EdM in Education for Equity & Social Justice

The Master of Education (EdM) in Education for Equity & Social Justice will prepare professionals to confront the consequences of systemic inequities and pernicious discrimination against people who have been historically marginalized in educational and social service institutions due to their socioeconomic class, race, ethnicity, language, religion, gender, level of ability, and other social markers throughout history. The overarching goal is to prepare responsible, empowered, and civically engaged professionals as citizens who are capable of self-reflection and possess the knowledge, skills, and tools to help people and organizations to reflect on, redesign, and revise systems that oppress others.

This 34-unit master’s degree includes 22 units from six core courses and an additional 12 units of electives. Electives are available from across BU’s schools and colleges, and this program has identified a list of recommended electives that connect to this program. With advising support, students will select a specialization of courses that allows them to focus on their primary professional goals such as antiracist education, disability studies, public health, community development, or others. Based on a student’s schedule, the program can be completed full-time within 12 months, including summers, or within 2 years on a part-time schedule. Students will enroll as part of a cohort of students taking core courses together.

Key features of this program include an online format, a cohort model (which will facilitate the development of a sense of belonging), sustained engagement with members of the cohort and community partnerships, research apprenticeships to complete a research study, action research, coursework across disciplines, summer institutes and workshops, public sharing of knowledge (e.g., podcasts, webinars, policy briefs), and the development of a portfolio assessment of competencies. Students will work with their advisor to determine an optimal selection of electives based on their professional goals.

Goal of this program

The goal of the EdM in Education for Equity & Social Justice program is to prepare informed, empowered, and civically engaged professionals and citizens capable of self-reflection and possessing the knowledge, skills, and instruments to correct systems that have historically “marginalized” and “otherized” large segments of our population. In so doing, they will become champions of equity.

Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of the program, students will be able to:

  • Explain their own ongoing practice of self-examination and reflection on how their beliefs, values, and behaviors influence their thinking about and responses to others, in order to conceptualize conditions that promote equity. They will demonstrate self-awareness.
  • Describe anti-oppressive and anti-discriminatory practices that can be implemented in institutions such as schools, workplaces, community gatherings, etc., in order to demonstrate a commitment to equity and social justice.
  • Describe how they understand the lived experience of others, especially of those who are different from them, in particular social characteristics and develop anti-oppressive and anti-discriminatory strategies that address inequities and increase opportunities.
  • Analyze and engage with scholarship associated with equity and social justice, demonstrate cognitive flexibility to recognize and address new and emerging forms of inequity.
  • Participate in the organization of supportive communities unified by clearly defined goals and an understanding of historical and contemporary issues to inform and direct changes in centers for quality control in different institutional settings.
  • Model civility in disagreement, while challenging the empirical justification for inequitable practices, and demonstrating mastery of the techniques of debate and dialogue in articulating the importance of using objective information in decisionmaking.
  • Develop, implement, and apply reputable, peer-reviewed research findings to address issues of inequity in social institutions, and engage in clinical activities that promote equity and social justice.
  • Develop strategic plans with centers of activity needing corrective action. They will organize and facilitate constituencies to present complaints or grievances to centers of power.
  • Mobilize organizational resources, such as funding and community activity, in order to increase their reach into marginalized communities.

Competencies that this program will develop include:

  • Self-awareness
  • Understanding others
  • Exploring roots of inequity
  • Building consensus and mobilizing communities around issues of inequity
  • Inclusive communication
  • Applying research findings and clinical activities responsibly
  • Strategic planning
  • Mobilizing for change


Total units: 34

Core Courses (22 units)

  • WED AP 641 Equity and Community Partnerships (4 units)
  • WED ED 640 Origins of Inequity (4 units)
  • WED ED 700 Thesis: Equity and Social Justice in Practice (2 units)
  • WED HD 610 Psychology of Oppression and Liberation (4 units)
  • WED RS 630 Research for Equity and Social Justice (4 units)
  • WED SC 645 Institutional Racism in Health and Science (4 units)

Elective Courses (12 units)

  • To be selected with advice from academic advisor