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 6116Introduction to Educational Statistics
EDUC 6371Education Policy

Required Core Courses

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

Research Methods Courses

EDUC 6381Program Evaluation: Theory and Practice
EDUC 8120Group Comparison Designs and Analyses
EDUC 8122Qualitative Research Methods
EDUC 8171Predictive 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 8998Pre-Dissertation Seminar
EDUC 8999Dissertation 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 (202-994-7066).

In the News

Diane Stark Rentner, Deputy Director of GSEHD's Center on Education Policy, was quoted in Education Week's article What's Behind the Record Rises in U.S. Graduation Rates?

GSEHD's Center on Education Policy put out a new report entitled Little Evidence and Big Consequences: Understanding Special Education Voucher Programs. Matthew Braun, CEP research associate and GSEHD doctoral student in education policy and administration, was the report's primary author. CEP’s new report details the growth and characteristics of state special education voucher programs while emphasizing that the evidence base on their impact, effectiveness, and quality is small, dated, and heavily biased. The report identifies major questions and concerns about these programs that have yet to be fully addressed by researchers or policymakers.

Faculty, students and alumni represented GSEHD at the 2017 Teaching Day at GW. Dr. Tiffany Sikorski, along with GW undergraduate students Acacia Ackles and Alaina Pak, presented How to Improve In-Class Activities with Undergraduate Learning Assistants. Jennifer Donaghue, Director of the International Services Office and GSEHD doctoral student (higher education administration), and GSEHD alumna Dr. Megan Siczek (Ed.D., education policy) and Director of the GW English for Academic Purposes program, discussed Engaging International Students in the Classroom. Director of the GW Post-baccalaureate Pre-medicine Program and GSEHD alumna Dr. Lisa Schwartz (Ed.D., higher education administration) participated in the poster session with Lights, Camera, Action - Developing Pre-Health Professional Student Career Development through Film. GSEHD alumna Dr. Maranda Ward (Ed.D., curriculum and pedagogy), GSEHD student Nicole Fraise (curriculm and pedagogy), and Dr. Brian Casemore shared their poster Centering the Margins: Inclusivity as a Recursive Act. Dr. Lottie Baker, along with GW Spanish Instructor Dolores Perillan, presented the poster Spanish in Action: Transforming Student Language Learning Through Community Engagement.

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.