Education itself is interdisciplinary and cannot be fully understood from any one perspective. Therefore, ESS is designed to help students view education issues through multiple liberal arts lenses--sociology, history, philosophy, political science and others. 

The program provides resources for students who will pursue a range of careers after graduation, from finance to films, law to medicine, philosophy to policy-making. Students who want to become certified teachers during their undergraduate studies may do so through our cooperative relationship with Saint Mary’s College

Curriculum Requirements

15 hours, including a capstone research project

Introduction Course (3 credits)

ESS 33600  Education, Schooling, and Society (must be taken by the middle of junior year)
This course covers several basic questions about the nature and goals of education, its history, and theoretical explanations of influences on learning, teaching, and schooling. Using both classic and current texts, the course incorporates several disciplinary perspectives.

Elective Courses (9 credits)

Choose 3 elective courses, at least two from the "Education-Focused" category. The third course may be selected from either the "Education-Focused" or “Education-General” lists. Ed-General courses treat educational issues as part of a broader curriculum. In education-general courses, identify yourself to your professors as an ESS Minor and ask to do projects and papers on topics related to education.

  • 3 credits of ESS 47602 Research Lab may be counted as an Education-Focused elective.
  • One elective may be in your major field, but may not be double-counted for the major. The other two elective courses must be from two other disciplines outside your major.
  • It may be possible to double-count one ESS elective course with a University or College requirement. Please check with ESS's associate director.

Capstone Research  (3 credits)

All ESS minors complete a capstone research project. Please click here for a detailed description of Capstone options.


To enroll in the minor, schedule an appointment with Associate Director Ann Primus Berends. Students must be enrolled in the minor to register for ESS courses.