Eastern Michigan University
direct edit

Extended Programs


Request Information

Social Foundations

Program Theme
The Master of Arts in Social Foundations of Education program seeks students with a broad range of experience and goals both within and outside of professional education. SOFD students are eager to explore issues pertaining to quality of life: social and ecological justice, globalization, and the ethics of teaching in schools and society. The goal of the program is to strengthen and inform a commitment to education for participatory democracy in a pluralistic society. Graduate students in social foundations are expected to assess the complex forces—economic, historical, social and political—that shape the structure and control of education both nationally and internationally. Students also engage in a theoretical analysis of cultural diversity as it impacts the practices and processes of education and life in a democratic society.

This program is in compliance with the Standards for Academic and Professional Instruction in Foundations of Education, Education Studies and Education Policy as defined by the American Educational Studies Association.

Program Description
Students pursuing the M.A. degree in Social Foundations of Education may choose one of three concentrations:

  • Cultural Studies, Education and Urban Contexts, which allows students to pursue individualized research interests, and provides an excellent preparation for advanced graduate study;
  • EcoJustice and Education (Offered Online, Hybrid, and Face to Face), which emphasizes analysis of the increasing destruction of the world’s diverse ecosystems, languages and cultures by the globalizing and ethnocentric forces of Western consumer culture, and explores reforms within public schools and universities required to stem the tide of these problems; and
  • Teaching for Diversity and Democracy, which explores issues such as gender, social class, and ethnicity as they relate to education by using theoretical frameworks and practical applications.

All concentrations equip students with the skills in qualitative or quantitative research so that they can analyze the social implications of educational policy, and can better understand the cultural, historical, political and ethical dimensions of education in a pluralistic society.

Eastern Michigan University’s advanced professional education program promotes inquiry, advocacy and leadership in education for a diverse and democratic society.

Retention Requirements:

Retention requirements can be considered a mid-point check in the master’s degree program. It is necessary to successfully complete all retention requirements before proceeding with the remainder of the program.

To gain approval to proceed with exit requirements, each student must:

  1. Complete a total of 12 but no more than 15 hours of graduate credit with an overall GPA of 3.0 or better;
  2. In consultation with the advisor, establish a mid-point review committee consisting of three or four faculty members, two of whom must be from social foundations;

As a formative element of the student’s program, she/he will take and successfully complete a 1-credit thesis/culminating project planning course with her/his advisor. Part of this 1-credit course will entail a formative written assignment: The student will demonstrate understanding of key program learning outcomes by broadly situating her/his potential thesis/project in the context of the required SOFD courses. This assignment is intended to function formatively for the student, in the sense that it hoped to provide the student with an opportunity to develop the material required for a thesis/project proposal. This 1 credit course and assignment must be completed before the student can enroll for her/his thesis/culminating project course.

Advisor Information:

Joe Ramsey, Ph.D.

313 Porter
(734) 487-3260

Master of Arts in Social Foundations of Education:

Required Courses: 19 hours

  • SOFD 535 - Multicultural and International Education 2 hrs
  • SOFD 537 - Readings in Multicultural and International Education 1 hr
  • SOFD 550 - Philosophy, Ethics and Teaching 2 hrs
  • SOFD 557 - Readings in Philosophy, Ethics and Teaching 1 hr
  • SOFD 572 - The History of American Schooling and Literacy 3 hrs
  • SOFD 580 - Sociology of Education 2 hrs
  • SOFD 587 - Readings in Sociology of Education 1 hr
  • SOFD 686 - Thesis/Culminating Project Development 1 hr
Group A: Gender and Sexuality
  • SOCL 515 - Sociology of Women 3 hrs
  • SOFD 570 - Women and Pedagogy: Life Histories 3 hrs
  • SOFD 581 - Gender and Education 3 hrs
  • WGST 515 - Sociology of Women 3 hrs
  • WGST 530 - Women in Film 3 hrs
  • WGST 550 - Feminist Thought 3 hrs
  • WGST 575 - Theories of Sexuality 3 hrs
  • WGST 581 - Gender and Education 3 hrs
Group B: Ethnicity and Social Class
  • COUN 571 - Cross-cultural Counseling 3 hrs
  • EDPS 617 - Children in Poverty: Educational Implications 3 hrs
  • HIST 529 - History of Detroit 2 hrs
  • HIST 531 - Studies in Black History 3 hrs
  • HIST 532 - Studies in Native American History 3 hrs
  • SOFD 560 - Anthropology and Education 3 hrs
  • SOFD 573 - Black Experience and American Education 2 hrs
  • SOFD 630 - Schooling and the Politics of Fear 3 hrs
Group C: Theory and Practice
  • CURR 654 - Multicultural Teaching and Learning 3 hrs
  • CURR 655 - Curriculum Foundations 3 hrs
  • CURR 664 - Multicultural Curriculum Development 3 hrs
  • CURR 665 - Differentiation in the Classroom 3 hrs
  • ECE 601 - Creating Supportive Learning Communities for Resilient Children 2 hrs
  • SOFD 540 - Field Studies in Education 1 hr
  • SOFD 541 - Field Studies in Education 2 hrs
  • SOFD 542 - Field Studies in Education 3 hrs
  • SOFD 640 - Peace Education 3 hrs
  • SOFD 654 - Multicultural Teaching and Learning 3 hrs
  • SOFD 655 - Education for Justice: Toward a Diverse, Democratic and Sustainable Society 3
  • SOFD 660 - Teaching for Social and Ecological Justice 3 hrs
  • SOFD 661 - EcoJustice and Education 3 hrs
  • SOFD 682 - Workshop in Social Foundations 1 hr
  • SOFD 683 - Workshop in Social Foundations 2 hrs
  • WGST 660 - Teaching for Social and Ecological Justice 3 hrs

Option III: EcoJustice and Education: 11 hours

*offered online through EMU Extended Programs, see department for additional information.