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Degree Programs

At HGSE, you can choose from an array of academic programs designed to enable you to learn and work at the nexus of practice, policy, and research, and to prepare you to become educators, researchers, and leaders who will impact real-world policy and practice.

Master of Education

The Ed.M. is designed to be a yearlong intensive program for students who wish to study a particular field in education, acquire a general theoretical background for understanding past and future field experiences, or develop skills for use in professional work in education. Our program offerings include:

Arts in Education students can design their own courses of study to explore multiple roles for the arts in education, from nurturing the creativity of individuals, to the creation of healthy schools, communities and civil society. Through immersion in theory, research, policy, and both the study and implementation of the discipline's best practices, AIE students gain a complex understanding of how to use individual art forms as instruments that spur exemplary thinking.

Education Policy and Management students explore contemporary issues within the United States public education system, utilizing research skills and evidence, political analysis, and organizational knowledge. The EPM program aims to equip graduates to understand, participate in, and ultimately manage and lead complex initiatives involving policy and practice.

The Higher Education program prepares students to assume administrative roles in colleges, universities, higher education associations, and agencies that address higher education issues. Students explore how higher education organizations work, by analyzing their structures, their histories, their planning, and their policymaking processes.

Students in the Human Development and Psychology program explore the cognitive, emotional, communicative, and relational development of the individual, from birth through early adulthood, with a strong emphasis on applied research.

International Education Policy students use the tools of policy analysis, including research and the application of empirical data, to illustrate the results of policy decisions. Students gain the knowledge, perspective, and experience to shape and enact global reform and explore policy alternatives that can impact the future of learning, particularly in developing countries.

Language and Literacy students explore the ways in which language is learned, and gain a wide perspective on literacy development through the study of policy and practice, and through research that deepens knowledge of the discipline. The program is grounded in the belief that literacy benefits not only the individual, but society as a whole.

Licensure Opportunities:

  • Reading Specialist, all grades

Learning and Teaching students take courses that address topics such as curriculum development, the history and philosophy of education, teacher leadership, human development, public policy, and the impact of race, class, gender, and identity in education. The program is designed for students interested in the professional development and work of teachers, in students and adults as learners, and in the historical and social contexts of education.

Mind, Brain, and Education, the only program of its kind in the nation, offers students the opportunity to explore how thinking happens within the complex structure of the brain, and then to relate that to issues of pedagogy. Students work at the intersection of biology, cognitive science, and education in an emerging field that holds exciting possibilities for changing not only the way we teach, but also what we must consider in making educational or public policy.

Prevention Science and Practice prepares students to make a lasting impact on at-risk children from infancy to adolescence, using contemporary research, fundamental theories, and field work. Students explore a wide range of contemporary issues, including the cultural and educational context of risk and resiliency, and the effect of public policy decisions.

Licensure Opportunities:

  • School Guidance Counselor, grades PK-8, 5-12
  • School Social Worker/School Adjustment Counselor, all grades

The School Leadership program prepares students to become instructional leaders who will guide schools, groups of teachers, nonprofit agencies, or for-profit companies, in creating more effective learning environments. The program uses an innovative model centered on the principle of distributive leadership, which shifts the traditional leadership hierarchy toward a highly effective, team-based approach.

Licensure Opportunities:

  • School Principal/Assistant Principal, grades PK-8, 5-12

Special Studies is the most flexible of HGSE's Ed.M. programs. It enables students to design and structure their own specialized, interdisciplinary program of study to meet their academic and professional goals. Of eight courses, four are required to be taken at HGSE, and the other four may be completed at any of Harvard's other graduate schools, as fieldwork experiences, as independent study courses, or as a combination of different academic offerings.

The Teacher Education program is an ideal choice for those who seek to prepare for the unique challenges and opportunities of teaching in urban school settings or to play leadership roles in creating systemic school changes that inspire new levels of success in adolescent learners.

Licensure Opportunities:

  • Teacher of (Subject), grades 5-8, 8-12

The Technology, Innovation, and Education program prepares students to contribute to the thoughtful design, implementation, and assessment of educational media and technology initiatives. The program prepares students to take on leadership roles in a wide range of fields, including design and production, policy development and analysis, technology integration and administration, research and evaluation, and teaching with new techniques.

Doctor of Education Leadership

The Ed.L.D. is a three-year, practice-based doctoral program designed to prepare graduates for senior leadership roles in school districts, government agencies, nonprofit organizations, and the private sector. It offers an unprecedented approach to preparing leaders to transform the American education system in order to enable all students to succeed in a 21st-century world.

Doctor of Philosophy in Education

Offered jointly by HGSE and the Faculty of Arts and Sciences (FAS), the Ph.D. in Education enrolled its first cohort in fall 2014. The program seeks to train students as academics, researchers, policy-makers, and leaders who will improve educational outcomes around the world.

  • The three concentrations are:
  • Culture, Institutions, and Society
  • Education Policy and Program Evaluation
  • Human Development, Learning and Teaching