Doctoral Degree: Social Justice Education Concentration

Social Justice Education is an interdisciplinary concentration of study with a focus on social diversity and social justice as they apply to formal and non-formal educational systems. It uses and generates research and theory to understand the sociocultural and historical contexts and dynamics of specific manifestations of oppression (e.g., ableism, classism, heterosexism, racism, religious oppression, transgender oppression and sexism) in social systems. It brings together faculty and students with interests in issues of social diversity and social oppression, inclusion, equity, social justice, critical theories, critical pedagogies, dialogues across differences, individual and collective empowerment, liberatory consciousness and practice, and research for social justice.

The goal of the SJE doctoral concentration is to prepare scholars and educational leaders that can promote social diversityand justice in educational settings through the development of theoretical and practical knowledge, empirical research, and the use of effective social justice education practices. The concentrationengages candidates in the study, interrogation and further theorizing of social justice issues and social justice education practices for the purpose of developing knowledge capable of fostering educational environments that are socially just, diverse, inclusive, equitable, and accessible to all members within given communities and contexts. Candidates are experiencededucational professionals – classroom teachers, school counselors, staff development professional, education administrators, student affairs programmers, special educators, youth workers, or college residential educators – who work closely with a faculty guidance committee to plan a course of study which balances academic and professional experiences relevant to successfully completing doctoral work. Graduates are employed in various roles including faculty and leadership and administration roles in a variety of educational settings including private and public schools, non-governmental organizations, university and college settings. For detailed information about the SJE doctoral concentration of study and admissions information go to the SJE concentration website. (Click here to link to more information about our Social Justice Education graduate programs of study)

Social Justice Education Website

Doctoral concentration of study - 59 cr. (Including 18 dissertation cr.)

Required courses:

Core SJE courses (14 cr.) in core four SJE competency areas:

                EDUC 691E    Social Justice in Education (I and II)
                EDUC 624      Contemporary and Historical Constructions of SJE            
                EDUC 648      Historical and Pedagogical Foundations of SJE
                EDUC 615B    SJE Doctoral Research Pro-seminar

EDUC 691E includes a minimum of four weekend seminars selected from among the following seven choices:  Ableism, Religious Oppression, Classism, Transgender Oppression, Heterosexism, Racism and Sexism.    

Two Theory Courses (6 cr.), one of which should be taken outside the College of Education.  Student regularly take related graduate level theory courses in Anthropology, Education, Women Gender and Sexuality studies, Political Science, Sociology, Psychology, and Sociology.  

Three Research Courses (9 cr.) to assure competency in both qualitative and quantitative research methods, and a third SJE Research Practicum project.

Elective Courses

ED. D. candidates are required to take 3 graduate level electives (12 cr.)  (inside or outside the College of Education) related to scholarly interests selected in conjunction with graduate advisor and/or guidance committee. Students take courses in Afro-American Studies, Anthropology, Education  (teacher education, higher education, educational policy), Women, Gender and Sexuality studies, Sociology, Political Science, Public Health, Psychology, and Sociology.

Contact Information

For more information about the Social Justice Education program, please contact:

Concentration Coordinator: Ximena Zúñiga (Associate Professor)
Email: xzuniga@educ.umass.edu

Associated Faculty

Maurianne Adams (Professor Emerita),  Bailey W. Jackson (Professor Emeritus), Brenda Juárez (Assistant Professor), Kerrita Mayfield (Visiting Assisting Professor),  Ximena U. Zúñiga (Associate Professor).