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University of Massachusetts
College of Education
Graduate School


Contact Information:

159 Hills South
University of Massachusetts
Amherst, MA 01003

Student Development Department Office:
413-545-2231, 413-545-3610

Ximena Zúñiga, Concentration Chair


College of Education
Department of Student Development (SD)
Social Justice Education Concentration

Master's of Education (M.Ed.) in Social Justice Education
40 credits

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 and (e.g., ableism, classism, heterosexism, racism, religious oppression, transgender oppression and sexism) and resistance to oppression in social systems. It brings together faculty and students with interests in theories and issues of social diversity and social oppression, inclusion, equity, social justice, critical pedagogy, dialogues across differences, critical service learning, youth empowerment, liberatory consciousness and practice, and research for social justice.

The goal of SJE master’s concentration is to prepare educational leaders that can foster participants engagement with social diversity and social justice in educational settings through well designed social justice education practices, including the development of educational materials and the effective design, delivery and evaluation of educational programs. The concentration engages candidates in critical analysis of social justice issues and social justice education practice, and uses inquiry based reflective practice methodologies to prepare social justice educators who can demonstrate competency in knowledge, awareness and skills to design, deliver and assess social justice education programs. Graduates are employed in a variety of formal and non-formal educational settings such as anti-bias education programs, youth based organizations, and as classroom teachers in public and private schools, and as educators and student affairs personnel in university and college settings.

Required Courses:
SJE Core (9 cr.)

EDUC 691E Social Issues in Education

EDUC 624 Contemporary and Historical Constructions of SJE

EDUC 648 Historical and Pedagogical Foundations of SJE

EDUC 691E includes a minimum of three social justice issues selected from among the following seven choices: Ableism, Religious Oppression, Classism, Transgender Oppression, Heterosexism, Racism and Sexism. Students are expected to take three social justice weekend seminars in the first semester and demonstrate knowledge in a fourth one. This course can be taken twice.

SJE Pedagogy (19 cr.)

EDUC 627 Curriculum Design and Facilitation in SJE

EDUC 609 Multicultural Group Dynamics OR EDUC 522 Self Awareness in SJE

EDUC 691G Reflective Practice in SJE

EDUC 692B Intergroup Leadership and Small Group Dialogue Facilitation

EDUC 7XX SJE Capstone Course

SJE Specialization (6 cr.)

EDUC 746 SJE with Youth in Educational Settings


EDUC 797K SJE with College Students in Educational Settings

EDUC 698S Summer Internship in a Youth or College setting

Students are expected to complete a summer internship in a college or K-12 Youth serving site. This internship is arranged with the faculty advisor as an independent study practicum following a set of pre-determined basic guidelines.

Two Elective Courses (6 cr.)
Master’s students choose two graduate level elective courses in consultation with their advisor (6 cr.) to support their program of study (inside or outside the College of Education).

At least one of these electives should support competency in research, program evaluation and/or assessment within area of specialization – SJE Youth in Educational Settings or College Students.

A typical masters program of study might be as follows:
         Semester 1 (Fall of the first year)

EDUC 691E     Social Issues in Education 
EDUC 624       Historical and Contemporary Constructions of SJE
EDUC 627       Curriculum Design in SJE (4cr)

         Semester 2 (Spring of the first year)

EDUC 609       Multicultural Group Processes  
EDUC 691G     Reflective Practice in Social Justice Education
EDUC 746       SJE with Youth in Educational Settings   
EDUC 797K     SJE with College Students

         Semester 3 (Fall of the second year)

EDUC 648       Historical and Pedagogical Foundations of SJE  
EDUC TBD      Elective or Summer Internship Practicum
EDUC 692B     Intergroup Leadership and Small Group Dialogue Facilitation (6 cr.)  

         Semester 4 (Spring of the second year)

TBD           Elective or Summer Internship Practicum
TBD           Elective
7XX           Social Justice Education Capstone Course


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