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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

Effective August 2020: Interested individuals are encouraged to contact Bryan Mann (bryanmann@ku.edu), assistant professor, or Suzanne Rice (srice@ku.edu), professor, before applying to the program. 


The master's degree in social and cultural studies in education offered at the University of Kansas provides graduate students a 30 (or 36) credit hour program, with both a non-thesis or thesis option.  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 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?

As a field of study, Social & Cultural Studies in Education 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.  We are helping to prepare thoughtful and effective educators in a variety of settings.

Benefits of the program include:

  • Customizable Curriculum - Highly flexible & customizable coursework requirements allow students to focus on questions of individual interest. It also sharpens students' ability to explore a problem or topic in depth through a thesis or final project.
  • Culminating and/or Introductory - It is intended for educators and others interested in a personal as a capstone to their professional training, or as preparation for doctoral work in many fields or education specialties.
  • Program Reputation - KU’s Master’s Degree in Social and Cultural Studies in Education is offered through the KU School of Education, which was recently ranked 8th in the nation according to U.S. News & World Report’s Best Public Education Schools.
  • Naturally Interdisciplinary - Supported by ties to KU's strong departments across campus: History, Philosophy, Sociology, American Studies, Economics, Political Science, Public Administration and more.  It offers an inter-disciplinary look at education and society.
  • No GRE Requirement – Emphasis for admission eligibility is based on prior academic record, your professional/personal recommendations and writing samples – rather than a standardized test score. 

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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