Doctorate in Education Policy

Effective education reform requires researchers and policymakers that 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.


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

(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

Dr. Amy Cashwell (master's degree in education administration and supervision and doctoral degree in education administration and policy studies) was named one of the Top 30 of the Technologists, Transformers and Trailblazers by the Center for Digital Education. (See the story on page 24 in Converge Magazine.) Each year, the Center for Digital Education recognizes K-20 education leaders who have transformed learning through the innovative use of technology in its annual Top 30 awards program and publication.

Dr. Rebecca Thessin and GSEHD alumnus Dr. Chris Jones (Ed.D., educational administration and policy studies) have published a paper in the spring edition of the Journal of School Leadership. The article is entitled Sustaining Continuous Improvement through Professional Learning Communities in a Secondary School.

Dr. Laura Engel and GSEHD alumna Dr. Megan Siczek (Ed.D., education policy) have a paper accepted in the journal Compare: A Journal of Comparative and International Education. The title of the forthcoming paper is "A cross-national comparison of international strategies: Global citizenship and the advancement of national competitiveness." In addition, Dr. Siczek and Dr. Engel published a paper entitled Teachers' Cognitive Interpretation of U.S. Global Education Initiatives in Educational Policy.

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.