Change the inequities in education with data-driven policies and decision-making
You've worked in education and can see that something is broken in our system. With a degree in cultural and educational policy, you can create systematic change for the next generation of students, both locally and nationally.
Our commitment to you
Upon graduation with a master's of education degree in cultural and educational policy from Loyola, you will possess the following knowledge, skills, and professional values necessary to commence work with institutions and government entities that strive to improve our educational system.
You'll be trained as a critical consumer and assessor of research, and will recognize the cultural dimensions of education and leverage cultural analyses in your work to improve educational experiences and institutions. You'll also facilitate the use of educational research as the foundation for forming and implementing educational policy and practice.
You'll develop expertise in a focused area of educational practice (domestic or global), including specific skills and competencies needed in work related to education policy. You'll also gain experience working in diverse, real-world settings through an engaged learning internship experience.
You will understand and engage with policy as advocates, leaders, analysts, researchers, activists, and educators committed to social justice and equity in our local and national educational systems.
Completion of the MEd educational policy degree requires 30 semester hours, including a three-credit engaged learning internship experience, as well as the completion of an electronic capstone portfolio.
For full-time students taking three courses in the Fall and three in the Spring, the program can be completed in two years. With a carefully planned summer course schedule, it is possible to complete the degree in a year and a half.
Master's students in cultural and educational policy studies (CEPS) are required to maintain continuous enrollment during their program of studies. This means that during each semester of each academic year (excluding Summer Sessions), each student must enroll in at least one course. Students may request a formal leave of absence, which must be approved by the School of Education's associate dean of Student Academic Services.
Core Courses (18 semester hours)
- ELPS 405: Intro to Educational Policy Analysis
- ELPS 420: Philosophy of Education
- ELPS 444: American Schooling and Social Policy or
ELPS 446: Historical Foundations of Western Education and Social Policy
- RMTD 400: Intro to Research Methodology
- RMTD 404: Intro to Educational Statistics (or equivalent)
- RMTD 406: Evaluation Research
Specialization (9 semester hours)
Students choose either of the following tracks:
American Education Policy Specialization:
Students must take ELPS 410: Sociology of Education, plus two other courses selected in consultation with their advisor. Options include:
- ELPS 412: Sociological Analysis of Urban Education and Policy
- ELPS 510: Seminar in the Sociology of Education
- ELPS 514: Sociology of Teaching
- ELPS 516: The School as Organization
- Plus additional courses and seminars as offered
Global and International Education Policy Specialization:
Students must take ELPS 455: Comparative Education, plus two other courses selected in consultation with their advisor. Options include:
- ELPS 447: History of Modern European Education
- ELPS 457: Comparative Theory
- ELPS 458: International Education
- Plus additional courses and seminars as offered
Engaged Learning Internship Experience (3 semester hours)
- Students in the American Education Policy Specialization enroll in ELPS 564: Education Policy Internship.
- Students in the Global and International Education Policy Specialization enroll in ELPS 565: International Education Internship.
A comprehensive electronic portfolio is required. CEPS MEd portfolio instructions Sept 2018. (PDF)
As part of your completion of the master's degree, you will be asked to maintain and submit a portfolio of your best written work completed at Loyola University Chicago, along with written reflections of your MEd experiences, a professional development action plan, and an updated copy of your resume.
To help facilitate the assembly of your portfolio, we use a system called ePortfolio, a web-based software that gives you access to easily organize your portfolio, upload papers and presentations, and request your advisor's feedback. After you complete the portfolio, you can then use the software to turn it into a website to highlight your professional profile and accomplishments for potential employers and colleagues.
While the commencement ceremony is every May, degrees can be conferred in May, August, and December. Students must apply for graduation/degree conferral. Students should apply for graduation in the semester they anticipate completing all degree requirements. Failure to meet application deadlines may result in a delay of the conferral of the degree to the following semester. Applications for Degree Conferral are due:
- August 1 for December conferral
- December 1 for May conferral
- February 1 for August conferral*
*Students having their degrees conferred in August are eligible to participate in the proceeding May Commencement.
Please note the degree conferral application is valid for only one semester. If the degree is not conferred for the semester requested, a new application is required for a subsequent semester.
What is the difference between the MA and MEd in Cultural and Educational Policy Studies?
Both the MA and MEd degrees in Cultural and Educational Policy Studies (CEPS) similarly prepare graduates to recognize education’s cultural dimensions and leverage cultural analyses in their work to improve educational experiences and institutions.
The MA requires 24 hours of coursework and has the distinct focus of preparing students to conduct original independent research, and it includes a master’s thesis requirement. In this regard, CEPS MA students develop expertise in a focused discipline of study (history of education, international comparative education, philosophy of education, or sociology of education), including specific skills and competencies needed to carry out research in that discipline.
The MEd requires 30 hours of coursework, which includes a three-credit engaged learning internship requirement. The MEd does not require a thesis, but requires the student to prepare an electronic portfolio as a capstone project. In addition, CEPS MEd students develop expertise in a focused domain of educational practice (domestic or global), including specific skills and competencies needed in work related to education policy. CEPS MEd students become critical consumers of educational research.
Is it possible to transfer from the MA to the MEd program and vice versa?
Once admitted to either program, students may submit an application to transfer between master’s programs. There is an overlap in coursework between the two degrees, though each has unique, individual requirements. Transfer after the first or second semester is more difficult and could result in additional course requirements.
Kyawt Thuzar (MEd '19)
Local consultant for governance analysis project at Mercy Corps, Myanmar
"The MEd program helped me to see local issues from global perspectives, and at the same time, provoked me to find the best practices to handle the local challenges with the aid of global theory."
Dirrick Butler (MEd '16)
Senior manager of scholar experience and events at Chicago Scholars, a college access, success and leadership development organization
"My time in CEPS prepared me to become a natural researcher and challenger. It taught me to not just take the issues in education at face value, but to ask questions, study the history, and form a hypothesis that fully incorporates the context of the present issue. When you do this effectively you are able to develop impactful solutions that are rooted in historical context and not just a high-level theoretical one."