Content Skip to content.
San Diego State University

SDSU Department of Dual Language and English Learner Education (formerly Policy Studies in Language & Cross-Cultural Education)

Master of Arts Program - Critical Literacy & Social Justice

Interested in pursuing an MA Degree Program in Education: Dual Language and English Learner Education with a specialization in Critical Literacy & Social Justice? The Department of Dual Language and English Learner Education (DLE) offers an MA Program that provides teachers and others in the education profession with skills in critiquing current school programs from a social equity and social justice perspective.

View the 2019 DLE Graduate Program Orientation Slides and the MA FAQs.

Program Description

The program is designed to:

  1. Develop school-wide curriculum change focusing on critical literacy.
  2. Focus on the integration of language, culture, and codes of power as part of the development of school programs.
  3. Examine curriculum from a constructivist perspective that recognizes the voices of students, community and teachers as one learning community who inform curriculum and program design.
  4. Introduce participants to the concepts and the authors of critical pedagogy; a theory of education that gives professionals the opportunity to reflect on their own educational beliefs, practices, and processes in the context of standard curriculum, high stakes testing, and curriculum reform.
  5. Gives teachers the voice and tools to reflect upon their teaching methodology vis-a-vis their student's critical thinking;
  6. Promote equality and social justice through action research within the school and community.
The DLE MA program consists of 30 units (10 courses). Students typically complete two courses (6 units) per semester in either a hybrid or a fully online program. The program may include one or two summer courses as available. Click on "Option 1" or "Option 2" in the sections below to see a course list and reference the graduate bulletin for course details. 

Professional Development Certificates

All DLE Certificate courses completed with a grade of B or better are applicable to the Master of Arts degree in Education with Concentration in Dual Language and English Learner Education (formerly Policy Studies). Read more about Professional Development Certificates.

Program Principles / Values

The Department of Dual Language and English Learner Education (formerly Policy Studies Department) program philosophy is based on a philosophy and belief of empowerment that views school communities and all K-12 students from an educational benefits model. This model values and integrates the language, culture and social context of the student into the school curricula giving equal status to home, community and school experiences. In addition, this program is based on the belief that all children, if properly nurtured, have high expectations of themselves to realize their potential. Furthermore, the program values the transformation of schools that seek to produce students that are multicultural/biliterate competent.

Option 1: Critical Literacy & Social Justice

For individuals interested in applying the concepts of critical theory in their work in curriculum change, school reform, or student, parent and community advocacy. Students who choose this option take their 30 units within the Department of Dual Language and English Learner Education. Click to learn more about Option 1

Option 2: Outside Specialization

For individuals interested in the principles of our program and in further development of specific subject competencies in other discipline areas (i.e., Reading, Educational Leadership, Spanish, Math, Linguistics, International Program in Mexico, etc). Learn more about Option 2.

Faculty Involved and Their Research

In the area of research, department faculty are involved in projects, grants, contracts with an action research approach that integrates theory and application in their work in the fields of . . . .

  1. Bilingual/multicultural education--teacher education,
  2. Public equity and school achievement,
  3. Parent empowerment,
  4. literacy in the first and second language,
  5. Cross-cultural education,
  6. Organizational effectiveness,
  7. Language policy and assessment,
  8. Action research, and
  9. Career ladder professional development.

To learn more about our faculty, please visit our Faculty and Staff page.

MA Advising

Click on any of the following links for more information.

Prospective Students: Contact the Department of Dual Language and English Learner Education to be forwarded to the graduate advisor 

(619) 594-5155 |

MA Newsletters

What are the requirements for admission?

  1. A BA with at least a 2.85 GPA (overall or in last 60 units).
  2. GRE (Graduate Record Exam) Scores
  3. 2 letters of recommendation
  4. 500 word Statement of Purpose (Use the same essay for CSU and department applications)
  5. Official transcripts from degree and credential - granting institutions
  6. Entrance Interview (scheduled in March/April)
  7. Submit your intent to enroll fee by the deadline posted on Web Portal (usually early May or June)
International graduate applicants must also have:
  1. A cumulative GPA of a 3.00 on the US 4.0 scale
  2. Proof of English Proficiency. For details, go to the International Graduate Admissions Page

How to Apply: