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Master of Arts in Educational Leadership and Societal Change

Photo by Gerry Hall.

The educational leader of tomorrow requires a new kind of preparation for a new kind
of world—global in scope, all-inclusive in depth and breadth, calling out for meaningful, broad-based societal change focused on harnessing the values of peace, human rights and the sanctity of life.

Such is the focus of Soka University of America’s Master of Arts in Educational Leadership and Societal Change, which was initiated in 2014, graduating to date 42 students.

Those enrolled in this two-year M.A. program—each class with a cohort of students diverse in career and educational background—examine the broad landscape of social and political institutions and structures that traditionally constrain educational leaders, including but not limited to those working in the K–12 and tertiary levels. Drawing on the comparative and international dimensions of education and society, the program casts a wide interdisciplinary net to bring new light to bear on the symbiotic relationship between value-creating educational leadership and the transformation of society itself. The program highlights include:

Affordability—grants and scholarships available up to the full cost of tuition

Support for professional development opportunities

A full-time residential living and learning experience, including off-campus housing opportunities for students with dependents or special circumstances

A small, select, international community of inquiry, diverse in age and experience with a student/faculty ratio of 5:1

Visiting distinguished scholars and practitioners to meet and engage with students in their classes

A summer research grant providing a field experience in a real-world leadership setting 

In a welcome message to the inaugural Class of 2016, Ikeda Sensei, the founder of Soka University of America, cited the following passage from the forebearer of Soka education, Tsunesaburo Makiguchi: “Education uplifts human character so that self and others alike, the individual and collective together, can coexist and mutually flourish.” In that case, as the founder shared in a message applying to all program students: “Your purpose in this world is unimaginably weighty and meaningful.”

Interested applicants can visit the M.A. program website at and its Graduate Admissions site at

The deadline for full application submission, including references, is Feb. 15, 2023.

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