The Master's degree in Education and Social Policy offered at the University of Kansas School of Education and Human Sciences provides graduate students a 30 credit hour program, culminating with a capstone project. The program permits students to complete a variety of courses, focusing on foundational questions and applications such as:
- How has the present educational system developed, in the U.S. and worldwide?
- How do poverty and inequality affect the school performance of children?
- What knowledge should schools aim to impart?
- How can education help achieve a more just, democratic, and multicultural society?
- What are the ethical responsibilities of teachers and other educators in an unequal and changing society?
- What are the competing purposes of education, and how do we make choices among them?
As a field of study, Education and Social Policy is also known as Social Foundations of Education at some institutions. At KU, this master’s level degree program offers an individualized student experience that addresses big questions in education, such as inequality, multiculturalism and social justice – and can be completed in less than two calendar years. The program is designed for full-time and part-time graduate students. Graduate students enrolled in the program can expect to:
- Increase their knowledge and ability to assess problems in contemporary education, particularly concerning questions of inequity, multiculturalism, and social justice.
- Apply knowledge from a diverse array of courses and departmental perspectives including sociology, philosophy, history, political science, and more.
- Examine problems in curriculum and learning, especially around questions of language and culture.
- Gain understanding of schooling & develop an appreciation of the political, economic, and social forces that influence the decisions of educational leaders.
- Share in-depth analyses and discussions of theory for application to real-world experiences in classes and other settings.
- Complete a capstone project during their final semester demonstrating competencies in social and cultural dimensions of education.
Graduate Admission to the School of Education and Human Sciences
Graduate programs in education are open to students with acceptable baccalaureate and graduate degrees whose academic records indicate that they can do successful work at the graduate level. Applicants must provide evidence of ability to work successfully at the graduate level, including experience in and commitment to the profession.
Each department in the School of Education and Human Sciences sets its own application deadlines and admission criteria. Prospective graduate students should contact the appropriate department for more information.
See Admission in the Graduate Studies section of the online catalog for more information.
Graduate Admission requirements:
Applicants for the 3 master’s programs, education and social policy, educational administration, and higher education administration, must submit the following materials:
(Individual program concentrations may require additional application materials (see below). Please check the departmental website or program advisor for additional information and application deadlines.)
- A completed Graduate application.
- 1 official transcript from each post-secondary collegiate institution attended.
- Completed bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university, or a foreign university with substantially equivalent bachelor’s degree requirements.
- Statement of purpose with relevance of degree to career aspirations.
- Three letters of recommendation evaluating the applicant’s capacity for rigorous graduate study and qualifications for leadership positions in education and related fields.
- A vita or resume.
- Proof of English proficiency, for non-native English speakers. Visit https://gradapply.ku.edu/english-requirements for further details.
See below for specific admissions requirements for the master's concentrations:
Education & Social Policy:
The education and social policy program requires a bachelor’s degree with a grade-point average (GPA) of at least a B (3.0 on a 4.0 scale). It additionally requires a statement of purpose that describes the applicant’s interests related to education and social policy. Applicants must address their personal and academic background, professional goals, and life experiences that shaped the decision to pursue a master’s degree. They should also describe experiences or achievements that would help them contribute to the ELPS program; KU’s mission for promoting diversity, equity, and inclusiveness; and their professional aspirations once they complete the degree.
The educational administration program requires a bachelor’s degree with a grade-point average (GPA) of at least a B (3.0 on a 4.0 scale). Applicants with an undergraduate GPA below 3.00 should contact a KU admissions advisor for more information. Letters of recommendation for this concentration should meet these criteria: one should be from an immediate supervisor and two from others in leadership positions (principal, grade level chair, instructional coach, etc).
Higher Education Administration:
The higher education administration program requires a bachelor’s degree with a grade-point average (GPA) of at least a B (3.0 on a 4.0 scale). Letters of recommendation should include one from the applicant’s immediate supervisor, and at least one of the others should be from a professor.
Education and Social Policy
A sample program plan is provided below (Electives should be chosen in consultation with the student's advisor):
|Code ||Title ||Hours |
|EPSY 715||Understanding Research in Education||3|
|ELPS 757||Education in American Society||3|
|ELPS 830||Foundations of Multicultural Education||3|
|Code ||Title ||Hours |
|ELPS 898||Master's Project||3|
Capstone Project: Students will select one of two options for a capstone project:
Policy report.. The policy report option gives students an artifact they can use on the job market. The report will analyze a contemporary educational policy issue and may include policy origin, intended objectives, surrounding debates, potential outcomes, unintended consequences, and other policy features.
Online portfolio. The online portfolio option allows students to create a portfolio of their learnings in the master’s program. The online portfolio may include a page for curriculum vitae, research, teaching and learning, service, and other educational projects.