Doctorate in Education Policy

The Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) in Education Policy develops skills needed to carefully assess and analytically examine education problems and their interaction with their broader social environments. The interdisciplinary program relies on approaches and analytical methods from various fields to expose students to comprehensive analytical skills. Students in the program learn and employ analytical and methodological tools necessary to engage in complex policy analysis that is often needed for informed decision-making. Offered at GW’s Foggy Bottom campus in Washington, D.C., the Ed.D. in Education Policy prepares researchers and analysts to:

  • Acquire skills needed to assess the complexities of education policies and their broader societal environments.
  • Use advanced methods and understand various approaches to analysis of education policies that are needed to lead research initiatives and program evaluations.
  • Analyze and critique research frameworks and methods.
  • Build expertise in areas of policy development, advocacy, implementation, and evaluation.
  • Build expertise in analysis of education reform.

Why a GW Doctorate in Education Policy?

  • Location: Conveniently in the heart of Washington, D.C. with close proximity to the White House, World Bank, Federal Agencies, and Professional Associations which collectively afford students rich environment where they work, attend scholarly events and hone their analytical skills.
  • Preparation: Applied hands-on analysis of contemporary education policies, their advocacy, design, implementation, and impact.
  • Faculty: Nationally recognized 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.
  • Experience in the field: While pursuing the degree credentials, students find opportunities to work and gain experience in key policy organizations in the greater DC area.

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

(202) 994-6161
Associate Professor
(202) 994-8724
Associate Professor
(202) 994-8816
Research Professor
(202) 994-2735
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: Fall
Prerequisites:Master's Degree
Campus:Foggy Bottom
Please Note: The name of this program on the application is Educational Administration & Policy Studies

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 Application Guidance page.

Transformation Begins Here

Learn more about the Doctorate in Education Policy program located on campus (202-994-3023).

In the News

GSEHD alumna Kari Weston (Ed.D., administration and policy studies) has been named Superintendent of Schools for Dinwiddie County, Virginia. Dr. Weston spent 27 years as a teacher, assistant principal, principal, director, executive director and assistant superintendent in the areas of academic and instructional services. In Dinwiddie, she has served as the Assistant Superintendent for Instruction for the past two years.

GSEHD alumna Arronza LaBatt (Ed.D., educational administration and policy studies) is a finalist for the AERA Leadership for School Improvement Special Interest Group (LSI SIG) 2016 Dissertation of the Year Award for Balancing the Role of the Principalship: Creating and Sustaining Equity and Excellence in an Accountabilty World. Dr. Jennifer Clayton was her dissertation chair. Dr. LaBatt will be presenting her work at the AERA Conference in San Antonio, TX.

Dr. Linda Lemasters published an article with recent alumna Liz Johnson (Ed.D., education policy and leadership) titled A Complexity Context to Classroom Interactions and Climate: ABM Forecasting Achievement in the Journal on Policy and Complex Systems.