M.S.Ed. in Education Policy

Part of the Education Policy Division

The one-year M.S.Ed. degree in Education Policy trains students in research methods and the philosophical, economic, and political aspects of education policy. Our graduates go on to take leading roles in such organizations as federal and state education departments and education policy research institutes.

Fast Facts


  • Prerequisites: None
  • Entry terms: Fall only
  • Course Requirements: 10 courses (7 required, 3 elective)
  • Typical Course Load: Fall: 4 courses; Spring: 4 Courses; Summer: 2 courses
  • Culminating Experience: Education Policy Research Practicum


View Admissions Requirements



The one-year M.S.Ed. degree in Education Policy requires 10 courses of approved graduate work beyond the baccalaureate degree. Students in the program usually complete courses in a 4/4/2 pattern; i.e., four courses in each of the Fall and Spring semesters and two during the Summer term. Students must complete the Education Policy Research Practicum (EDUC 711) during the Spring semester in order to complete the degree. 

Program of Study


10 course units (minimum) along with an acceptable master’s research paper are required for the M.S.Ed. degree in Education Policy.

One Disciplinary Foundations course:

  • EDUC 559 Sociology of Education
  • EDUC 548 American Education Reform: History, Policy, Practice
  • EDUC 544 School & Society
  • EDUC 524 Philosophy of Education Policy
  • EDUC 601 Economic Aspects of Education Policy

One REQUIRED Methods course:

  • EDUC 591 Applied Research Methods to Inform Policy and Practice  

One additional Methods course:

  • EDUC 751 Introduction to Applied Quantitative Methods for Education Research
  • EDUC 667 Introductory Statistics for Educational Research
  • Or a higher-level methods course as approved by your faculty advisor

Three Education Policy-related courses chosen from the list below:

  • EDUC 720 Teachers and Teaching Policy
  • EDUC 614 Child Development and Social Policy
  • EDUC 559 Sociology of Education
  • EDUC 601 Economic Aspects of Education Policy *Not offered 2016-17
    MSSP 668, Economics for Social Policy, may be taken in place of EDUC 601
  • EDUC 545-003 Risk, Resilience, and Prevention Science
  • EDUC 545 Inequality and Education
  • EDUC 698 Politics of School Reform

Education Policy Research Practicum

  • EDUC 711 Education Policy Research Practicum

Education Policy M.S.Ed. students are required to take EDUC 711 - Education Policy Research Practicum in order to satisfy the degree requirements. The Practicum partners student teams with educational leaders to conduct client-based, applied education research projects.

Distribution Requirement

GSE requires all M.S.Ed. students to complete a graduate-level GSE course outside the specialization in which they are enrolled. 

Three elective courses

Elective courses may be taken at any school at Penn. Any courses listed above (other than EDUC 591) qualify as elective courses. Courses must be at the 500 level or above and taken for a letter grade (no pass/fail). Students must consult their academic advisor before enrolling in any course outside of the Graduate School of Education.

Click here to see a list of recommended elective courses.

  • EDUC 708 Schools as Organizations
  • EDUC 716 Public Policy Issues in Higher Education
  • EDUC 514 Education in Developing Countries
  • EDUC 677 Information and Communications Technologies for Education and Development in Global Perspective
  • EDUC 545-009 Culture Wars and American Education
  • EDUC 550 Educational and Social Entrepreneurship
  • EDUC 570 Education and the American City
  • EDUC 702 Conceptual Models of School Administration
  • EDUC 698 Politics of School Reform
  • EDUC 545 Reforming Philadelphia's Schools: A Research Practicum on Civic Capacity
  • EDUC 712 Comprehensive School Reform as Applied Public Policy


Program Faculty

A. Brooks Bowden, Ph.D.

Columbia University

John W. Fantuzzo, Ph.D.

Fuller Graduate School of Psychology

Richard M. Ingersoll, Ph.D.

University of Pennsylvania

Rebecca A. Maynard, Ph.D.

University of Wisconsin-Madison

Jonathan A. Supovitz, Ed.D.

Harvard University


Affiliated Faculty

Sigal Ben-Porath, Ph.D.

Philosophy, Tel Aviv University

Manuel S. González Canché, Ph.D.

Higher Education, University of Arizona

Dennis Culhane, Ph.D.

Boston College

Joni Finney, Ph.D.

Pennsylvania State University

Rand Quinn, Ph.D.

Education, Stanford University

Philip Sirinides, Ph.D.

Policy Research, Evaluation, and Measurement, University of Pennsylvania, Graduate School of Education

Daniel Wagner, Ph.D.

University of Michigan

Laura Perna, Ph.D.

University of Michigan

Andy Porter, Ph.D.

University of Wisconsin

John L. Puckett, Ph.D.

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill



Education Policy Division

University of Pennsylvania
Graduate School of Education

3700 Walnut Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104

Krista Featherstone
Program Manager
(215) 573-8075