Master's Degree: Social Justice Education Concentration

Social Justice Education (SJE) is an interdisciplinary concentration of study with a focus on social diversity and social justice as they apply to formal and informal educational settings. It uses and generates research and theory to understand the sociocultural and historical contexts and dynamics of specific manifestations of oppression and resistance to oppression. These include, but are not limited to, racism, classism, ableism, sexism, heterosexism, religious oppression, transgender oppression and youth oppression. SJE brings together faculty and students with interests in issues of social diversity, inclusion, equity, social justice, critical theories, cultural studies, ethnic studies, feminist studies, critical pedagogies, critical methodologies, dialogues across differences, and youth and community-based research and practice.

The goal of SJE concentration is to prepare educational leaders who can promote social diversity and social justice in educational settings through the development of theoretical and practical knowledge, empirical research, and the use of effective social justice education practices. It engages students in the 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, and equitable.

The main goal of the master’s program of study is to prepare social justice educators skilled in the use of critically reflective practices who can demonstrate competency in knowledge, awareness and skills needed to plan, implement, and evaluate effective social justice education programs in formal and non-formal education settings

Program of Study

Masters students take 9 core courses totaling 28 credits:

  • Three (3) SJE foundational core courses:  This set of courses contribute to the development of foundational knowledge in social justice education theory, research and praxis including the development of competency in at least four social justice issues.
  • Five (5) SJE pedagogy core courses: This set of courses contribute to the development conceptual, practical and reflective knowledge about SJE curriculum design, teaching and facilitation, and group dynamics, using two pedagogical modalities: SJE workshop planning and facilitation, and small group dialogue facilitation about social justice issues
  • One (1) course in an SJE social justice specialization: SJE with Youth or SJE with College Students  
  • Three (3) elective courses that support area of specialization: Typically selected from a list of SJE, College of Education, and cross-campus courses addressing diversity and social justice content in a range of disciplinary contexts. Students can use this option to complete a 60-hour internship in a site of their choice under the sponsorship of their academic advisor.  

EDUC 691E    Social Justice in Education (3 cr.)  
EDUC 624      Contemporary and Historical Constructions of SJE
EDUC 648      Historical and Pedagogical Foundations of SJE (3 cr.)
EDUC 627      Curriculum Design and Facilitation in SJE (4 cr.)
EDUC 609      Multicultural Group Process: Self/other Awareness in Groups (3 cr.)
EDUC 691G    SJE Teaching and Reflective Practice (3 cr.)
EDUC 692B & 698S Small Group Leadership: Dialogue Facilitation Across Differences (6 cr.)

  • Three (3) elective courses toward specialization totaling 9 credits

NOTE: EDUC 691E includes studying a minimum of FOUR social justice issues from among the following:  Ableism, Classism, Gender Oppression, Heterosexism, Racism, Religious Oppression, Sexism, Transgender Oppression and Youth Oppression.

A typical Master’s program of study might be as follows:

    Semester 1 (Fall of the first year)

ED 691E   Social Justice Issues in Education
ED 624    Historical and Contemporary Constructions of SJE
ED 627    Curriculum Design and Facilitation in SJE

    Semester 2 (Spring of the first year)

ED 609    Multicultural Group Processes  
ED 691G:  Teaching and Reflective Practice in SJE
ED 746    SJE with Youth OR
ED 797K  SJE with College Students

    Semester 3 (Fall of the second year)

ED 648  Historical and Pedagogical Foundations of SJE
TBD       Elective toward specialization
TBD       Elective toward specialization

    Semester 4 (Spring of the second year)

ED 692B & 698S   Small Group Leadership: Dialogue Facilitation Across Differences
TBD      Elective toward specialization


For more information contact:

 Judy Pierce
Department Administrator


Associated Faculty: Dr. Korina Jocson and Dr. Ximena U. Zúñiga
Visiting Associate Professors: Dr. Kevin Goodman and Dr. Jamila Lyiscott