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Classroom discussion

Education Policy Drives Social Change

Students in DC

Our M.Ed in Education Policy and Leadership gives students the tools to shape the future of education. The EPL program prepares educators and other professionals to serve as leaders in education organizations. Students gain the knowledge and skills in leadership, policy, law, economics, and research to effectively administer education programs and policies at all levels. The EPL program is offered in three formats; on-campus, online, hybrid.

Hybrid Option:

The Education Policy & Leadership program is excited to offer a new Hybrid program option. Students will be able to complete their M.Ed in one year by taking a mix of on-campus and online classes over three semesters. This new fast-track option is designed for Full-Time students only. Admission requirements are the same for the on-campus and online programs. Degree and course requirements are also the same as the on-campus and online program.

On-Campus Curriculum Example


Fall 2021 Spring 2022 Summer 2022 Fall 2022 Spring 2023

EDU 631 – Education Leadership and Organizational Change 

EDU 790 – Quantitative Research In Education EDU 633 – Economic Inquiry in Education EDU 693 – Education Program and Policy Implementation EDU 686 – Proseminar in Education Policy and Leadership

EDU 610 – Overview of Qual. and Quant. Strat.

EDU 634 – Education and Public Policy EDU XXX – Elective  EDU 636 – Education Law and Policy  EDU XXX – Elective 


Online Curriculum Example


Semester 1 Semester 2 Semester 3 Semester 4 Semester 5
EDU 631 – Education Leadership and Organizational Change  EDU 790 – Quantitative Research In Education EDU 633 – Economic Inquiry in Education EDU 636 – Education Law and Policy EDU 686 – Proseminar in Education Policy and Leadership 

EDU 610 – Overview of Qual. and Quant. Strat.

EDU 634 – Education and Public Policy

EDU XXX – Elective EDU 693 – Education Program and Policy Implementation 

EDU XXX – Elective


Hybrid Curriculum Example


Fall Semester 1 Spring Semester 2 Summer Semester 3
EDU 631 – Education Leadership and Organizational Change
(on-campus - Th)

EDU 790 – Quantitative Research In Education
(on-campus - T)

EDU 686 – Proseminar in Education Policy and Leadership 

EDU 610 – Overview of Qual. and Quant. Strat.

(on-campus - T)

EDU 634 – Education and Public Policy

(on-campus - Th)

EDU 633 – Economic Inquiry in Education

(on-campus - 1st 7 weeks)

EDU XXX – Elective EDU 636 – Education Law and Policy
(online - W)

EDU 693 – Education Program and Policy Implementation

- - EDU XXX – Elective


  • 30-unit master's degree that can be completed in four or five semesters
  • Cohort model for full-time teachers and other education professionals
  • Full-time faculty and expert practitioners who bring policy, research, and school experience
  • Practical consultancy projects with schools and DC education policy organizations
  • Special emphasis on implementation and on connecting policy to education practice
  • Support for identifying career pathways

See full Admissions & Degree Requirements.

You are bound to benefit from our location in the heart of Washington, DC. We arrange structured field experiences with partner organizations all around the Nation's capital, such as Education Trust, the DC Public Charter School Board, the Center for American Progress, the Council of the Chief State School Officers, and the Office of the State Superintendent of Education. Through these experiences, students help the partner organizations advance their work, while gaining valuable real-world experience and applying the skills and knowledge learned through their study. Check out our field experience.

The EPL program's full-time faculty are leaders in the field of education policy and leadership. Professor Jason Snyder, who teaches education law, served in senior roles in the U.S. Department of Education. Associate Professor Jennifer Steele is an accomplished quantitative researcher who teaches statistics and program evaluation courses in the program. EPL Director Reuben Jacobson is a national expert on community schools and studies collaborative approaches to educating the whole child. In addition, Assistant Professor, Robert Shand is currently looking at teacher improvement and how to hold systems accountable. The program's instructors also include experienced practitioners like leadership instructor Pete Weber, who served as chief of staff to the DC Public Schools Chancellor, and Eugene Pinkard, who worked on strategic planning and innovative initiatives for DCPS and currently helps district leaders around the country through his work at the Aspen Institute. Whether you enroll in our online or on-campus format, you can look forward to developing important and lasting mentor relationships with the professors you'll meet here.

The EPL program offers its students dedicated support in identifying career pathways and job opportunities. We host career panels and networking events so that students can make connections and better understand the career options available. The career center provides tons of opportunities for our student's including an annual networking reception for education and policy professionals.

CNN's John King with AU students

Students with Education Secretary John King

Dr. King and EPL students discussed education policy at the US Department of Education.

More Program Information


EPL New Leaders

Making a Difference in the Field

EPL students complete consultancy projects for DC-based education organizations.


More About Field Projects

Leading from the field article

Speaking from the Field

Panelists speak about the education field and their experiences helping to improve K-12 education.

More About Career Panel

Frequently Asked Questions

For our next on-campus cohort that begins in Fall 2020, application deadlines are as follows:

February 1: First Priority Deadline (to be considered for merit scholarships)

March 1: Second Priority Deadline

The program admits on a rolling basis after March 1 until the cohort is filled.

If you are interested in our online program, please visit our online M.Ed page.

Students who complete the Policy Studies track are prepared to join a wide array of education organizations, like school district central offices, state educational organizations, education nonprofits, and the US Department of Education. Graduates of the Teacher Leadership track are prepared to become coaches, department chairs, team leaders, and reading specialists, and to fill other teacher-leader positions within schools. Program alumni have worked at DC Public Schools central office, New America, KIPP, The New Teacher Project, Education Counsel, EL Haynes Public Charter Schools, RAND, the US Department of Education, and many other organizations both locally and around the country.

The program is 30 credit hours. 

No. We require a statement of purpose, resume, transcript(s), and two letters of recommendation. 
*For students with one of our partnership programs, one or more letters may be waived, as well as the application fee.

The program's proseminar course is designed specifically to give students hands-on practical experiences in the field. Small groups of students work as consultants to education organizations in the DC area, conducting research and creating work products that meet the organizations' needs. 

We have worked with the following organizations in the past:

  • AASA: The School Superintendents’ Association
  • Center for American Progress
  • Council of Chief State School Officers
  • DC Public Charter School Board
  • DC's Office of the State Superintendent of Education
  • Ed Counsel
  • Education Forward DC
  • Education Trust
  • Jumpstart
  • My School DC/ Deputy Mayor of Education
  • National Governor's Association
  • National League of Cities
  • New Leaders
  • Office of the State Super. Education
  • Phi Delta Kappan
  • TeachPlus
  • The College Board
  • The Opportunity Institute

Yes, the program was designed to accommodate students who work full-time. Classes are held in the evening from 5:30-8:00 pm. However, students enrolled in the hybrid option must be full-time students.

Partnership programs are available for corps members, alumni, and staff of the following organizations. Check out the benefits by clicking the links below:

City Year
Teach for America
The New Teacher Project

Still have questions? Send us an email: