Education is a much more complex and dynamic process than once was understood, involving cultural, linguistic, and cognitive elements. In the Department of Education at Washington University, scholars and students explore why, how, and when learning occurs, how the learning processes can be improved, and what factors hinder or enhance the outcome. To do this, the department focuses on the social, cultural, and political belief systems embedded in both local and national institutions.

For undergraduates, the department offers majors in applied linguistics, educational studies, elementary education, middle school education, and secondary education, as well as a minor in educational studies. The department also offers doctoral programs in social contexts of educational research, science and mathematics education, and applied linguistics in education. Master of Arts degrees are also offered in teaching, education (MAED), education (MAED): instructional process, deaf education (MSDE), and a MSW/MAED joint degree.

The department’s strengths are numerous and include: a 4:1 student/faculty ratio for supervision, a strong "professional semester" experience, which combines educational methods courses with your teaching to encourage analysis of practice, and an 80-95% placement rate for first-year teachers.