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Education Policy

Education, PhD
Specialization in Education Policy

Education Policy is a specialization within the PhD. program in the College of Education and Human Development. Study of education policy helps individuals understand how decisions are made at various levels of government, how decision makers use educational research and evidence, and how to influence the decision-making process. The program encourages students to hone skills that are needed for sound policy research and analysis.

The doctoral program is individualized and interdisciplinary. With the guidance of advisors, students plan their program of study to meet self-defined goals. Courses in education policy can be applied to a 24 credit hour Ph.D. specialization or to a 12 credit hour Ph.D. emphasis area.

Admissions Requirements

Specific admissions information can be found at the PhD in Education and Human Development Program Website.

Program Structure

The program requires a minimum of 85 credits of study beyond the baccalaureate degree or a minimum of 55 credits beyond the master's degree. However, an individual's program typically requires 10 more credits depending on the person's goals, program requirements, and previous preparation. Students have five years to complete all course work and the portfolio reviews. Five additional years are allowed to complete the dissertation. Most students complete the entire program in five or six years.

Course Work

General Culture (3 credits)

Research Methods (15 credits)

Professional Specialization (24 credits)

Doctoral studies for the Education Policy specialization in the PhD in Education and Human Development program allows for flexible academic planning and research according to participants' interests, career goals, and learning format.

With the advisor's approval, students may add courses in education law or education finance, as well as policy courses in other academic units, to round out their program of study.

Procedures

Secondary Emphasis (12 credits)

Students have a number of options for secondary concentrations including concentrations within the Graduate School of Education, within other George Mason University departments, interdisciplinary concentrations, or using the master's degree as part of the secondary concentration requirements.

Dissertation (12 credits)

Portfolio

Students complete an educational portfolio as part of the requirement of the Ph.D. program. The portfolio is an organized, selective collection of documents designed to facilitate a student's academic and professional development, and to provide a basis for evaluation of degree progress. The portfolio represents the scope and depth of a student's goals, plans, and accomplishments in coursework, independent study, research, internships, and other advanced learning activities. The portfolio thus provides both a vehicle for self-reflection and a comprehensive record of a doctoral student's experiences and ongoing progress toward academic and professional goals.

Contact the Ph.D. Program for additional information.