Challenge inequities in education systems with policy expertise, policy analysis skills, and hands-on policy experience.
You've worked in education and can see that something is broken in our system. Perhaps you are seeking to change or take the next step in your career in education, and are seeking experience in working with educational policies. Or perhaps you have recently completed your undergraduate degree and are looking to enter the field of domestic or international education policy. With an MEd in Cultural and Educational Policy Studies, you can create systemic change for the next generation of students, locally, nationally and globally.
Our commitment to you
Upon graduation with a master's of education degree in Cultural and Educational Policy Studies from Loyola, you will possess the necessary knowledge, skills, and professional values essential to contribute to institutions and government entities that strive to improve educational systems.
You’ll develop expertise in domestic or international education policy. As you do so, you will learn to analyze educational policies from competing perspectives. You will also consider and apply humanities and social science perspectives that pertain to issues and questions in educational policy and practice. You will become a critical consumer of others’ research so that you can facilitate the use of educational research to guide education policy formation and implementation. Finally, you will gain knowledge that will guide your own policy-oriented research.
In addition to your expertise in domestic or international education policy, you'll also gain experience working in real-world community and organizational settings through an engaged learning internship experience. You will leave our program with the ability to conduct data and policy analysis, think critically and creatively, use persuasive communication and to collaborate inclusively with other policy actors.
You will demonstrate commitment to social justice by engaging with your peers, professors, and community to understand and engage with education policy and practice. Throughout your coursework, you will discuss the role of pluralism in democracies and other political systems, the effects and intersections of race, nationality, immigration status, class, religion, gender identity and presentation, sexuality, disability, veteran status, and other identities on educational aims, and issues of global citizenship or cosmopolitanism. You will be expected to critically engage with one another, texts, and ideas in an effort to address systemic inequality and to advance social justice.
Our dedicated Cultural and Educational Policy Studies Faculty are experts in their fields who will support students throughout each stage of the program.
Completion of the MEd degree requires 30 semester hours, including a three-credit engaged learning internship experience and the completion of an electronic capstone portfolio.
More information about this program can be found in the CEPS Graduate Programs Handbook.
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.
MEd students in Cultural and Educational Policy Studies (CEPS) are required to maintain the status of 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. A formal leave of absence may be granted upon request and the approval of the School of Education’s Assistant Dean of Student Academic Affairs.
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; requirements are specified in the CEPS MEd Portfolio Instructions.
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.
Tuition, Financial Aid and Scholarships
The School of Education and Loyola's Financial Aid Office are committed to helping students secure the necessary financial resources to make their education at Loyola affordable. You can learn more on the Financial Assistance page.
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.