Education, Culture, and Society, MSEd

Under the supervision and mentorship of a faculty advisor, master’s students in the Education, Culture, and Society program undertake individualized and interdisciplinary programs of study in the social foundations of education. The program therefore provides students with a nuanced understanding of education as an historical, socio-cultural, political, and moral activity. ECS students explore the role education plays in reproducing and potentially transforming racialized, classed, and gendered relations and structures of inequality – in the U.S. or around the world. Working in small cohorts, students explore and build a unique vision for the program through collaborative dialogue, intensive writing, and critical inquiry.  

Students may be eligible to pursue a dual-degree with public policy, non-profit leadership, or social work.  Interested students who do not wish to pursue a second degree of study, may also consider the concentration in Community Action and Social Change. Although many ECS students are preparing for a path to doctoral study or academia, many others find the program helpful for establishing careers in schools, administration, educational non-profits, higher education, community advocacy work and/or educational consultancy.


A total of 10 course units are required for the ECS MSEd.

Required Core Courses
EDUC 544School and Society in America1
EDUC 547Anthropology and Education1
EDUC 668Master's Paper Seminar0.5
EDUC 668Master's Paper Seminar0.5
Research Methods Course
Research Methodology Course 1, 21
Select 5 electives 3, 45
Distribution Elective 51
Total Course Units10

Master's Research Paper

ECS students are required to write a Master's Paper on a core content area in Education, Culture, and Society. The Master’s Research Seminar in Education, Culture, and Society (EDUC668) is a year-long, writing-intensive seminar that prepares students to cultivate a narrow area of educational expertise through the preparation of the capstone: an academic paper that demonstrates mastery through a close examination and original synthesis of previous research and argumentation. The course’s instructional team and the students’ faculty advisors coordinate in support of building a robust paper. The Master’s Paper is reviewed and approved by Program Faculty.

The degree and major requirements displayed are intended as a guide for students entering in the Fall of 2020 and later. Students should consult with their academic program regarding final certifications and requirements for graduation.