Graduate College of Education

GCOE Mission

The Graduate College of Education prepares reflective, transformative educators, clinicians, leaders, and scholars who advance the professions within education. Our graduates deliver education programs across the lifespan, demonstrating excellence in the art and science of teaching and learning, research on critical issues in education and communicative disorders, integration of new technologies, and commitment to equity and social justice. Professional preparation programs are designed to meet global challenges, through authentic learning experiences in academic and clinical environments that are guided by our commitment to inclusiveness, integrity, community, social action, and evidence-based practice.

GCOE Vision

Our vision is to be the premier institution of higher education to prepare professionals who transform lives in schools and communities through our commitment to access, equity, quality, and innovation in teaching, scholarship, and service.

Core Values

The core values of the GCOE are reflected in the SF State Strategic Plan: Courage, Life of the Mind, Equity, Community, and Resilience. These values resonate with the GCOE and our commitment to social justice. We embrace these five values and have adapted them to align with the mission of the GCOE. 

Courage: Courage enables us to develop a sense of agency that engages students, staff, and faculty in speaking their voices and having their voices heard in forums that honor the contributions of all. 

Life of the Mind: Our programs are informed by research, our research is informed by evidence-based practice, and our practice is grounded in our professional commitments as educators, activists, practitioners, and clinicians. Collaboration with communities is an integral component of our scholarship, with a focus on uncovering funds of knowledge and community cultural wealth.

Equity: Our focus on equity addresses a broad range of persistent, structural social justice issues, including race, class, gender, sexual orientation, disability, and other forms of marginalization in 21st-century, globalized California.

Community: Our programs promote a climate of inspiration and inclusivity, and are characterized by strong linkages to local and global communities at all levels, birth through adult, in formal and non-formal educational contexts.

Resilience: Our work in collaboration with diverse school, community, and clinical settings implies that resilience takes many forms, ranging from promoting transformative resistance to fostering global sustainability to creating an environment that is marked by a generosity of spirit, to supporting a thriving environment of mutually supportive human relations.

GCOE Scholarships

Numerous scholarships are offered by the Graduate College of Education and are open to all students in the graduate college. Visit SF State Academic Works to search for all scholarship opportunities and also apply online.

For Graduate Fellowship Opportunities, please visit

Doctoral Programs

The Ed.D. in Educational Leadership is an intensive multidisciplinary three-year program implemented at SF State to accommodate the needs of working professionals and maximize the use of multidisciplinary faculty expertise in the San Francisco Metropolitan Bay Area. The program aims to prepare outstanding educational leaders. The Ed.D. in Educational Leadership immerses its students in an exploration of critical challenges that pre – K-12 school district and community college educational leaders must grapple with while providing enriching educational opportunities available only in dynamic urban and transitioning communities.

The Special Education Joint Doctoral program, which offers the Ph.D., is designed to prepare candidates for leadership positions in special education. By combining the complementary resources of San Francisco State University and the University of California, Berkeley, these programs are designed to provide a greater breadth and depth of preparation in the field of special education. Students completing this degree program are prepared to serve in a variety of roles, including administration, research, and college and university teaching.

Master of Science Degree in Communicative Disorders

  • Communicative Disorders, to prepare for professional practice, research, and leadership as a Speech-Language Pathologist in school, community, clinical and medical settings. Completion of the program prepares candidates for certification by the American Speech-Language and Hearing Association, licensing by the State of California, and the Speech Language Pathologist Services Credential by the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing.

Master's of Arts Degree in Curriculum and Instruction

  • Curriculum and Instruction, to equip teachers with knowledge of current research in education and culturally responsive pedagogical practices to support their work in diverse school settings. 

Master's of Arts Degree in Special Education

  • Special Education, for competence in research and leadership skills in working with people with disabilities in the program's five emphasis areas, including early childhood special education, mild/moderate disabilities, moderate/severe disabilities, orientation and mobility, and visual impairments. The degree program prepares individuals to work in schools and other educational settings, in public and private agencies serving people with disabilities, and in other related human services fields.

Master's of Arts Degree in Early Childhood Education

  • Early Childhood Education, for greater competence in teaching nursery school, kindergarten, and primary grades.

Master's of Arts Degree in Educational Administration and Leadership

  • Educational Administration for positions as a consultant, curriculum coordinator, supervisor of designated subjects, supervisor of designated services, and school principal or administrator.

Master's of Arts Degree in Education: Concentrations

The Master's of Arts Degree in Education includes the following concentration:

  • Education: Special Interest, an interdepartmental program for developing competence in designated specialized aspects of teaching such as research, evaluation, human relations in education, adult education, the foundations of education, and human development and learning.

Master's of Arts Degree in Equity and Social Justice Education

  • Equity and Social Justice in Education addresses issues of language, culture, ethnic, and gender diversity in education, enabling graduates to work on related issues in public education, non-profit groups, public service, and private organizations.

Master's of Arts Degree in Instructional Design and Technology

  • Instructional Technologies, for personnel in schools, instructional materials centers, and industry.


The most common class is the lecture-discussion; there also are many seminars, workshops, clinical courses with individual attention, supervised internship and field experiences, and individually planned field studies and theses. For those students in teacher education, courses emphasize the relationship between school practice and findings from educational research and the psychological and social foundations of education. For those students with human service and professional development goals, courses emphasize the interrelationship between the concepts and research underlying the discipline or field of endeavor and the acquisition of professional roles through directed practice experiences. Requirements for most programs, except for internships, can be met through late afternoon, evening, and summer courses.

Advising and Student Support Services

The Education Advising Community Hub (T.E.A.C.H.) in Burk Hall 311 offers advisors who can provide services such as general education advising, light major planning, probation advising, petition consolation, resume/cover letter help, and graduation application assistance. Our space offers computer terminals as well as open study areas. No printing is currently available.  The Cahill Learning Resources and Media Lab in Burk Hall 319 is available to all GCOE students for quiet study, EdTPA equipment and training, assessment material, CSET/CBEST/RICA test preparation material, computer terminals, and printing. Candidates seeking teaching credentials may go directly to the Credential and Graduate Services Center, BH 244 for credential application and processing information. Students should confer with their advisor frequently to develop and maintain a working relationship based on direct acquaintance. These conferences, along with formal records, help to provide a basis for planning and assessing student programs.

Degrees Offered

Bachelor of Science

  • Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences 12201


  • Education
  • Special Education

Master of Arts

  • Curriculum and Instruction 08011
  • Early Childhood Education 08231
  • Education
    • Concentrations in:
      • Special Interest Area (Interdepartmental) 08993
      • Special Education 08081
  • Educational Administration and Leadership 08271
  • Equity and Social Justice Education 08131
  • Instructional Design and Technology 08992

Master of Science

  • Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences 12201

Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership

  • P-12 08272
  • Community College 08273

Doctor of Philosophy in Education: Concentration in Special Education 08081

Graduate Certificate Programs

  • Augmentative and Alternative Communication (Department of Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences)
  • Autism Spectrum (Department of Special Education)
  • Inclusive Early Childhood Practices (Department of Special Education)
  • Training Systems Development (Department of Equity, Leadership Studies, and Instructional Technologies)

College Administrative Officers

Title Officer Office Telephone
Dean of the College Dr. Cynthia Grutzik BH 501 338-2687
Interim Associate Dean Dr. Doris Flowers BH 501 338-1031

College Directory

Department/Program Chair/Director Office Telephone
Equity, Leadership Studies, and Instructional TechnologiesDr. Deborah CurtisBH 239338-2614
Elementary EducationDr. Ali BorjianBH 199338-1838
Secondary EducationDr. Larry HorvathBH 55338-2693
Special EducationDr. Amber FriesenBH 156338-7654
Speech, Language and Hearing SciencesDr. Laura EpsteinBH 115338-1058