College of Education, Criminal Justice, & Human Services

College of Education, Criminal Justice, & Human Services

Educational Studies Masters

The Master of Arts in Educational Studies is a multi-disciplinary graduate degree program designed to provide students with greater understanding of the foundations of education, learning, development, and research in education and social change. Students may choose between three concentrations, Educational Psychology and Child Study, Applied Research Methods, and Foundations of Education and Social Change.

Within the Educational Psychology and Child Study concentration, students will gain expertise in developmental learning sciences (human learning and development; cognitive and developmental psychology) and the developmental study of children.  

Within the Foundations of Education and Social Change concentration, students will gain expertise in the cultural, historical, and social foundations of education and educational and community-based action research. 

The Foundations of Education and Social Change concentration reflects the interdisciplinary, community-engaged, and problem-focused nature of action research with a mission to “promote social justice and strengthen communities, locally and globally, by advancing research, education, and action through participatory and reflective practices.” Students interested in the Foundations of Education and Social Change concentration can focus on practitioner inquiry in educational and organizational settings or community-based action research and are encouraged to take courses that reflect the broad interdisciplinary nature of action research.

Within the Applied Research Methods concentration, students will learn the understanding, application and development of quantitative methodologies and/or mixed research as tools to gather evidence in the field of education and other social and behavioral sciences. Students may also acquire certificates in Assessment and Evaluation, Developmental and Learning Sciences, or others depending on academic interests. Note: certificates may require additional coursework.

Students interested in the Applied Research Methods concentration may pursue coursework that prepare them to be a methodologist or a researcher. A methodologist studies the advancement of research methods, where as a researcher studies the application of research methods. The Applied Research Methods concentration includes course work in study design, data collection, and data analysis of empirical human research. Students in this concentration obtain an introduction to diverse approaches to empirical research. Students who focus on quantitative methodologies complete coursework and research experiences that enable them to advance understanding and application of quantitative research designs, quantitative data collection procedures, and statistical data analysis techniques. Students who focus on mixed methods research complete coursework and research experiences that enable them to advance understanding and application of research that combines and integrates quantitative and qualitative approaches.

Student Success Factors

The Master's program in Educational Studies requires that applicants have strong skills in verbal and mathematical reasoning and technical writing.  Successful participants will have a passion for education, learning and research.

Career Possibilities

Students completing theMaster's degree program in Educational Studies may further their career opportunities a wide variety of fields.  Graduates have gone on to work in or advance their careers in settings and organizations such as:

  • Child and family development and care
  • Educational research
  • Higher education
  • Community-based advocacy
  • Hospital and other health organizations
  • Further study in doctoral programs

Additional career options are listed on the Center for Exploratory Studies website.

Major Details

The MA in Educational Studies is a 30 semester credit hour program. The program has a 15 credit hour common core and 15 credit hours of guided electives within one of two tracks, Educational Psychology and Child Study or the Foundations of Education and Social Change (note: students may take course across tracks if supported by an academic advisor). The core includes foundation coursework in introductory statistics, research methods, human learning, and foundations of education and social change. All students must successfully complete either a master’s project or formal master’s thesis to graduate. 



Educational Studies Curriculum

Predominant Program

  • EDST7003, Introduction to Educational Studies, 3
  • EDST7000, Introduction to Research Methodology, 3
  • EDST7010, Statistical Data Analysis I, 3
  • EDST6060, Human Learning, 3
  • Students will select to complete a Master's Project OR Master's Thesis., 1 - 6
Applied Research Methods Concentration
  • EDST7011, Statistical Data Analysis II, 3
  • EDST8034, Measurement and Assessment, 3
  • Students must select three (3) courses listed below. Additional courses within the Educational Studies Master's program can be considered with faculty approval., 9
  • EDST8041, Multivariate Data Analysis, 3
  • EDST8043, Reading Advanced Quantitative Research, 3
  • EDST8051, Qualitative Research Methods I, 3
  • EDST8052, Qualitative Research Methods II, 3
  • EDST8080, Quantitative Research Synthesis, 3
  • EDST8081, Mixed Methods Research I, 3
  • EDST8082, Mixed Methods Research II, 3
  • EDST8086, Experimental and Quasi-Experimental Research, 3
  • EDST8087, Multilevel Models for Educational Research, 3
  • EDST8088, Item Response Theory, 3
  • EDST8089, Structural Equation Modeling, 3
  • EDST8091, Quantitative Research Seminar I: Design, 3
  • EDST8092, Quantitative Research Seminar II: Data Collection and Analysis, 3

Education and Social Change

  • Students will select a theoretical foundations course listed below., 3
  • EDST7xxx, EDST 7046 Critical Pedagogy, 3
  • UEL9xxx, UEL 9010 Theoretical Foundations of Urban Educational Leadership, 3
  • Students will select two Practice Oriented course listed below., 6
  • EDST7xxx, EDST 7043 Practioner Action Research, 3
  • EDST7xxx, EDST 7045 Community-Based Participatory Research, 3
  • EDST7xxx, EDST 7093 Learning, Working and Thriving in Groups, 3
  • Students pursuing the Education and Social Change concentration will select two (2) additional courses. Course substitutions are available with faculty adviser approval., 6
  • EDST7040, Relational Context of Teaching and Learning, 3
  • EDST7041, First-person Action Research, 3
  • EDST7042, Appreciative Inquiry, 3
  • EDST7043, Practitioner Action Research, 3
  • EDST7044, Action Research and Feminist Theory, 3
  • EDST7045, Community-Based Participatory Research, 3
  • EDST7046, Critical Pedagogy, 3
  • EDST7047, Arts-based Action Research, 3
  • EDST7053, Practitioner Action Research 2, 1 - 3
  • EDST7093, Learning, Working and Thriving in Groups, 3
  • EDST8001, Ethics in Education and Community Research, 3
  • EDST8017, Organization Development in Education, 3
  • EDST8021, Action Research I, 3
  • EDST8022, Action Research II, 3
  • EDST8053, Feminist Qualitative Methodologies, 3

Educational Psychology and Child Study Concentration Curriculum

  • Students will select two (2) courses listed below., 6
  • ECE7092, Contemporary Issues in Child Study, 3
  • ECE7097, Learning Through Inquiry, 3
  • EDST7031, Human Development: Early and Middle Childhood, 3
  • EDST7032, Human Development: Adolescence, 3
  • EDST7034, Human Development: Lifespan, 3
  • Students pursuing the Educational Psychology and Child Study concentration will select three (3) additional courses. Course substitutions are available with faculty adviser approval., 9
  • ECE7032, Environments as the Third Teacher, 3
  • ECE7066, Nature Playscapes: Designs for Play and Learning, 3
  • ECE7086, Readings in Early Childhood Education, 1 - 6
  • ECE7087, Individual Study in Early Childhood Education, 1 - 12
  • EDST6099, Applied Research in Developmental & Learning Sciences, 1 - 12
  • EDST7030, Childhood to Adolescent Development, 3
  • EDST7033, Human Development: Adulthood, 3
  • EDST7094, Self Concept and Achievement, 3
  • EDST7095, Motivation and Cognition, 3
  • EDST8035, Introduction to Cognitive and Learning Sciences, 3
  • EDST8036, Brain Development, Cognition and Learning, 3
  • EDST8037, Cognitive Development, 3
  • EDST8038, Cognition and Culture, 3
  • EDST8039, Mathematics Cognition, 3
  • EDST8040, Cognitive Science of Learning to Read, 3
  • EDST8061, Guided Research Experience, 1 - 6
  • EDST8071, Individual Study in Educational Studies, 1 - 6
  • EDST9089, Seminar in Educational Studies, 1 - 3
  • EDST6xxx, EDST 6060 Human Learning, 3
  • EDST7xxx, EDST 7030 Childhood to Adolescent Development, 3
  • EDST7xxx, EDST 7031 Human Development: Early and Middle Childhood, 3
  • EDST7xxx, EDST 7034 Human Development: Lifespan, 3

Admission Requirements

  1. Official transcripts: Official transcripts documenting completion of a Baccalaureate Degree from an accredited college or university.
  2. GPA: A preferred minimum undergraduate grade point average of 3.0 [on a 4.0 scale].  Note: uGPA’s below 3.0 require a waiver from the Graduate School.
  3. GRE: A preferred combined score of 292 (950 for tests taken prior to August 1, 2011) on the verbal and quantitative sections of the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) and preferred minimum score of 4 on the analytical section of the GRE, all taken within five years prior to admission.
  4. TOEFL: The Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), or successful completion of ELS Level 112, is required of all applicants whose native language is not English.  A minimum TOEFL score of 550 (paper test), 213 (computer-­-based test), or 79-­-80 (internet-­-based test); or a minimum score on the Test of Written English (TWE) of 4.5; or a minimum score of 50 on the Test of Spoken English.
  5. Letters of Recommendation: Three external recommendations addressing academic and professional background and accomplishments.
  6. Goal Statement: A goal statement describing academic credentials and professional experiences relevant to a degree in Educational Studies; interests and experiences that match expertise available among Educational Studies faculty; and a commitment to education, and diversity.

Graduation Requirements

Before a candidate can graduate, he or she must meet the following requirements:

  1. Have a minimum graduate GPA of 3.0
  2. Be registered for at least one credit in his or her program in the academic year, after having met minimum degree course requirements to be considered a graduate candidate throughout the academic year.
  3. Have all NG, N, I, UP, SP and F grades removed for degree courses.
  4. Post satisfactory grades for the semester of graduation.
  5. Satisfactory completion of all applicable College and program requirements approved by the major advisor through the Checklist for Completion of College/Departmental Requirements for Graduation and sent to the Graduate Program Director.
  6. Completion of 30 graduate semester credit hours.
  7. Completion of the on-line graduation application (through the Graduate School’s website) prior to the posted deadline.

Application Deadlines

Applications open one year in advance of commencement of the term to which one applies and will be reviewed per the following timeline: 

If your completed application is received by this date

Then your application will be reviewed during this month

For admission in this semester (or later)

And a decision letter will be sent to you on or near this date:

October 15th


Spring Semester or later

November 30th

March 15th


Fall Semester or later

April 30th

*International students are encouraged to apply for fall admissions.


The University of Cincinnati and all regional campuses are accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

The University of Cincinnati is accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.