Program Overview

Program Coordinator Robyn Sheridan, (845) 257-2827,
Program ID 072C
Credits 36
Program Length The MPS can be completed in 1.5 years (including summer or winter) if attending full-time; program should be completed within 5 years.
Modality In-person
Full-time/Part-time Full-time or Part-time
Transfer Credits 9
Capstone Seminar
Licensure/Certification NYSED Professional Special Subject Certification

Program Description

The 36-credit program is available to special-subject teachers (family/consumer science, health, music, physical education, or technology education) who are initially certified to teach in New York and are seeking professional certification. The program of study focuses on content and skills necessary for teaching the diverse student population of New York State, with an emphasis on socially just learning practices and settings. Teachers graduate with knowledge and strategies to actively engage and challenge all students to reach their fullest potential—intellectually, emotionally, and socially.

The Master of Professional Studies (MPS) in Social Justice Educational Studies offers a self-reflective, process-oriented approach to diversity, equity, and social justice. The program integrates intellectual/cognitive and social/emotional learning through an experiential and participatory process that centers social justice and critical thinking. Students work collaboratively to foster personal, communal, and institutional social change and to promote more humane, democratic, and inclusive classrooms, organizations, and communities.

Apply to a SUNY New Paltz graduate programAdmission Requirements

Social Justice Educational Studies: Special Subject Teacher Certification (072C)
  • One official copy of all undergraduate and graduate course work; the baccalaureate transcript should be from a regionally accredited institution with a minimum 3.0 cumulative grade point average. The degree should contain appropriate courses in the special subject area of certification.
  • New York State Initial Teacher Certification in Family/Consumer Science, Health, Music, Physical Education, or Technology. 
  • Contact information for three individuals who have a professional relationship with the prospective student and can provide a reference addressing the student’s potential for graduate work.
  • A two-page letter describing how you expect the MPS Social Justice Educational Studies Program will help you meet your personal and professional goals. This can be integrated into the statement on the application form.
  • An interview with a member of the faculty.
Required Courses (15 Credits)
EDS541Approaches to Social Justice Educational Studies3
EDS581Race and Gender in Education3
EDS748Qualitative Research Methods 3
EDS749Seminar in Social Justice Educational Studies3
SPE565Teaching in Inclusive Classrooms 3
Electives in Social Justice Education (9 Credits)
Select three courses from the list below:9
Conflict Resolution in Education
Restorative and Transformative Justice and Practice
Antioppressive Pedagogies and Practices
Exploration of Gender in Education
Group Dynamics
Social-Emotional Learning for Social Justice
Leadership in Education and Human Service Settings
Electives in Content Area (6 Credits)
Work with Advisor to select two appropriate courses.6
Electives in Social Justice Education, Foundations, and Special Education (6 Credits)
Work with Advisor to select two appropriate courses.6
Total Credits36
  • Review plan of study with advisor during first semester of coursework
  • Complete prescribed coursework and other certification requirements within five years after matriculation
  • Maintain a cumulative grade point average of 3.0 or better in both total program and core courses, with no more than two grades below B-.

Graduate Checklist

  • Apply for graduation via under “Graduation” tab according to the schedule in the academic calendar.   

  • Resolve any pending admission conditions (outlined in your acceptance letter) and/or missing documents if applicable. 

  • Review your progress report via to ensure that you have completed all program requirements.  

  • Remember that only two grades below a B- may be applied to your plan of study 

  • Contact your advisor if you need to amend your plan or process transfer credit. 

  • Ensure that you are in good academic standing with a GPA (Grade Point Average) of 3.0 or higher. 

  • Pass your capstone or culminating assessment. 

  • Complete your degree within the specified time limit outlined in the Program Overview. 

Program Learning Outcomes

Social Justice Educational Studies (MPS)

We are attempting to know, learn, and be differently. This work is and always will be unfinished. As we learn new information and ways of being, we are also cognizant that social justice work must be sustainable for self, community, and society. In our program, students work toward: 

  • Social Justice Content Knowledge 

Understanding that systems of inequality shape our lives and institutions, they will engage social justice education to foster more sustainable, equitable, and just relationships. 

  • Applying Theory to Practice 

Utilizing processes of self-reflection and assessment, they will engage in action and reflection (praxis) that center justice-oriented theories, beliefs, values, and relationships. 

  • Critical Analyses 

Drawing on reflective, critical thinking, listening, and questioning practices, they will integrate critical analyses into their educational work. 

  • Fostering Equity 

Recognizing that social inequalities reflect an inability or unwillingness to be in positive relationship with difference, they will foster educational and social equity that seeks to transform relationships and share power across differences. 

  • Participatory, Collaborative Approaches to Pedagogy 

With an understanding of embodied, antioppressive, and experiential learning practices, they will employ creative, holistic, collaborative approaches in their pedagogical settings. 

  • Written and Oral Communication 

Practiced in small and large group discussions, presentations, and in applying feedback to their own work, they will effectively communicate orally and in writing, including through qualitative research that reflects social justice principles. 

  • Socially Responsible Leadership 

Understanding connections between personal, institutional, and social change, they will lead as ethically and socially responsible human beings in their workplaces and communities.