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Social and Cultural Studies Certificate

Work in Social and Cultural Studies is guided by the principles of reflective practice, professional growth, democratic action, and individual responsibility.  The overarching goal of this certificate is preparation of theoretically informed leaders with the critical understanding of social and cultural issues necessary to enact organizational, curricular, and pedagogic reforms within their respective institutional settings.

The mission of the Social and Cultural Studies program is to examine critically the relationships between education and society.  Drawing from sociological, historical, political, and philosophical perspectives, coursework and research in social and cultural studies place special emphasis on analyzing diversity and social inequities generated by factors such as race, gender, social class, culture, ethnicity, language, and sexual orientation.  This area of inquiry provides students with the unique opportunity to formulate intellectually grounded and socially responsible philosophies of education that link beliefs about human nature, the social good, and schooling.

Program Coordinator:  Dr. John Petrovic


  1. Complete the Application Form.
  2. Pay the application fee. The application fee is $65 for U.S. citizens and permanent residents and $80 for international students. Please note that application fees are non-refundable. The application fee is waived for the following groups:
    • Veterans and current members of the US military (please email your DD 214 or current assignment orders to
    • Ronald E. McNair Postbaccalaureate Achievement Program students (please email for more details).
    • University of Alabama undergraduates applying to a graduate program in the same subject area. To qualify for this application fee waiver a student must have no time break between the undergraduate and graduate program and have an overall GPA of 3.0 or greater.
    • Applicants who have previously enrolled in Graduate School at The University of Alabama.
  3. Within 48 hours of completing steps 1 and 2 you will receive an email with your Campus Wide Identification (CWID) number. It is VERY important that you keep this number somewhere safe.
  4. Submit supporting documents and check application status by selecting Manage Documents.

Certificate Requirements

18 Hours of Coursework 

Required Coursework (9 hours)

  • BEF 667 Multicultural Education
  • BEF 681 Ethics and Education
  • BEF 644 Philosophy of Science and Research

Elective Coursework (9 hours)

  • BEF 607 Sociology of Education
  • BEF 642 Philosophy of Education
  • BEF 641 Social Foundations of Education
  • BEF 640 Studies in the History of Education
  • BEF 650 Critical Race Theory in Education
  • BEF 653 History of American Higher Education
  • BEF 654 Philosophy of American Higher Education
  • AEL 669 Curriculum and the Study of Schooling

Students may include one master’s level course as an elective toward the certificate, including BEF 504, BEF 575, and BEF 585.  Students may transfer in three hours.  In consultation with the coordinator, students may choose up to two elective courses from related fields, such as, qualitative research methods (BER), educational psychology (BEP), women’s studies (WS), or political science (PSC), among others.  Students in the College of Education may count courses named here and used for the college foundations requirement toward the certificate.