Program Overview

The mission of Soka University of America’s Master of Arts in Educational Leadership and Societal Change program is to provide graduate-level students with the broad interdisciplinary knowledge, research skills, and practical experience for cutting-edge leadership in the all-inclusive world of education locally, nationally, and internationally.

MA Program by the Numbers

2 years
program length
Feb. 15
application deadline
semester credits

Your MA Experience

Upon completion of the MA in Educational Leadership and Societal Change program, students are expected to be able to:

Assess and manage barriers to school change including de jure and de facto legal policies, curricular practices, traditional learning theories, relations between teachers and administrators, parents and schools, schools and society—and develop strategies to overcome them, including case methods of organizational and psychological change that are sensitive to wide variations in local needs and concerns, actors and agents.

Take demonstrable leadership informed by an understanding of the historic relations between school and society, for the improvement of education and educational systems in an increasingly global, interdependent world. Grounded in the social and psychological relations of education broadly construed, assume leadership around shared learning, teaching, and administrative goals and objectives.

Gain a foundational knowledge of the historical and philosophical underpinnings of education in general. Assess and measure the relative strengths and weaknesses in promoting equality of educational opportunity and greater workplace democracy of alternate models of school administration and leadership past and present.

Demonstrate in written, oral, and visual forms of communication the knowledge and skills conducive to learning environments that value diversity, life-long learning, the mentoring skills of teachers, innovative and ethical decision-making at all levels, and the successful achievement of all school-aged youth.

Conduct advanced research (secondary as well as primary; qualitative as well as quantitative) that can draw lessons, historical or otherwise, for contemporary educational policies and practices, especially as they entail and/or inhibit societal change both nationally and internationally.

This program is not a credential program. It does not qualify students for the State of California Teaching Credential or for the State of California Administrative Services Credential. Those students seeking teacher or administrative credentialing in California or elsewhere may consult the program director.

A Story of Support

Where is he now? Full fellowship to the University of Texas, Austin, PhD in Educational Policy and Planning.

Image of Jamie Haynes.

Soka University has been a tremendous support both financially and emotionally.

Jamie Haynes
Class of 2016 | Austin, Texas

Professional Development

From the very beginning of the MA program, faculty together with the Dean of the Graduate School and the Director have taken an active interest in encouraging and supporting student professional development.

2014 - As part of EDU 501 Educational Leadership and Societal Change: A Comparative Perspective, students in the entering Class of 2016 attended the 2014 National Council of Professors of Educational Administration (NCPEA) held on the campus of California State University Channel Islands.

2014 - At the invitation of its Executive Director, the Class of 2016 travelled south to San Diego to attend the 16th World Council for Curriculum and Instruction Conference with the theme “Integrating Education for a Lasting Culture of Peace and Care of Planet Earth.”

Since then, a year has not gone by when students in whole or in part have not presented their research at academic conferences in the field of education.

2015 - Five out of the six students submitted and had papers accepted for the 2015 Comparative and International Education Society (CIES) conference in Washington, DC.

2016 - Five out of the six students submitted and had paper and panel proposals accepted for the 2016 CIES conference in Vancouver, Canada.

2017 - All seven members of the Class of 2018 presented talks at the 2017 CIES conference in Atlanta, GA.

2018 - Seven out of eight from the Class of 2019 attended the 2018 conference in Mexico City, Mexico.

The World Summit of Educators (WSE) was an international gathering of rank-and-file educators dedicated to the establishment, through education, of peace, human rights, and the sanctity of life as universal norms.

Held at Soka University of America over two days, June 12-13, in 2016, the summit took its inspiration from a talk delivered by the founder of the university, Daisaku Ikeda, 20 years earlier at Teachers College, Columbia, entitled “Thoughts on Education for Global Citizenship,” in which he called for just such a summit.

The founder’s hopes and expectations found their realization in the impassioned work of the first and second cohorts of the university’s MA Program in Educational Leadership and Societal Change. Without their voices, their thoughtful and painstaking planning and organization, the summit would never have materialized when it did or as it did.

Visit the WSE website

Write Your Story. Begin Your Legacy.