Examine the social forces that affect urban schools and communities, look deeply at the challenges facing urban areas today, and explore creative solutions. This 30-credit graduate program will help you do all of that and more.

A Flexible MS Program for Working Professionals

Many of our students use this degree to help them change direction in their personal and professional lives. Our students and faculty are very diverse and have come from and moved into a wide range of careers, including:

  • Teachers in public, private and alternative schools
  • Community-based organization administrators
  • Youth work supervisors
  • Community organizers and social activists
  • Service learning program directors
  • Social service program managers
  • Educational policy analysts
  • Community developers
  • Police officers
  • Child care center administrators
  • Further doctoral work

Why Choose Our Program?

  • Complete your degree fully online (*excluding certain elective courses taken outside the department), face-to-face or a mix of both
  • Daytime, evening, and weekend classes offer plenty of options for busy professionals
  • No GRE is required
  • Rolling admissions for all programs so you can join any semester


Optional Focus Areas in Cultural Foundations of Community Engagement and Education

  • Alternative Education
  • Community Engagement and Partnerships
  • Service Learning & Partnerships
  • Community Power & Participation
  • Educational Policy
  • Gender & Education
  • Race Relations
  • Youth Work
  • Many students create their own based on their interests

Core Courses & Electives

Core Courses

ED POL 702: Cultural Foundations of Education Graduate Seminar
ED POL 705
: Sociology of Education and Community Engagement
ED POL 710: Research Methods in Education and Community Engagement
ED POL 740: Philosophy of Education and Community
ED POL 750: History of Education in American Communities


You can choose from a range of electives within and outside of our department. In-department electives include:

ED POL 401: Foundations of Community-Based Organizations
ED POL 500: Sociology and Policy of Urban Communities and Schools
ED POL 533: Educating Black Males
ED POL 535: Educating At-Risk Students
ED POL 560: Education and Hispanics
ED POL 580: Overview of Child/Youth Care
ED POL 584: Early Childhood Programs and the External Environment
ED POL 610: Reproduction of Minority Communities
ED POL 612: Community Participation and Power
ED POL 625: Race Relations in Education
ED POL 711: Community Engagement and Social Change

Exit Requirements: After you successfully complete and orally defend a final paper, final project or master’s thesis under the direction of a faculty thesis chair and a second reader, the department graduate representative will give final approval for the inclusion of “Master of Science in Cultural Foundations of Community Engagement and Education” on your transcript.

Course Requirements Checklist (PDF)

Exit Requirements FAQ (PDF)

Planning Your Program of Study FAQ (PDF)


Admissions is handled by UWM’s Graduate School. Individual faculty advisors are assigned after you are admitted. To learn more about the application process and start your online application to the UWM Graduate School Online Application page.

The Master’s Application Checklist (PDF) is a helpful resource.

Questions about admissions?

Allison Hochmuth
Graduate Program Admissions Coordinator
Office of Student Services
(414) 229-4599

Contact Us

For more information or questions about the program

(414) 229- 4721


profile photoJulie KailinAssociate ProfessorEducational Policy & Community Studies(414) 229-6623jkailin@uwm.eduEnderis Hall 521
profile photoMarie SandyAssociate Professor; Co-Interim DirectorEducational Policy & Community Studies; Urban Education Doctoral Program(414) 229-1173sandym@uwm.eduEnderis Hall 539
profile photoAaron SchutzProfessor & Educational Policy & Community Studies Department Chair; Co-DirectorEducational Policy & Community Studies; Urban Education Doctoral Program(414) 229-4150schutz@uwm.eduEnderis Hall 553
profile photoRajeswari SwaminathanProfessorEducational Policy & Community Studiesswaminar@uwm.eduEnderis Hall 557