Education Studies, EdM: Educational Culture, Policy and Society Focus Area

Our educational culture, policy and society focus area is for you if you wish to explore the role that education plays in society. You will learn how institutions, policies and practices facilitate and limit individuals’ well-being and social and economic outcomes.

On this page:

Why the Educational Culture, Policy and Society Focus Area?

The features of this focus area include:

  • curriculum focusing on cross-national differences in educational policies and practices related to the teaching profession, teaching and learning, as well as key issues such as accountability, high-stakes testing, school choice and government support of education
  • emphasis on underserved populations, including historically marginalized racial/ethnic groups in the United States (e.g., African American, Latino/a, non-proficient English speakers) and populations with limited financial resources
  • exploration of how gender disparities exist among educational, social and economic opportunities
  • interaction with a diverse student body, including students with a wide range of undergraduate majors from all parts of the world

Program Overview

Academic credential granted Master of Education (EdM)
Credits required for completion 32
Time to completion 3 to 6 full-time semesters
Course delivery On campus
  • colleges and universities — administrators and staff of programs (e.g., Educational Opportunity Program, McNair Scholars, Upward Bound) and faculty/scholars of educational policy studies, global studies and related areas
  • K–16+ schools — administrators or teachers
  • ministries of education — analysts and policy makers
  • international development or human service agencies — administrators, analysts or program officers
  • non-governmental agencies — administrators, analysts, program officers or researchers
Application deadline Priority Deadlines
Fall: April 1, then rolling
Spring: Nov. 1, then rolling

Program Coursework

A minimum of 32 graduate level hours is required to complete your program, 6 of which can be transfer credits with permission of your advisor. The Department of Educational Leadership and Policy and your advisor must approve your transfer credits by the end of the second semester of enrollment.

Required Courses (12 credits) (unless specifically waived by advisor)

  • ELP 544 Sociology of School Knowledge
  • ELP 566 Comparative and Global Studies in Education
  • ELP 585 Sociological Bases in Education
  • ELP 586 Reading Urban Ethnographics

Recommended Electives

  • ELP 500 Nature of Inquiry
  • CEP 500 Fundamentals of Educational Research
  • CEP 533 Topical Seminar on Current Policy Issues in Education
  • ELP 589 Education and Socialization
  • ELP 590 Education and Social Stratification
  • SOC 615 Sociology of Immigration

Master's Examination

You must either successfully pass a written examination that is tailored to your coursework or complete an independent project as agreed upon with your advisor.

Application Requirements

Application to Candidacy: An application to candidacy (ATC) for the EdM in education studies, agreed and signed by your permanent advisor, should be filed with the department for submission to the GSE Graduate Studies Committee after completion of 12 credit hours and prior to completion of 24 credit hours.

Degree: A baccalaureate degree from an accredited institution is required.

Submit your completed online application, which includes:

  • Application fee: A $50 non-refundable application fee, submitted electronically through UB's ePayment system.
  • Unofficial transcripts from all colleges attended. (UB transcripts are automatically submitted for current UB students and alumni.)
  • Contact information for at least three individuals who will each be asked to provide an electronic recommendation letter. Only students applying to education studies with a specific focus area (comparative and global education; educational culture, policy and society; or education informatics) are required to submit letters of recommendation.
  • Sample of academic writing: A sample of academic writing, approximately 5 pages long only for the ECPS or CGE focus areas.
  • Statement of education and career goals

Former/Maiden Name: Please provide us with your former/maiden name if you have one. When requesting transcripts, please ask the sending institution to indicate your current name and former/maiden name.

Admissions Decision: The admissions decision will be communicated to you as soon as review is complete. The decision is based on a number of factors and is the result of a thorough and deliberate process. All decisions are final and cannot be appealed.

International Applicants

International Applicant Additional Requirements
  • Official original proof of your degree
  • A copy of your passport biographical page
  • Official test scores for either the TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language), the IELTS (International English Language Testing System) or PTE (Pearson Test of English) Academic. Test scores must be dated within two years of submitting your application.
    • TOEFL minimum score is a 250 for a computer based test, 600 for a paper based test and 79 for the Internet based test
    • IELTS minimum score is 6.5 overall
    • PTE minimum score is 55 overall
  • Financial documentation — International graduate applicants must document their ability to pay for all costs incurred while studying in the U.S.
  • An official bank statement

All financial forms and supporting documentation with required signatures must be uploaded with your application, and must be dated within one year of your intended enrollment date.

Are you an international student and unable to take the IELTS, PTE or TOEFL?

If you are currently unable to take the IELTS, PTE or TOEFL tests because they are canceled due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19), the University at Buffalo will accept the Duolingo English Test (DET) for proof of English proficiency. This test can be taken online, in your own home. More information can be found on the Graduate School’s website.

The TOEFL iBT® Special Home Edition is a safe and convenient option for students who are unable to take the TOEFL iBT test at a test center due to public health concerns.

Learn More

University Computing Standards

You are required to have daily access to a reliable broadband connection and a computer that meets university computing standards. You are also expected to have basic computer competency before beginning your coursework.