Elizabeth Stearns

Elizabeth Stearns

Professor and Director, Public Policy Doctoral Program

Professor, Department of Sociology

Professor, Public Policy Doctoral Program


PhD, North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 2001

Research Interest:

Dr. Stearns’ primary research efforts revolve around issues of social inequality, especially how inequality is generated and maintained in the formal schooling system in the U.S. Much of the inequality that Dr. Stearns studies lies along racial and gender lines. Her research agenda has two main areas: (1) educational processes, both academic and non-academic, and (2) interracial relations in changing demographic contexts. She is a PI on a four-year NSF-funded study that examines the roots of disparities in students who pursue STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) majors in college.

Recent and/or Relevant Publications

2013 Moller, Stephanie and Elizabeth Stearns. “Changing Course: The Gender Gap in College Selectivity and Opportunities to Learn in High School.” Forthcoming in Gender and Education.

2013 Stearns, Elizabeth, Nandan Jha, and Stephanie Potochnick. “Race, Secondary School Course of Study, and College Type.” Social Science Research 42: 789-803.

2013 Moller, Stephanie, Roslyn Mickelson, Elizabeth Stearns, Martha Bottia, and Neena Banerjee. “Collective Pedagogical Teacher Culture and Mathematics Achievement: Differences by Race, Ethnicity, and Socio-Economic Status.” Sociology of Education 86: 174-194.

2012 Moller, Stephanie and Elizabeth Stearns. “Tracking Success: High School Curricula and Labor Market Outcomes by Race and Gender.” Urban Education 47(6): 1025-1054.

2010 Stearns, Elizabeth. “Long-term Correlates of High School Racial Composition and Race Relations.” Teachers College Record 112: 1654-1678.

Areas of Research and Teaching Expertise

Social Policy

Faculty Website

NSF Project Website