The Social Foundations of Education program is rooted in a variety of academic disciplines, including anthropology, economics, history, philosophy, political science and sociology.
Our interdisciplinary work promotes critical questions that challenge standard assumptions about the purposes of schools in a democratic society, the role that race, class, gender, ethnicity and sexuality play in teaching, learning, school funding, etc., and the importance of understanding critical policy analyses in the context of neoliberalism.
The overarching purpose of social foundations study is to bring intellectual insights to develop interpretive, normative and critical perspectives on education, both inside and outside of schools.
Social Foundations of Education is an interdisciplinary master’s program that examines the historical and contemporary factors that shape educational inequity and injustice in our society. Course topics engage students in discourse about the influence race, class, disability and gender have on education and school systems.
Students are prepared to:
- Develop critical perspectives on education, inside and outside school.
- Evaluate the complex interrelationships among school, society, education and culture.
- Incorporate several disciplines, including history, philosophy, sociology, anthropology, political science and cultural studies.
- M.S. students in Social Foundations work closely with their advisors to craft a program of study that is individualized according to student interests. Customizing student coursework allows students to take courses in the university’s other colleges and schools (for example, Arts and Sciences, Public Policy, Public Health and so on).
Some of the courses are online.
The Ph.D. in Educational Policy Studies allows students to examine the philosophy and practice of education and to develop skills in both the methodology and the study of educational practice. Students will prepare to become policymakers and examiners of policy and the effects of policy on education.
This is the Social Foundations concentration:
Concentration in Social Foundations of Education
Social foundations is a broadly conceived field of educational study that derives its character from several academic disciplines and interdisciplinary studies. At Georgia State University, the disciplines involved in social foundations inquiry are history, philosophy, sociology, anthropology and political science; the interdisciplinary field is cultural studies. The purpose of social foundations study is to bring the intellectual resources derived from these areas to bear in developing interpretive, normative and critical perspectives of educational theory, policy and practices, both inside and outside of schools.
For information about all of the concentrations within this doctoral program, visit:
These projected course schedules are for informational purposes only and are subject to change at any time, without actual notice to individual students. The University will make every effort to keep students advised of any such changes. These schedules are tentative and not guaranteed. Course offerings can change for a variety of reasons, including instructor availability, limited resources and demand. Students must note it is their responsibility to keep apprised of current graduation requirements for their particular degree programs.
Alumni work in such fields as academic researchers, program evaluators, project coordinators, research methodologists, policymakers and college/university administrators. Examples of employers of our graduates include Atlanta Public Schools, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Georgia Institute of Technology, Fulton County School District, Vanderbilt University School of Medicine and University of Georgia.