The 33-credit M.A. degree aims to build a cadre of education policy experts whose deep grounding in a range of educational policy issues is matched by their understanding of the policy process and the tools of policy analysis. The degree is focused on the preparation of policy analysts, policy advocates, and education researchers. The program develops students’ knowledge and skills by drawing on interdisciplinary policy studies, the social science disciplines of economics, law, politics, and sociology, and substantive content on policies and practice in early childhood education, K-12 education, higher education, law and education, and data analysis, and research methods.
The faculty members of the Education Policy Program collectively make admissions decisions for our Program. We are committed to a holistic review of applicants’ materials and to creating a diverse and inclusive entering class and learning environment. In the application materials, the Statement of Purpose is particularly important. We strongly recommend that applicants describe their intellectual and applied interests in education policy and why they believe our program is a good fit for them given their background, past experiences, and future plans. It is helpful to mention particular specialization areas they’re interested in and/or faculty members they would like to work with. Applicants are also encouraged to describe any personal circumstances that have impacted their prior education and their plans for the future. While we ask for GRE scores, they are not the decisive factor and we do not have any particular cut-off point for admission. Regarding letters of recommendation, we ask for three letters, at least one (1) of which should be from a professor or another academic source who can speak to your academic background and strengths.
The 33-credit Master of Arts (M.A.) degree offered by the Education Policy program is focused on the preparation of policy analysts, policy advocates, and education researchers. The program develops students’ knowledge and skills by drawing on interdisciplinary policy studies, the social science disciplines of economics, history, law, politics, and sociology, and substantive content on policies and practice in early childhood education, K-12 education, higher education, law and education, and data analysis and research methods. The M.A. degree is commonly accepted as preparation for entry-level positions in the education policy field.
Students entering in summer or fall 2020 will write a reflective essay on what they have learned through their Education Policy M.A. program. The reflective essay represents an opportunity for students to consolidate what they have done in separate classes and present a comprehensive and critical assessment of the core ideas and skills they have encountered; the intellectual, professional, and personal changes they have experienced; and their ideas and plans for the future. The reflective essay will be assessed as Pass or Fail by the student’s advisor, and students may be asked to revise the essay until it is acceptable. Criteria for the assessment will be: evidence of substantive engagement with program content and efforts to synthesize important ideas; evidence of describing and reflecting on specific experiences and insights from the degree program in the essay (rather than simply describing general impressions or ideas); evidence of a thoughtful comparison of current thinking with perspectives held at the beginning of the degree program; and evidence of careful attention to writing quality.