Graduate MA and PhD programs are available in four general areas in the School of Education: Curriculum and Instruction (EDCI); Educational Equity and Cultural Diversity (EECD); Educational Foundations, Policy, and Practice (EFPP); and Educational and Psychological Studies (EPSY). A PhD program is available in Research and Evaluation Methodology (REME). A joint PhD program is available in Educational Psychology and Learning Sciences and the Institute of Cognitive Science. Graduate programs combining the MA and teacher licensure are also available.
Graduate study in the School of Education is designed to provide students with the knowledge and skills associated with mastering and critically analyzing scholarships in the field of education and, particularly at the PhD level, with the knowledge and skills associated with contributing to that scholarship. Students work with a collaborative faculty whose members combine nationally and internationally recognized senior scholars with a cadre of energetic up-and-coming junior scholars and whose overall scholarly productivity is among the top 20 of U.S. schools and colleges of education. The faculty share a commitment to two broad principles that unite graduate study across the School’s program areas: (1) evidence-based policy and practice and (2) democracy, diversity and social justice.
Curriculum and Instruction
Masters programs in EDCI are divided into three emphasis areas: K-12 Humanities; K-12 Mathematics and Science Education; and Literacy. The Humanities program is designed to support teachers who are interested in developing greater understanding and expertise in the teaching and learning of the humanities. The program helps teachers develop their own content knowledge in humanities, as well as greater understanding of how instructional strategies and curriculum can be tailored to foster students’ understanding of inquiry and exploration in the humanities. The Mathematics and Science Education program is designed to support teachers who are interested in developing greater understanding and expertise in the teaching and learning of mathematics and science. The program helps teachers develop their own content knowledge in mathematics and science, as well as greater understanding of how instructional strategies and curriculum can be tailored to foster K-12 students’ understanding of mathematics and science. In the Literacy program candidates completing this 30 semester-hour program are eligible for a Reading Teacher K-12 endorsement from the State of Colorado. Because the endorsement is an advanced and specialty certification, all candidates for the Reading Teacher K-12 endorsement must have a minimum of two years teaching experience before they can receive the endorsement. The MA Degree in Literacy education defines reading and the other communicative and visual arts (writing, speaking, listening, enacting, and viewing) as complex, integrated processes in which teachers guide children toward making meaning from existing texts as well as creating new texts. Rather than take sides in the continuing national debate on the teaching of reading, the program at CU Boulder emphasizes comprehensive literacy programs, including meaningful use of language as well as skills, in order to promote educational diversity, equal educational opportunity, and research-based practice within three central areas: reading to learn; learning to read; and literacy in a diverse society.
The doctoral program in EDCI combines rigorous training in specialty areas with training in curriculum and instruction, cognitive and social processes, and research methodology. Programs are designed for those interested in the processes of instruction and learning in a particular subject area, in literacy, in the education and development of teachers. Programs prepare students for careers in research and teaching in university settings, educational leadership and services to schools, or research and development in the private sector.
The Education, Equity, and Cultural Diversity program offers a course of study devoted to the critical examination of theory, practice, and policy in two major areas of emphasis: the education of culturally and linguistically diverse students and the education of exceptional children. The program stresses analysis, evaluation, and implementation of educational programs for students who represent diverse learning needs within the public school system. School culture, language policies, and the social and political context of schooling are examined across emphases. Policies that affect the assessment, placement, and services provided for exceptional children also are examined. Program faculty offer courses in first and second language acquisition theory, program development for bilingual and English as a second language, and methodologies appropriate for such programs. Faculty also offer courses in special education methodologies, assessment, and program implementation. Additional related courses are available in other programs of the School of Education and in other departments of the university. The program is designed to train scholars, teachers, resource specialists, and administrators for careers in academic institutions, public schools, and federal and state agencies. Doctoral level preparation is research oriented and qualifies graduates to be curriculum specialists in school districts or faculty in university positions.
The concentration in Educational Foundations, Policy, and Practice (EFPP) offers a program devoted to the critical examination of the relations among education, society, culture, and government, with special emphasis on problems of race, gender, social class, and multiculturalism. The program stresses analysis and evaluation of educational theory, practice, and policy, by drawing on philosophy and the social sciences. Its foundation is critical scholarship, which examines educational institutions within broad social, political, cultural, legal, and economic contexts in the United States. Program faculty offer courses in social, cultural, historical, and philosophical foundations; policy analysis; evaluation; and curriculum theory. Additional related courses are available in other programs of the School of Education and in other departments of the university. The program is designed to train scholars, teachers, evaluators, and policy analysts for careers in academic institutions and agencies at the state and federal levels.
Within the Educational and Psychological Studies Program, faculty and students collaborate to facilitate the development of research, theory, and professional knowledge with an emphasis on learning and teaching in K-12 educational settings.
The Educational and Psychological Studies Program is structured in accordance with a scientist-practitioner model with primary emphasis given to academic study and research. Whether students are preparing for university research and teaching, work in K-12 education, or employment in the private sector, all develop an academic foundation in educational psychology. Onto that base, students and faculty advisors build programs of study that meet both the program goals and the student’s interests. Please note the School of Education does not offer programs in school psychology or counseling.
The doctoral program in Research and Evaluation Methodology (REME) offers a way to combine interests in the social sciences with advanced training in research methods. Students from various disciplines who wish to pursue a research career with specific focus on educational and social problems are encouraged to apply. Course work closely resembles PhD-level work in cultural anthropology, quantitative psychology, quantitative sociology, or policy analysis. Relevant undergraduate degrees include anthropology, applied statistics, computer science, education, history, mathematics, psychology, political science, and sociology. However, any student with sufficiently strong liberal arts preparation to be admitted would be competitive in the program and would not be required to satisfy undergraduate deficiencies.
Career opportunities with a PhD in educational research include:
Curriculum and Instruction (EDCI)
(MA+licensure, MA, MA with Advanced Endorsement, PhD)
Education, Equity, and Cultural Diversity (EECD)
(MA, MA with Advanced Endorsement, PhD)
Educational Foundations, Policy, and Practice (EFPP)
Educational and Psychological Studies (EPSY)
Research and Evaluation Methodology (REME)
MA+ Programs and Advanced Endorsements: In specified Masters Plus (MA+) programs in the Curriculum & Instruction program area it is possible to work on both a Masters degree and teacher certification. In two of the program areas, Literacy (EDCI) and Educational and Cultural Diversity (EECD), it is possible to earn advanced teaching endorsements concurrent with work on the Masters degree. To qualify for admission to these advanced teaching endorsement programs students must already be certified teachers and have teaching experience.
Applicants to the School of Education should meet the minimum Graduate School standards for admission.
A grade point average (gpa) of 3.0 or higher is desirable. However, we will consider applications from all applicants, regardless of gpa. Applicants for the MA EDCI program should have teaching experience.
All applicants must provide three letters of recommendation.
Most offers of financial aid (teaching and research appointments and fellowships) are limited to PhD students.
Applicants to the Master’s Plus Licensure Program ONLY
Fingerprint Cards should be submitted directly to the School of Education with the fingerprinting fee of $39.50 exactly, payable to Colorado Bureau of Investigation. These may be submitted to the front desk in the Education building, room 151, or mailed to:
Office of Student Services
School of Education
University of Colorado
Boulder, CO 80309
Please instruct the carrier not to bend the envelope. All other materials should be sent to the addresses in the "Where to Send Materials" section.
Fall Application *Priority Deadlines for Domestic Applicants:
Master's +: Domestic and International applicants - February 1, 2017
PhD: Domestic applicants - December 15, 2016
PhD: International applicants – December 1, 2016
Master's only: Domestic and International applicants - February 1, 2017
Spring Application *Priority Deadlines for Domestic Applicants:
Master's only: Domestic and International applicants - September 1, 2016
Summer *Priority Application Deadlines:
Master's only: Domestic and International applicants - February 1, 2017
*MA and MA+ applications received after the priority deadline will be considered however, we HIGHLY encourage prospective students to apply by the posted priority deadline. Please email email@example.com if you would like to submit after the priority deadline. PhD students must apply by posted deadline – NO EXCEPTIONS.
University of Colorado Boulder
School of Education Student Services
Education Room 151
Boulder, CO 80309-0249