Master of Arts in Social and Comparative Analysis

*This program is no longer accepting new students. Please consider our many other areas of study, such as Education Policy. For questions, contact our admissions team at*

The Master of Arts degree in Social and Comparative Analysis in Education (SCAE) is for the emerging educational scholar interested in the fundamental role that education plays in society. Under the guidance of senior faculty, SCAE students use the tools of the social sciences and humanities to study fundamental issues in education, such as equity, justice, school reform, and educational change. With interest in improving educational access, outcomes, and opportunities for all students, our MA students study both domestic and international settings. They ground their academic study in multiple forms of evidence and study how local settings are influencedby global trends. SCAE is a unique combination of two educational fields of study -- Comparative Education and Social Foundations of Education – that brings together a faculty with diverse interests in educational change and improvement.  

Quick Facts

  • Program Duration: Students enrolling full-time typically complete the program in four semesters, taking nine credits per semester. Part-time students finish the program in six to eight semesters.   
  • Time Commitment: Full-time or Part-time
  • Term of Enrollment: Fall, Spring, and Summer.   
  • Application Deadline:  
  • Fall Deadline:   Rolling admissions; however, priority given to applications received by March 1 
  • Spring Deadline:  Rolling admissions; however, priority given to applications received by November 1 
  • Summer Deadline:  Rolling admissions; however, priority given to applications received by March 1 
  • Course Requirements: 36 credits
  • Admissions Requirements: GRE Exam Not Required

Program Details

Students complete study in one of two areas of emphasis:   

  • Social Context of Education
    • This area emphasizes how social and cultural contexts affect educational processes and outcomes. This specialization emphasizes that schools operate within a larger system of context and policy. Interest areas include social identities (gender, race and ethnicity, social class, ability); historical developments in educational context, policy, and practice; the political economy of educational systems; and the contested moral and political purposes of education. 
  • Comparative and International Education Policy 
    • This area emphasizes the study and improvement of education throughout the world. Students learn about formal and non-formal settings, bilateral and multilateral development agencies, and nongovernmental organizations. Interest areas include policy reform and analysis; trends in international development, economics and politics; the education of ethnic and linguistic minorities; and the enhancement and expansion of higher education worldwide. 


Plan of Study for Social Context of Education area (PDF)

Plan of Study for Comparative and International Education Policy area (PDF)

Degree Requirements

  • With the help of their faculty advisor, each student designs an educational program that meets their professional and academic goals. 
  • Students choose courses at the 2000- and 3000- level, using one of two templates (Social Context of Education or Comparative and InternationalEducation Policy) as a guide. 
  • All SCAE MA students take 6 credits of research methodology, 3 credits of psychological perspectives in education, and 6 credits of ADMPS 2099 (Guidance in the Master’s Degree). 
  • The MA program includes a required master’s thesis under the guidance of the faculty advisor. 
  • Internships are encouraged but not required.  


Baccalaureate degree  

Career Pathways

Students who pursue the MA degree in SCAE do so to advance their development as scholars and producers of original research. Students emerge as stronger, more capable scholars and typically pursue PhD degree studies.