Doctorate in Education Policy

Effective education reform requires researchers and policymakers who are experts in the areas of research, development, advocacy, implementation, and evaluation. Leaders of education policy must have an understanding of the advanced methods and various approaches to education policy analysis that are needed to lead research initiatives and program evaluations. In order to engage in complex policy analysis and informed data-driven decision making, they must be able to analyze, critique, and translate research frameworks and research methods. Uniquely situated in the heart of our nation’s capital, Washington D.C., the Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) in Education Policy allows students to develop the skills needed to carefully examine and assess education problems and their interaction with their broader social environments. The Education Policy Doctoral program at GW relies on interdisciplinary skills and analytical methods from various fields to expose students to comprehensive problem-solving approaches. The flexible program’s curriculum affords students an enriching learning environment in which there are abundant course choices, independent research, and internships/positions in federal, state, or professional organizations. Graduates of the Education Policy Doctoral program assume positions at think tanks, academic institutions, non-profit national organizations, government agencies, and international organizations providing support and analysis for education-related decision-making. 



Why a GW Doctorate in Education Policy?

Location: There is no better place to examine and influence local, state, federal education policy than in the heart of our nation's capital, Washington, DC. With close proximity to the White House, World Bank, Federal Agencies, and Professional Associations students are provided with rich environments to work, attend scholarly events and hone their analytical skills. Our location gives students the opportunity for applied hands-on analysis of contemporary education policies, their advocacy, design, implementation, and impact.
Faculty: Nationally recognized researchers and practitioners with extensive experience leading research and professional organizations in education policy.
Diverse Student Body: From across the country and around the globe, bringing a wide range of professional experience, skills, and enriching knowledge.
Convenient Schedule: Courses are scheduled once a week in late afternoons and evenings (Monday-Thursday) to accommodate the schedules of working professionals, and for internship experiences.
GSEHD's Center on Education Policy (CEP): The Graduate School of Education and Human Development houses the Center on Education Policy, a national, independent source for research and information about public education. CEP's mission is to ensure Americans better understand the role of public education in a democracy and the need to improve the academic quality of public schools. The program and its collaboration with CEP is leading the way in educational research and policy analysis.



Education policy specialty — a minimum of 54 credits, including 12 credits in required courses, 12 credits in research courses, 15 credits in dissertation courses, 15 credits in elective courses, and successful completion of the comprehensive examination. Six additional credits in prerequisite courses may be required but do not count toward the 54 required credits.


EDUC 6116 Introduction to Educational Statistics
EDUC 6371 Education Policy

Required Core Courses

EDUC 8320 Politics of Education
EDUC 8321 Economics of Education
EDUC 8322 Education Policy Implementation
EDUC 8340 Methods of Policy Analysis in Education

Research Methods Courses

EDUC 6381 Program Evaluation: Theory and Practice
EDUC 8120 Group Comparison Designs and Analyses
EDUC 8122 Qualitative Research Methods
EDUC 8171 Predictive Designs and Analyses

Elective Courses

Students may take elective courses to develop expertise in a specific area in policy and/or take additional research methods courses to advance their research methods skills.

Dissertation Courses

EDUC 8998 Pre-Dissertation Seminar
EDUC 8999 Dissertation Research (12 credits minimum)

Successful completion of comprehensive exam required
Approved dissertation proposal required




Career Outlook


Education Policy Doctoral students graduate to serve as leaders and skilled lead analysts who solve problems, make informed decisions, and help improve the world of practice. Recent graduates include:

  • President and founder of the Cross & Joftus, LLC, an education policy consulting firm
  • Senior Policy Analyst, Congressional Research Services
  • Senior Associate, Annie E. Casey Foundation
  • Senior Study Director, Westat
  • Associate Professor, Lahor School of Economics-Pakistan
  • Associate Professor, Sun Yet Sen University-China
  • Associate Professor, University of Kragujevac, Serbia
  • Senior Researcher and Policy Analyst, National Education Association
  • Evaluation and Assessment Analyst, Alexandria City Public Schools
  • Assistant Vice President-Research & Policy Analysis, Council of Graduate Schools
  • Chief Technical Advisor, USAID Nepal
  • Director, Core Knowledge Foundation
  • Assistant Professor, Meiji University, Tokyo, Japan
  • Vice President of Strategy, Complete College America, Washington, DC

Join us as we change the policy debate.



Program Entry: This program is no longer accepting applications. Please view the PhD in Education Policy program.
Prerequisites: Master's Degree
Campus: Foggy Bottom

Application Requirements

  • Online Application
  • Resume
  • Statement of Purpose
  • 2 Letters of Recommendation (must be academic)
  • Transcripts (unofficial)
  • Standardized Test Scores (GRE)
  • Application Fee

*Additional application requirements may exist for international applicants.
For more information on any of these requirements, please visit our Admissions FAQ page.



Transformation Begins Here

Learn more about the Doctorate in Education Policy program located on campus (202) 994-7066.