Assistant Dean for Finance & Operations David Churchil, and Assistant Dean for Development Leslie Deslis.