Master of Arts in Equity and Social Justice Education

Graduate Advisors: Professors Deborah Curtis, Helen Hyun, Doris Flowers

The Master of Arts in Equity and Social Justice Education addresses current issues centered around the intersections of educational equity and social justice with race, ethnicity, language, nationality, dis/ability, gender, and sexual orientation. Graduate students critically examine key historical, philosophical, social, and cultural perspectives on educational equity and social justice and explore ways in which they can become change agents and advocates in their chosen education fields. Graduates of our program work in a variety of education-related settings, as teacher-activists, school leaders, community and nonprofit directors, and college and university program administrators.

Admission to Program

Applicants must hold a bachelor’s degree from an accredited university. Additional entrance requirements include:

  • A minimum 3.0 GPA in the undergraduate degree or last 60 semester (90 quarter) units attempted, including credential courses.
  • Evidence of written English proficiency.

Application Procedure

New students apply to the university through Cal State Apply.

Upload the following documents:

  1. Transcripts from all post-secondary institutions you attended.
  2. Two letters of recommendation.
  3. Curriculum vita/resume
  4. Written Statement of Purpose. The Statement of Purpose should be an approximately 750-word document that describes the student’s reasons for wanting to pursue this MA Degree. Both content and writing skill will be evaluated as part of the admissions decision and will determine whether you have met Level One Written Language Proficiency at admission.

Written English Proficiency Requirement

Level One

Written English proficiency will be assessed based on the Statement of Purpose, submitted as part of the application.

Students admitted conditionally or not meeting the written English proficiency standards must demonstrate that they have met the Level One Written English proficiency requirement by completing the final assignment in either ISED 715 or ISED 781 with a grade of B or higher.

Level Two

Written English proficiency will be assessed based on the Field Study or Thesis report submitted as the culminating experience for ISED 895 or ISED 898.

Program Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of the M.A. program in Equity and Social Justice Education, students will be able to:

  1. Understand and analyze key historical events, legal decisions, and education policies directly related to equity and social justice issues in U. S. education, focusing on history, law, and education policy.
  2. Analyze and discuss educational equity and social justice issues in their own educational contexts by using a variety of theoretical frameworks, including, but not limited to, critical theory, critical race theory, feminist theories, queer theory, and culturally responsive pedagogies.
  3. Analyze, interpret, and discuss scholarly research related to issues of educational equity and social justice.
  4. Develop and describe their visions as educators, to develop instructional strategies and advocacy skills related to issues of educational equity and social justice.
  5. Analyze, interpret, and discuss their own cultural biases, values, beliefs and their roles as educators in shaping students’ educational experiences.

Enrollment Requirement

Graduate students have the semester they enroll in the culminating experience course and the following semester to complete their degree requirements. Those who need time beyond the two semesters to complete the culminating experience requirement must enroll in a zero-unit designated College of Extended Learning course every subsequent semester until the requirement is completed.


For more information, please visit the Equity and Social Justice MA webpage at You can also call the department at (415) 338-1653, email us at, or visit us at Burk Hall 239.

Equity and Social Justice Education (M.A.) — 30 units

Core (12 units)

ISED 715Race, Class, and Gender in Education Policy3
ISED 717Foundations of Social Justice Education3
ISED 747Culture, Language, and Society in Education3
ISED 797Seminar in Educational Research3

Electives (15 units)

Students select 15 units of advanced coursework under consultation and approval by their program advisor to create an area of specialization. Areas of specialization may include but are not limited to (a) Equity and Social Justice Leadership, (b) Adult Education, and (c) an Individualized Special Interest Area. Other graduate courses may be used with the permission of the program advisor. 

Recommended electives are as follows:

ISED 706Principles and Methods of Adult and Vocational Education3
ISED 716The Intersection of Race and Language in Education3
ISED 718Queering Education: Research, Policy, and Pedagogy3
ISED 725The Educational Experiences of Latinx Students: An Equity and Social Justice Perspective3
ISED 735The Adult Learner: From Theory to Practice3
ISED 736Leadership and Policy for Community and Non-Formal Education3
ISED 738Critical Theories and Pedagogies3
ISED 748Culture, Cognition, and Power Issues in Education3
ISED 760Crossing Borders: Immigration, Intersectionality, and Critical Education3
ISED 8913

Culminating Experience (3 units)

Select One:

ISED 895Field Study Project3
ISED 898Master's Thesis3