Education Studies, EdM: Focus Area in Educational Culture, Policy and Society (ECPS)

The ECPS Master’s focus area is designed for students who wish to explore the role that education, including but not limited to P-16+, plays in the larger society. We pay special attention to institutions, policies and practices that facilitate individuals’ well-being and social and economic outcomes, as well as those that limit them.

ECPS focuses much of its attention on underserved populations, including historically marginalized racial/ethnic groups in the United States such as African Americans, and Latino/a, and others who may not be proficient in English, and populations with limited financial resources. We additionally direct our attention towards gender disparities in educational, social and economic opportunities.

Students who select this area have the opportunity to focus on cross-national differences in educational policies and practices. These policies include reforms 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. We anticipate serving students from a wide range of undergraduate majors, and who represent all parts of the globe.

Students will receive the Master's of Education (Ed.M.) degree in Education Studies.

Focus Area Prospective Students Format
Educational Culture, Policy and Society (ECPS)

Anyone interested in the social and economic context of education in the U.S. and around the world. Careers include but are not limited to the following:
• Faculty and researchers in educational policy studies, global studies, and related areas
• Administrators, researchers, and educational leaders in education agencies outside the United States.
• Teachers and administrators in K-16+ schools;
• Policy makers and analysts in government and non-governmental agencies.


Successful graduates typically take jobs in:

  • Colleges/Universities—as faculty/scholars of educational policy studies, global studies and related areas;
  • Colleges/Universities—as administrators and staff of programs such as Upward Bound, Educational Opportunity Program (EOP), McNair Scholars, among others;
  • Schools—as teachers or administrators;
  • Ministries—as policy makers and analysts;
  • International development or human service agencies—as analysts, program officers, or administrators;
  • Non-governmental agencies—as researchers, analysts, program officers, or administrators.


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

The following courses are required, unless specifically waived by the advisor:

  • ELP 585 Sociological Bases in Education (3 credits)
  • ELP 566 Comparative and Global Studies in Education (3 credits)

Recommended Electives:

  • CEP 533 Topical Seminar on Current Policy Issues in Education
  • ELP 589 Education and Socialization (3 credits)
  • ELP 592 American Education for International Students (3 credits) (as appropriate)
  • ELP 590 Education and Social Stratification (3 credits)

Master's Examination
Master's candidates must either successfully pass a written examination that is tailored to their course work or complete an independent project with an advisor.

Contact Us

For questions regarding Admissions:

Office of Graduate Admissions and Student Services
Graduate School of Education
University at Buffalo
366 Baldy Hall
Buffalo, NY 14260-1000
Phone: (716) 645-2110

For questions regarding ECPS focus area:

Dr. Lois Weis
Department of Educational Leadership and Policy
Graduate School of Education
University at Buffalo
430 Baldy Hall
Buffalo, NY 14260-1000
Phone: (716) 645-1079