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Social and Cultural Studies in Education

Master's Degree in Social & Cultural Studies in Education at KU

Students in JRP classroom

Note: Effective May 2021: The official program name has changed to Education and Social Policy.  We are moving to a new website this fall, so more information to come.   Interested individuals are encouraged to contact Bryan Mann (bryanmann@ku.edu), assistant professor, before applying to the program. 

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The master's degree in education and social policy at the University of Kansas provides students with knowledge on diversity and equity issues in educational policymaking. The degree offers graduate students a 31 credit hour program, culminating with a capstone project.  Students in the program complete a variety of courses, focusing on foundational questions such as:

  • How has the present educational system developed, in the U.S. and worldwide?
  • How does 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?

This program offers an individualized student experience that addresses essential questions in education and can be completed in less than two calendar years. The goal of the program is to prepare thoughtful and effective educators for a variety of settings.

Career Outcomes in Education and Social Policy

The master's degree supports a wide range of career opportunities at various organizations.  Depending on student interest, background, and trajectory, these potentially include:

  • state departments of education
  • city departments of education
  • academic research centers
  • not for profit organizations
  • educational foundations
  • education/social policy think tanks

Please note: this is not a licensure program.  Instead, it provides the skills and dispositions needed to thrive in these various organizations.

Let us know you are interested.


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
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