Formative Education

An unprecedented​ ​venture in American higher education, the Department of Formative Education (DFE) is devoted to the interdisciplinary exploration of questions at once perennial and pressing: How do we educate whole persons for meaningful lives? How do we cultivate community? How do we nurture vision and values? In DFE, faculty ​conduct groundbreaking research​ ​on the cultivation of character, the expansion of imagination, and realization of purpose.


Program match your criteria

Early Childhood Policy and Leadership Certificate
<h3><b>PROGRAM HIGHLIGHTS </b></h3> <ul> <li>Complete a three-course certificate in Early Childhood Policy and Leadership, including courses in the science of early childhood development; program and policy development and evaluation; and leadership, advocacy, and partnerships.</li> <li>Participate in monthly seminars, targeting key issues related to early childhood research, practice, policy, advocacy, and leadership over the course of three semesters. </li> <li>Complete a three-month, paid summer internship in a local, national, or international setting to solidify skills in policy development and analysis, leadership, advocacy, or research translation in the early childhood field.</li> <li>Translate learning from the internship and certificate courses by completing a capstone project, such as a policy brief, academic paper, or policy analysis.<br /> </li> </ul> <p> </p>
<p>Develop a deep understanding of the science of early childhood development and the policies and systems that intersect with young children and their families.<br /> </p>
Formative Education, Ph.D.
<h3><b>PROGRAM HIGHLIGHTS </b></h3> <ul> <li>The program is built around the aim of helping students develop into sharp, imaginative, socially engaged, interdisciplinary thinkers. </li> <li>Drawing faculty from the diverse disciplinary traditions of history and philosophy, anthropology and humanistic psychology, design thinking, and the learning sciences, this program will prepare scholars and practitioners to examine the conceptual, empirical, and normative dimensions of formation. <br /> </li> </ul>
<p>Foster engaged scholar-practitioners whose rich, interdisciplinary intellectual formation allows them to address complex, normative questions about human transformation. The program seeks to prepare thought leaders in a variety of sectors whose research and work promote the development of whole persons toward lives of meaning and purpose. <br /> </p>
Learning Engineering, M.A.
<h3><b>PROGRAM HIGHLIGHTS </b></h3> <ul> <li>Students complete design challenges, shadow working professionals, explore technology incubators, and intern with local organizations.</li> <li>Graduates leave the program with a dynamic portfolio that showcases the depth and breadth of their design work.</li> </ul>
<p>Prepare to design engaging and effective learning experiences that are informed by the learning sciences and incorporate cutting-edge technologies.</p>
Learning Engineer Learning Experience and User Experience Designer Instructional Designer or Evaluator Curriculum Developer Educational Technology Consultant
Transformative Educational Studies, B.A.
<h3><b>PROGRAM HIGHLIGHTS</b></h3> <ul> <li>Coursework covers leading theories and strategies in curriculum; diversity, equity, inclusion; and formative education.</li> <li>Students are pushed to consider what it means to be an educator and how education should respond to contemporary social, environmental, and health crises.</li> <li>Program prepares students for 5th year master's programs at the Lynch School.</li> </ul> <p> </p> <p> </p>
<p>Study fundamental educational questions arising during this moment of social and educational transformation.</p>
English Teacher Science Teacher History Teacher ELA Teacher Associate General Counsel


Internationally recognized faculty integrate interdisciplinary theory with the most current evidence-based practices.

Faculty Accepting Doctoral Students

Affiliate Faculty

Part-Time Faculty

Retired Faculty



    Formative Education at Boston College

    At Boston College, we strive to create communities that encourage exploring the different dimensions of intellectual, emotional, interpersonal, and spiritual development across our campus. 

    More on Formative Education