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M.Ed. in Educational Psychology—Social Foundations - Charlottesville

On-Grounds UVA -

The M.Ed. program in Social Foundations offers an interdisciplinary course of study that explores the interrelationship between education, schooling, and society. Drawing on the social sciences and humanities, students study issues of culture, class, race, ethnicity, gender, and sexuality in education broadly and critically both in the U.S. and around the world. 

Social Foundations embraces traditional disciplinary approaches in analyzing and interpreting education. It also vigorously promotes an interdisciplinary approach utilizing a variety of research methods to explore complex questions and issues in education. Our program provides a synergistic and flexible curriculum that exposes students to historical, anthropological, philosophical, and sociological approaches to understanding and researching education and schooling.

Program Life

Graduate training in Social Foundations at the Master's level prepares individuals for positions in government agencies, four-year colleges and universities, K-12 education and community colleges, and U.S. and international educational policy arenas. 

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.

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 Charlottesville:
-Fall entry: February 1 for the first review of applications. Applications will be accepted until June 1 on a space-available basis.
-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 enrolled on a full-time basis may complete the program requirements at the end of three semesters.

Semester of Entry:

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

Full or Part Time:


Course Overview

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

Core Courses

Students must take EDLF 7601: Social Foundations of Education, plus 12 semester-hours of core courses in social foundations. The core courses include:

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


Students are encouraged, but not required, to take 6 semester-hours of research courses among their electives. The remaining 15 semester-hours (electives) may be earned in other courses offered by the school or university. These should be selected in consultation with the student’s advisor so as to provide strength in the student’s specific area of academic and/or professional interest.

For instance, students might elect to do more intensive work in history, philosophy, sociology, or anthropology of education by taking further courses in these areas as well as in the university departments of history, philosophy, sociology, or anthropology. Others might want to build their program around an area of practical educational interest, such as work relating to comparative education, critical educational policy, and/or multicultural education.
Other Elective Options

Students may also choose electives from the online M.Ed. curriculum and instruction program. Students may choose courses within a focus area or across focus areas.

Focus Areas - there are four 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)

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 7813 - Leadership For Technology in K-12 Schools

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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Contact Us

Derrick Alridge 
319 Bavaro Hall        

Locations Offered

  • Charlottesville

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