• Home
  • Academics
  • Degrees
  • Social and Cultural Studies in Education
  • M.S.E.
  • Program Curriculum

Social and Cultural Studies in Education

Master's Program Curriculum Prepares Culturally Responsive Leaders

KU’s Master’s degree in Social & Cultural Studies in Education (also known as Foundations of Education) offers you a graduate program that supports a wide range of career opportunities for various institutions including: PK-12 school districts, community colleges, universities, governmental agencies, and business organizations.

As a graduate students in the Master’s program, you can choose between two tracks within your program of study: 

  1. Thesis (or project) Option - requires a total of 30 graduate credit hours.
    1. Upon successful completion of coursework in the thesis (or project) option, focused thesis or project work begins, on a topic of your choosing with faculty guidance.
  2. Non-thesis Option - requires a total of 36 graduate credit hours
    1. Each student in the non-thesis/project option must pass a comprehensive examination at the end of coursework, supervised by the student’s committee.

Regardless of which program track you choose (thesis vs. non-thesis), you are able to select tailored program coursework in consultation with your faculty advisor and enhance your learning to fit your professional interests and educational needs.  Students may take courses as electives in history, philosophy, sociology, anthropology, political science, economics and other relevant fields (in addition to Social & Cultural Studies in Education) with the advice of a faculty advisor and an advisory committee. Such courses should offer an opportunity for students to focus on a variety of theoretical and research-based questions that align with their individual interests. 

A sample program plan is provided here, with a range of social and cultural studies courses:

Course Number Course Name Credit Hours
EPSY 715 Understanding Research in Education 3
ELPS 837 History of Education and Culture in America 3
ELPS 830 Foundations of Multicultural Education 3
ELPS 831 Sociology of Education 3
ELPS 835 Philosophy of Education 3
  Elective 1 3
  Elective 2 3
  Elective 3 3
  Thesis Track Only - Additional Requirements  
ELPS 899 Master's Thesis 6
  Thesis Defense 0
  TOTAL CREDIT HOURS (THESIS TRACK ONLY) 30
  Project Track Only - Additional Requirements  
ELPS 898 Master's Project 4
  Non-ELPS Elective 1 2 (or 3)
  Project Defense 0
  TOTAL CREDIT HOURS (PROJECT TRACK ONLY) 30
  Non-Thesis/Project Track Only - Additional Requirements  
  Non-thesis/project Elective 1 3
  Non-thesis/project Elective 2 3
  Non-thesis/project Elective 3 3
  Comprehensive Exam 0
  TOTAL CREDIT HOURS (NON-THESIS/PROJECT TRACK ONLY) 36

Other Social & Cultural Studies in Education Courses Include:

  • Growing Up in Urbanizing American (ELPS 627)
  • Education in American Society (ELPS 757)
  • Historical Inquiry in Education (ELPS 839)
  • Sociology of Educational Organizations (ELPS 954)
  • American Educational Reform Movements: Past & Present (ELPS 958)
  • Higher Education in the United States (ELPS 882)
  • Education, Technology & Social Change (ELPS 975)

Please note: Other graduate courses and course electives can be considered.  Please consult with your faculty advisor for options and pre-requisite requirements.

For more information, let us know you are interested.


Request more information

Apply Now

Practicing Educator
Cost Savings

Learn more about the Practicing Educator Sponsorship Program offered to PK-12 public (or private) school district educators interested in a graduate program in education at KU.

School of Education is 10th among public universities for its master’s and doctoral programs
—U.S. News & World Report
Professor Lisa Wolf-Wendel is president-elect of the Association for the Study of Higher Education
Alumni of the department head higher education institutions, school districts, and schools across the nation
KU Today
Connect with KU Educational Leadership & Policy Studies

KU School of Education Facebook page KU School of Education YouTube Channel KU School of Education Twitter Feed KU School of Ed instagram icon