Fernandez's research focuses on educational policy issues. Overarching themes in his writing include graduate education, STEM research policy, education and skill formation, free speech and academic freedom, and civic engagement.
Examines the undergraduate origins of Latina and Latino doctorates.
Examines the ways that Indiana public universities became more selective after the state adopted a performance-based funding formula for university allocations.
Considers the ways that education is related to numeracy and literacy skills — and how the two are related to labor market outcomes among immigrant workers. Compares and contrasts the importance of immigrant education and skills in Canada and the United States.
Considers the future of selective university admissions in the wake of the Fisher v. University of Texas U.S. Supreme Court case.
Discusses academic freedom in the wake of the 2006 Garcetti v. Ceballos U.S. Supreme Court case.
Examines the global rise of scholarly research in science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and health fields. Provides historical and sociological understandings of the ways that higher education has become an institution that, more than ever before, shapes science and society.