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M.Ed. in Educational Psychology—Social Foundations - Northern Virginia Center

Northern Virginia Center -
Falls Church

This Master’s degree provides a broad understanding of the complexities and processes of today's education environment, while also providing the focused knowledge and skill development that are directly applied to helping students in the classroom.

Individuals with a M.Ed. in Ed Psych – Social Foundations (often called the “humanities of education”) find that the solid foundation of broad educational knowledge allows them to more effectively teach a more diverse student body. Courses such as Philosophy of Education, Comparative Education, and Sociology of Education, provide insight into our educational system, and how it effectively, or not, supports various student populations.  

In addition, elective courses in areas such as Gifted Education, English Language Learners, Reading, and Instructional Technology, provide the knowledge required to address specific needs in the classroom, and offer our Master’s students the opportunity to build the necessary skills to be more effective educators to various types of learners.

While earning this M.Ed., you can simultaneously earn an Endorsement in Gifted Education or English Language Learners Education. We also offer Focus Area elective courses in Reading Education and Instructional Technology. Most elective courses are offered ONLINE. See the Course Overview tab below for details.

Graduate training in Social Foundations at the Master's level prepares individuals for teaching positions in K-12 education and community colleges, policy-related functions in schools and school systems, and employment in various governmental agencies.

The program is offered full-time or part time, and the core courses are provided face-to-face on Grounds in Charlottesville or at the UVA NOVA Center in Falls Church. Elective courses are provided at the same locations or online.

Join us in this stimulating, challenging, and highly applicable program for today's complex and dynamic education field.


CONGRATULATIONS! Social Foundations Graduate Scholar Earns Fulbright Grant to Teach and Study Abroad:

Corey Haynes of Falls Church, a 2016 graduate with a master’s in education from the Curry School of Education, will be an English teaching assistant in Laos.
“I was an English teacher in Albemarle County Schools while at UVA, taught English for two years with the Peace Corps in Nicaragua and currently teach in Fairfax County,” she said. “I hope to further my teaching career, learning more about Lao/Asian culture and how to incorporate it into a multicultural and culturally responsive classroom.”

Prerequisites and Admission Requirements

Admission to the master's program is based on the potential for academic and professional success using the following criteria:

  • Record of academic achievement.
  • Record of potential for academic achievement as evidenced through EITHER of the following:
    • For applicants who have graduated from an undergraduate degree program, two recent writing samples may be substituted for the GRE score. Please put these into one document when submitting in the application; OR
    • ​Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores that are no more than 5 years old. For reference, GRE scores for MEd, MT, EdS students admitted for the 2014-15 academic year were at or above the 150 (verbal), 145 (quantitative), and 4.0 (analytical writing).
  • Strong writing skills and clear professional goals demonstrated in the Statement of Purpose.
  • In your statement, please address the factors that have encouraged you to seek an M.Ed. from the UVa Social Foundations program. This is also an opportunity for you to describe your background, significant personal and professional experiences, important aspects of your academic record, and professional and/or further academic goals upon completion of the program.
  • Excellent academic and professional references via two (2) letters of recommendation from professors, supervisors, and/or professional colleagues.
  • Resume outlining your professional or para-professional experience, leadership roles, experiences in undergraduate organizations, and/or volunteer work.

Applicants may submit unofficial test scores and transcripts with their application. However, official test scores (taken with 5 years) and official transcripts showing degree conferral are required prior to matriculation.

Application Due Date

Students may enter the program during the fall, spring, or summer session.

Students applying to study in Falls Church: 

-Fall entry: June 1
-Spring entry: October 15
-Summer entry: February 1

Degree Requirements

A minimum of 36 semester-hours of graduate course credit must be completed to earn an M.Ed. Up to 6 semester-hours of graduate credit taken prior to admission may be counted toward the degree, as long as courses are current and related to the program of study. Only 3 credits of independent study may be counted toward degree requirements.

Students must complete an application for graduation during the semester they plan to graduate. Deadlines are Feb. 1 (May graduation), June 1 (August graduation), and October 1 (December graduation). 

Funding Opportunities

Students may apply for federal financial aid, including work-study. Information about federal aid programs, including applying using the FAFSA, can be found through Student Financial Services. Additional financial aid information can be found on Curry's Financial Aid webpage.

Typical Length of Study

Students may enroll on a full- or part-time status. All requirements must be completed within a five-year period.

Students enrolled on a full-time basis complete the program requirements at the end of three semesters.
Students enrolled on a part-time basis normally complete the program in 2.5 years.

Course Overview

Total credit hours required for M.Ed. - 36
(each course is 3 credits)

Core Courses

There are 15 credits required from the core courses listed below. Two courses noted (6 credits) are mandatory, choose additional 3 courses of the 5 that remain. You may also choose an additional 3 or 6 credits (i.e. the remaining 2 courses) and apply one or both toward the electives requirement.

EDLF 7601: Social Foundations of Education (required)

EDLF 7602: History of American Education

EDLF 7603: Philosophy of Education

EDLF 7604: Sociology of Education

EDLF 7605: Anthropology of Education

EDLF 7606: Comparative Education

EDLF 7701:  Seminar: Social Foundations of Education (capstone course - required)


Elective Course Options:

Choose 21 credits for the electives requirement. There are several options below, choose a Focus Area or a combination of courses:

1. Select a Focus Areas - there are 4 Focus areas, and all courses are ONLINE (see chart below for each Focus Area course listing):

- Gifted & Talented Education (5 courses, 15 credits) - Add-on Endorsement opportunity
- English Language Learners/ELL (5 courses, 15 credits) - Add-on Endorsement opportunity with a sixth prescribed ELL course provided by Curry
- Reading Education (5 courses, 15 credits)
- Instructional Technology (5 courses, 15 credits)

2. One or two Social Foundations core courses listed above not used to satisfy degree requirements (3 or 6 credits)

3. EDLF 9993: Independent Study Project (3 credits)

4. Any Curry School 3 credit graduate course (see your Advisor to discuss)

Focus Areas Course Listing - All ONLINE:

The Gifted and ELL courses meet Virginia, and most state, add-on Endorsement requirements.

Gifted Education

English Language Learners

Reading Education

Instructional Technology

EDIS 7220 – Intro to the Gifted

EDIS 7230 – Curriculum for the Gifted and Talented

EDIS 7250 – Models and Strategies for Teaching the Gifted

EDIS 7270 – Differentiation of Instruction for Gifted Learners

EDIS 5000 – The Exceptional Learner

EDIS 5423 – English Linguistics

EDIS 5424 – Second Language Acquisition & ESL Methods K-12

EDIS 5470 – ESL Assessment and Curriculum Design

EDIS 5270 – Teaching Reading and Writing for ELLs

EDIS 7700 – Foundations of Reading Instruction

Add one additional ELL course, provided by Curry, for the add-on Endorsement

EDIS 7700 – Foundations of Reading Instruction

EDIS 7710 – Reading in the Content Area

EDIS 7720 – Word Study: Language Structures & Phonics

EDIS 7751 - Literacy Leadership and Coaching

EDIS 5760 - Adolescent Literacy

EDIS 7000 – Instructional Design

EDIS 5075 – Online Instruction for K-12

EDIS 7010 – Computer Courseware Tools

EDIS 7072 – Performance Improvement


The information contained on this website is for informational purposes only. The Undergraduate Record and Graduate Record represent the official repository for academic program requirements. These publications may be found at

The Big Picture Perspective

The Social Foundations M.Ed. provides premier preparation for effectiveness in education, advocacy, policymaking, management and more

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Falls Church
Dan Driscoll

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