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Educational Psychology - Social Foundations: M.Ed. - Master of Education

This program prepares students for positions in policy-related functions in schools and school systems, and employment in various governmental agencies. It may also enhance teachers’ pedagogy in the areas of social justice and human rights.

At a Glance

Program Results

M.Ed. - Master of Education

Educational Psychology—Social Foundations

Career Outcomes

This program prepares students for positions in policy-related functions in schools and school systems, and employment in various governmental agencies. It may also enhance teachers’ pedagogy in the areas of social justice and human rights.

Program Type

  • Full Time
  • Part Time


  • Online

Estimated Length

1.5-2.5 years

Application Deadline

  • Fall entry: April 15
  • Spring entry: November 1
  • Summer entry: March 15



About This Program

  • This master’s degree provides a broad understanding of the complexities and processes of today's education environment, while also providing the focused knowledge and skill development that are directly applied to helping students in the classroom. Join us in this stimulating, challenging, and highly applicable program for today's complex and dynamic education field.
  • Individuals with an M.Ed. in Educational Psych – Social Foundations (often called the “humanities of education”) find that the solid foundation of broad educational knowledge allows them to effectively teach a more diverse student body.
  • Courses such as History of Education, Philosophy of Education, Anthropology of Education, Sociology of Education, and Comparative Education provide insight into our educational system and how it effectively, or ineffectively, supports various student populations.
  • In addition, elective courses in areas such as Gifted Education, English Language Learners, Literacy, and Instructional Technology provide the knowledge required to address specific needs in the classroom and offer our master’s students the opportunity to build the necessary skills to be more effective educators to various types of learners.
  • This program is offered full-time or part-time. While earning this M.Ed., you can simultaneously earn or work toward an add-on Endorsement in Gifted Education, but this program does not offer initial teacher licensure.
  • We also offer focus area elective courses in Literacy and Instructional Technology. 

Program Overview

Admission Requirements

This program accepts the submission of Graduate Record Exam (GRE) scores as part of the application process OR the applicant can choose an alternative procedure in place of GRE scores. GRE scores must be less than five years old. Visit our Graduate Admission page for the full graduate admission process.

Additional admission requirements that apply specifically to this program (including alternative materials accepted in place of GRE scores) are listed below:

  • 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. 
  • Strong writing skills and clear professional goals should be demonstrated in the Statement of Purpose. In your statement, please address the factors that have encouraged you to seek an M.Ed. in Educational Psychology–Social Foundations degree. 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.
  • Applications from UVA undergraduates applying for direct admission into this graduate program will be reviewed by faculty to ensure alignment between professional goals and program outcomes. Applicants who do not meet general and program-specific requirements will be instructed to complete the regular graduate application for admission.

Direct Admission for Current UVA Students
Current UVA students are eligible for the Direct Admission option if they have a minimum GPA of 3.3 and have completed one or more of the required courses. Review the Direct Admission page for more information.

Graduate Admission

Application for admission is made to the School of Education and Human Development Office of Admission & Enrollment. For more information about the graduate admission process, please visit our Graduate Admission page.


To learn more about specific courses taken as part of the completion of this degree, visit the Graduate Record website. These webpages represent the official repository for academic program requirements. A link to these publications can be found in the Curriculum Information section at the bottom of this page.

A minimum of 33 semester-hours of graduate course credit must be completed to earn an M.Ed. The 30-credit requirement applies to students who entered the program in and all semesters after Fall 2018. 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. 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 the 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. 

Comprehensive Exam Due Dates:

  • Fall: October 31st
  • Spring: March 31st
  • Summer: June 30th

Students must complete an application for graduation through SIS during the semester they plan to graduate. Deadlines are Feb. 1 (May graduation), June 1 (August graduation), and October 1 (December graduation). 

Program Faculty

Derrick P Alridge

Derrick P. Alridge

  • Philip J. Gibson Professor of Education
  • Director, Center for Race and Public Education in the South
Diane M Hoffman

Diane M. Hoffman

  • Associate Professor

Alexa Rodriguez

  • Postdoctoral Research Associate
Rachel L. Wahl

Rachel L. Wahl

  • Associate Professor

Contact Us

M.Ed. in Educational Psychology-Social Foundations News


The information contained on this website is for informational purposes only. The Graduate Record represents the official repository for academic program requirements. These publications may be found at

As a member of the State Authorizations Reciprocity Agreement, the University of Virginia (UVA) is authorized to provide curriculum in a distance learning environment to students located in all states in the United States except for California. (34 CFR 668.43(a)(6)& 34 CFR 668.72(n)). 

Upon completion of the Master of Education in Educational Psychology at the UVA School of Education and Human Development, graduates may be eligible for initial professional licensure in another U.S. state by applying to the licensing board or agency in that state.

Please visit the University’s state authorization web pages to make an informed decision regarding which states’ educational requirements for initial licensure are met by this program. (668.43(a)(5) (v)(A) - (C))

Enrolled students who change their current (or mailing) address to a state other than Virginia should update this information immediately in the Student Information System as it may impact their ability to complete internship, practicum, or clinical hours, use Title IV funds, or meet licensure or certification requirements in the new state. (34 CFR 668.402).