M.Ed. in Ed Psych: Social Foundations - Charlottesville

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

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, using 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.

While some courses in this program are offered on-grounds in Charlottesville, many courses are offered online. Students pursuing the program on-grounds may also take relevant classes across the University such as courses in history, politics, and global studies.

Program Details

  • 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:
      • 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.

    Applicants are responsible for ensuring that all required materials are submitted by the deadline. Incomplete applications will not be read and may be cancelled if left incomplete. Materials should be tracked using the checklist in the application.

  • Application Due Date

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

    Students applying to study in Charlottesville:

    • Fall entry: April 15, applications will be accepted until July 1 on a space-available basis.
    • Spring entry: November 1
    • Summer entry: March 15, applications will be accepted until May 1 on a space-available basis

    Decisions will be available 6 weeks after the deadline.

    Applicants are responsible for ensuring that all required materials are submitted by the deadline. Incomplete applications will not be read and may be cancelled if left incomplete. Materials should be tracked using the checklist in the application.

  • Degree Requirements

    A minimum of 30 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. This program requires the submission of a comprehensive paper, due in the last semester of study.

    Comprehensive Exam:

    Students are required to submit a comprehensive exam in the form of a research or scholarly paper during their final semester of coursework. The comprehensive exam may be a revised and updated version of a paper written in a Social Foundations course. The purpose of paper exam format is for students to show competence of a Social Foundations topic of field of studies and leave the program with a well vetted piece of scholarly work. The exam will be evaluated by Social Foundations faculty based on a rubric provided in Canvas. Comprehensive exams will be submitted to Canvas. 
    Due dates are as follows:
    Fall: October 31st
    Spring: March 31st
    Summer: June 30th

    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 or two semesters and the summer.

    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. - 30
    (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

    EDLF 7630: Education in Multicultural Societies: Global Perspectives (core course for students in the online program) (note: students with an ESL focus area should take this course)

    Elective Course Options:

    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 as a Second Language/ESL (5 courses, 15 credits) - With an option to obtain endorsement
    • 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. Any Curry School 3 credit online graduate course (see your Advisor to discuss)

    Focus Areas Course Listing - All ONLINE:

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

    Gifted Education

    English as a Second Language*

    Reading Education

    Instructional Technology


    EDIS 7220- Intro to the Gifted* (REQUIRED, take as first course)

    EDIS 5770- Social, Emotional, and Counseling Issues in Talent Development* (NEW starting fall 2019)

    EDIS 7250- Models and Strategies for Teaching the Gifted*

    Choose at least 1:

    EDIS 7270- Differentiation of Instruction for Gifted Learners*

    EDIS 7230- Curriculum for the Gifted and Talented*

    If needed, choose 1:

    EDIS 5000- The Exceptional Learner

    EDIS 7280- Creativity and Problem Solving

    One additional course from above

    Advisor: Chris Amspaugh


    EDLF 7630- Educational in Multicultural Societies

    EDIS 5423- English Linguistics

    EDIS 5424- Second Language Acquisition

    EDIS 5428- ESL Methods PreK-12

    EDIS 5270 – Teaching Reading and Writing for ELLs

    EDIS 5470- ESL Assessment and Curriculum Design

    EDIS 7700 – Foundations of Reading Instruction

    Possible ESL elective pending advisor approval (April Salerno)

    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 http://records.ureg.virginia.edu/index.php.