2 years for M.Ed.
Within 10 years for Ph.D.

Credits earned

48 for M.Ed.
80+ for Ph.D.



Time commitment


Upcoming deadline

January 3, 2025

Join. Center. Sustain.

Our program seeks to join, center, and sustain the strengths, wisdom, histories, and futures of Indigenous, Black, Latinx, Asian, Pacific Islander and all global majority young people, families, Elders, communities and educators across multiple intersections with gender, disability, language, land, migration, class, and more.

Our program is designed to prepare students to serve as educators, collaborators, and advocates with schools, community organizations, colleges and universities, and other learning spaces and to facilitate, design, enact and/or engage in projects, courses, and programs that promote educational justice in all its forms.

The program is further designed to prepare scholars whose commitments span across disciplines (content/subject areas and academic disciplines), ages (grades/lifespan), and educational spaces (in school/beyond school) to approach teaching, learning, research, and leadership through a racial and intersectional justice and equity lens. We understand the ongoing projects of decolonization, liberation, and abolition as led by communities are central to our work in education. We are committed to learning alongside various culturally sustaining settings and we work to enact them in our own courses, research, and beyond.  We understand our program as always in the process of becoming, seeking to grow alongside our students and communities.

Doctoral candidate and Banks Center graduate assistant Doua Kha

After graduation

Graduates of this program can be found working in any institution or setting that has programs related to culturally sustaining education, educational justice, ethnic studies and other critical, equity- oriented fields of education.

Graduates of the doctoral program can be found in university faculty positions as well as in leadership roles across a wide range of educational settings.

Let's connect

We're excited that you're interested in our program! By joining our mailing list, you can receive updates on info sessions, deadlines, financial aid and more!

Connect with us


    Students work closely with their advisor to create a personalized and comprehensive program of study.

    M.Ed. program

    M.Ed. students create a tailored course of study plan that includes:

    • Foundations of Education (9 credits)
    • Culturally Sustaining Education or related fields (18 credits)
    • Ethnic Diversity credits outside the College of Education (12 credits)
    • Culminating experience (9 credits)

    All course choices are to be negotiated with your adviser, who has the discretion to recommend or require certain courses depending on your background.

    In order to earn their degree, students must adhere to the Graduate School's degree requirements, which include completing at least 18 credits at or above the 500 level and earning at least 18 graded credits. 

    Doctoral program

    Ph.D. students work closely with their advisers to create highly tailored programs of study that include intermediate and advanced coursework in culturally sustaining education, educational justice, and related fields, as well as outside coursework to gain broader perspective and deeper insight into specialized topics.

    During the first year, Ph.D. students collaborate closely with their advisors to create a personalized and comprehensive program of study which includes:

    • Identifying a research topic
    • Securing ways and means for taking part in the selected project
    • Selecting first-year courses
    • Preparing documentation for advancement to prospective candidacy

    Admission requirements and process

      To declare your program of interest on your application go to the 'Program Selection' page and under 'Select your program' select either 'Education - Seattle (MEd- Curriculum & Instruction)' or 'Education - Seattle (PhD- Curriculum & Instruction)' depending on your desired degree. Next go to the 'Application Questions' page an add your area of interest, here select 'Culturally Sustaining Education' and save. Then finish the required application materials.


      Program selection page on applicationProgram selection page on application
      Degree from an accredited institution
      • A bachelor's degree is required for the Master of Education (M.Ed.) program
      • A master's degree is required for the doctorate program
      • Your degree can be in-process at the time of your application but must be completed before the program starts.
      Unofficial transcript(s) with minimum 3.0 GPA
      • Include one from each institution from which you've earned a degree and one from every institution you have attended in the previous 5 years.
      • Your transcripts must include your name, coursework and degree (if completed)
      • If you are offered admission, the UW Graduate School will request an official transcript from your most recent degree earned

      The UW Graduate School requires a cumulative GPA of 3.0, or 3.0 for your most recent 90 graded quarter credits (60 semester credits). However, we review your application holistically. If your GPA is below 3.0, contact us at edinfo@uw.edu for advice on how to strengthen your overall application by connecting with a Graduate Admissions Advisor.

      Three letters of recommendation for Doctoral, two letters for Masters

      During the online application process, you will be given instructions for adding your recommenders and getting their letters submitted electronically.


      A current academic and professional resume or vita is required. In addition to educational degrees and professional experience, you should include a listing of all relevant awards, publications, presentations or other achievements that will help us evaluate your application.

      Statement of Purpose
      • 1-2 pages for M.Ed.
      • 3-5 pages for Ph.D.

      Admissions committees use your statement of purpose, along with other evidence, to determine whether your goals are well-matched with our programs. Your statement should address goals, relevant experience, future plans and how the desired specific program meets your needs. Be sure to include personal experiences that have prepared you for the challenge of graduate school, topics like:

      • Scholarly interests
      • Career goals
      • Your match for the program
      • Faculty interests
      Personal History Statement (Optional)

      While optional, you can add to your application by submitting a personal history statement with each application. This statement should address your intellectual growth and development, inclusive of and beyond your academic goals. Speak to topics like:

      • Educational, cultural and economic opportunities and disadvantages you've experienced
      • Ways these experiences affected the development of your special interests, career plans and future goals.

      Statements should be no longer than two pages long. And while there are no standard formatting requirements, we encourage double-spaced text with a legible font.

      Writing sample (Doctoral only)

      Doctoral candidates must submit one sample of scholarly writing (e.g., course papers, articles, essays). The sample should demonstrate how well you can analyze or synthesize and critically reflect on information. The writing sample must have been written by you alone.

      If you have no appropriate examples of scholarly writing, we urge you to consider preparing a medium-length (10-12 page) critical essay review of a book that you feel is central to your interests in education. The writing sample will be uploaded in your online application. Faculty will only review one writing sample. 

      1. Gather all required documents
      2. Visit the Graduate School website
      3. Log into your account or create a new profile if you are a first-time applicant
      4. Complete all steps in application process and upload your documents
      5. Pay the nonrefundable $90 application fee
        • You may request a fee waiver during the application process
      6. Submit your application

      When completing your application, you will select one of the following options:

      • M.Ed. applicants: Education - Seattle (MEd - Curriculum & Instruction)
      • Ph.D. applicants: Education - Seattle (PhD - Curriculum & Instruction) 

      Here is our general timeline for decisions. Have questions about the process? Visit our graduate admissions page.

      Step 1: Application processing

      • Within 7 business days after the deadline, we will check if your application if fully complete
      • We will email you whether your application is complete or incomplete
      • If your application is missing anything, you will have a short amount of time submit these items
      • You can also log into the online application and check your status and see any missing items

      Step 2: Application review

      • Committees begin reviewing applications about three weeks after the deadline
      • You will receiving an email when your application has entered the review phase

      Step 3: Decision notification

      • The final decision will be emailed to you
      • Your status will also be updated in the online application

      We value and welcoming applications from international students! If you are applying from outside the United States, there are additional requirements and application materials.

      Prior degree requirements
      • At minimum, you must have the equivalent of a U.S. bachelor's degree (a four-year degree from an institution of recognized standing)
      • Evaluation of your degree will be based on:
        • The national system of education in the foreign country
        • The type of institution
        • The field of study and level of studies completed
      • International transcripts must be submitted in the original language.
      • Your transcript should include date of graduation and title of the awarded academic degree
      • If your transcript is not in English, you must also provide a certified English translation
      • You do not need to have your transcript evaluated for the degree by an agency
      English language proficiency

      Per UW Graduate School policy, you must submit a demonstration of English language proficiency if your native language is not English and you did not earn a degree in one of the following countries:

      • United States
      • United Kingdom
      • Australia
      • Bahamas
      • Canada
      • Ireland
      • Jamaica
      • New Zealand
      • Singapore
      • South Africa
      • Trinidad and Tobago

      The following tests are accepted if the test was taken fewer than two years ago:

      • TOEFL
        • Minimum score: 80
        • Recommended score: 92+
        • The UW's 4-digit code is 4854
      • IELTS
        • You must request from the center where you took the test that your scores be sent electronically using the IELTS system (E-TRF) to the following address:
          • University of Washington All Campuses, Organisation ID 365, Undergrad & Graduate Admis, Box 355850, Seattle, WA, 98105, United States of America
        • Minimum score: 6.5
        • Recommended score: 7.0+
        • School information for submission:
          University of Washington, All Campuses
          Undergraduate & Graduate Admission
          Box 355850
          Seattle, WA 98195
      • Duolingo
        • Minimum score: 105
        • Recommended score: 125+
        • Follow the instructions on the Duolingo website to submit your scores
      Financial ability

      If apply and are offered admission to UW, you will need to submit a statement of financial ability.

      Costs and funding

        We are a tuition-based program. Estimated tuition rates are based on your residency: 

        • Washington state residents: $19,584 per year
        • Out-of-state students: $35,352 per year

        Estimates are subject to change and may differ due to course load and summer quarter enrollment. Estimates include building fees, technology fees, U-Pass, etc. Additional program-specific fees are not included in this estimate.

        View the UW tuition dashboard →
        Visit the Office of Planning & Budgeting →

        Federal financial aid is available for students. Visit the UW Financial Aid website for information and resources. The College of Education also provides scholarship and other funding opportunities.

        Graduate students can be awarded $2,000 - $5,000 if they are earning their M.Ed, Ed.S, Ed.D or Ph.D through a College of Education program.

        History of the program

        Founded as the Multicultural Education Program under the visionary leadership of Dr. James A. Banks and Dr. Geneva Gay, our program has been an internationally recognized graduate program for several decades. It has been the intellectual home for countless graduates who have become leaders driving justice and equity in education. We are honored to carry forward the remarkable legacy of this graduate program.

        Affiliated research center

        The Banks Center for Educational Justice at the University of Washington is a central location for partnerships, program development, and collaborative research with educational settings that seek to center and sustain Native, Black, Latinx, Asian and Pacific Islander young people and communities across multiple intersections with gender, disability, language, land, migration, class, and more.

        Learn more

        Program Director


        Program Faculty

        Associate Professor
        Assistant Professor