Lauren E. McDonald

woman smiling
Associate Professor & Graduate Coordinator for the M.A. Program in Sociology
(818) 677-4267
Office location:
SN 314


  • Ph.D. Graduate Center of the City University of New York
  • M.A. University of Massachusetts Boston
  • B.S. St. Joseph's University
Specialty Areas: Sociology of Education, Social Inequality, Politics, Media, Public Policy, and Elite Organizations
Research and Interests

Dr. McDonald’s primary research interests are in sociology of education, social inequality, politics, the media, and public policy. Her research has examined various facets of how the conservative movement in America has used think tanks, the media, and policy planning organizations to influence education policy debates. Her more recent research has focused on the framing of healthcare and immigration policy debates by high profile cable TV pundits on FOX News and MSNBC, and navigating ethical issues in community-based participatory research. She is currently working on a project that analyzes the educational trajectories of first-generation college students at CSUN using data collected by the Office of Institutional Research’s Learning Habits Project. In 2011 Dr. McDonald was the winner of the Don Dorsey Excellence in Mentoring Award given by the Office of Educational Opportunity, and in 2015 she was a recipient of the Exceptional Levels of Service to Students Award given by the Office of the Vice President for Faculty Affairs. Her research has appeared in academic journals such as Educational Policy, the Journal for Critical Education Policy Studies, and the Journal of Empirical Research on Human Research Ethics.

Courses Taught

SOC 150: Introductory Sociology

SOC 202: Sociological Analysis

SOC 300: The Family

SOC 350: Population Dynamics

SOC 401: Class, Status, and Power

SOC 426: Social Legislation & Social Policy

SOC 498AEE: The Sociological Experience

SOC 572: Evaluation Research

SOC 585O: Selected Topics in Education

SOC 696A: Directed Graduate Research

SOC 699: Independent Study

SBS 320: Social Science Research

MPA 620: Research Methods for Public Administration

MPA 623B: Approaches and Methods in Program Evaluation