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.
Specific admissions information can be found at the PhD Program Website.
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.
General Culture (3 credits)
- EDUC 800: Ways of Knowing (3 credit hours) (1st semester)
Research Methods (12 credits)
- EDRS 810: Problems and Methods in Education Research (3 credit hours) (2nd semester)
- EDRS 811: Quantitative Methods in Educational Research (3 credit hours)
- EDRS 812: Qualitative Methods in Educational Research (3 credit hours)
- Choose one from below:
- EDRS 820: Evaluation Methods for Educational Programs and Curricula (3 credit hours)
- EDRS 821: Advanced Applications of Quantitative Methods (3 credit hours)
- EDRS 822: Advanced Applications of Qualitative Methods (3 credit hours)
- EDRS 823: Advanced Research Methods in Single Subject/Case Design (3 credit hours)
- EDRS 824: Mixed Methods Research: Integrating Qualitative and Quantitative Approaches (3 credit hours)
- EDRS 825: Advanced Research Methods in Self-Study (3 credit hours)
- EDRS 826: Qualitative Case Study Methods (3 credit hours)
- EDRS 827: Development and Validation of Assessment Scales (3 credit hours)
- EDRS 828: Modern Measurement in Education and Human Development (3 credit hours)
- EDRS 831: Structural Equation Modeling (3 credit hours)
Professional Specialization (24 credits)
Doctoral studies for the Education Policy specialization in the PhD program allows for flexible academic planning and research according to participants' interests, career goals, and learning format.
- EDUC 797: Advanced Topics in Education (1-6 credit hours)
- EDUC 870: Education Policy: Process, Context, and Politics (3 credit hours)
- EDUC 871: Advanced Policy Issues in Education (3 credit hours)
- EDUC 872: Social Science Research and Education Policy (3 credit hours)
- EDUC 873: Education Policy: Comparative and International Perspectives (3 credit hours)
- EDUC 874: The Achievement Gap (3 credit hours)
- EDUC 875: Contemporary and Emerging Issues in Education Policy (3 credit hours)
- EDUC 876: Teacher Development and Education Policy (3 credit hours)
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.
Secondary Concentration Area (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)
- EDUC 998: Doctoral Dissertation Proposal (3 credits)
- EDUC 999: Doctoral Dissertation Research (9 credits)
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.