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Master's Programs

Education Policy and Management

HGSE is dedicated to helping you prepare for an impactful career in education by offering powerful learning experiences and field-based opportunities that will develop critical, professional skills. We are updating our Master’s in Education (Ed.M.) curriculum and structure for academic year 2021-22. The new structure builds on the strengths of our current offerings, and we will continue to support the same range of subjects and roles that are a part of our current degree program. Additionally, the experience will still be one year. Complete the Introduce Yourself form to stay informed about the details of the new Master’s degree program.

American education needs strong, reform-minded, idealistic leaders who are committed to equity and excellence in our schools. In the Education Policy and Management (EPM) Program, you will join a diverse cohort of experienced educators and activists training to be system-level leaders in federal and state government, national nonprofits, policy think tanks, and school districts nationwide. Effective education reform closes achievement gaps, promotes inclusiveness, and enables all children to acquire the knowledge and skills to thrive in the 21st century. EPM will give you the organizational leadership skills and policy background to build education systems that provide the greatest good for the greatest number of students.

Through a flexible curriculum that balances policy, management, and research, you will dive deeply into issues such as the racial and economic achievement gap, the role of charter schools in education reform, leadership in social-change organizations, entrepreneurship in education, and the use of data to improve teaching and learning.

As a proud graduate of this institution and a member of the HGSE community, I can speak to this faculty's commitment to integrate policy, research, and practice into their teaching. Since our faculty is actively engaged in the world of educational policy, we are able to connect students to people and organizations currently making a difference in our sector.

Senior Lecturer Karen Mapp, faculty director

EPM is a one-year, full-time master’s program that prepares educators and reform advocates to influence education policy and practice on a broad scale. The strengths of the EPM Program include:

  • Cohort and Community – The EPM Program attracts experienced and accomplished individuals from wildly diverse professional backgrounds who are bound by a dedication to and passion for learning. Classroom teachers swap insights with business executives, strengthening and supporting each other’s development as system-level change agents.
  • Internships and Fieldwork – HGSE is plugged into a thriving network of progressive schools, education reform nonprofits, and government agencies in the Boston area that shape education policy both locally and nationally. Through the Field Experience Program, you can earn four credits under the supervision of a faculty mentor. 

Curriculum Information

Instead of prescribing a list of required courses, the EPM curriculum provides a framework within which you have great freedom to choose the classes that best match your interests, experience, and goals. You can choose from dozens of curated courses in three key subject areas: policy, management and leadership, and research and evaluation. By taking one or more courses in each area — plus electives across HGSE and all Harvard schools — you will receive a comprehensive immersion in education leadership and policy reform.

View Requirements

You must complete eight courses (32 credits) in total. 

Coures with (*) also count towards the Diversity, Culture, and Identity category.

  • Policy
    • A024 Politics and Education Policy in the United States (fall)
    • A123 Teacher and Teaching Quality (fall)
    • A125 State Education Policy: A Practicum (fall)
    • A205 Microeconomics: A Policy Tool for Educators (fall)
    • A305 Deeper Learning for All: Designing a 21st-Century School System (fall)
    • A801 Education Policy Analysis and Research in Comparative Perspective (fall)
    • A111C Politics and Education Change: A Case Study (spring)
    • A102 Native Americans in the 21st Century: Nation-Building II* (spring)
    • A108 Strategies and Policies for Educational Excellence with Equity* (spring)
    • A129 The Federal Government in the Schools* (spring)
    • A142 Analyzing Education Policy (spring)
    • A204 Education Law and Policy (spring)
    • A318 New Pathways for College and Career Readiness: Increasing Opportunity and Equity through Education (spring)
    • A712 State and Federal Policymaking in Postsecondary Education (spring)
    • A822 The Consequences of Educational Policy Interventions in Developing Countries: Evidence from Recent (spring)
    • H517 Contemporary Immigration Policy and Educational Practice* (spring)
    • A111G Navigating the Education Policy Debates (January)

View all courses and information on cross-registration.

  • Management and Leadership
    • A111P Public Narrative: Self, Us, Now* (fall)
    • A011D The Arts of Communication for Educators (fall)
    • A111Q Public Narrative: Loss, Difference, Power, and Change* (fall)
    • A019 Education Sector Nonprofits (fall)
    • A021 Leadership in Social-Change Organizations (fall)
    • A027 Managing Financial Resources in Nonprofit Organizations (fall)
    • A029 An Introduction to Education Finance and Budgeting (fall)
    • A507 Teacher Voice and the Labor Movement* (fall)
    • A501 Negotiation Workshop (fall)
    • T565 Entrepreneurship in the Education Marketplace (fall)
    • A608 Leadership, Entrepreneurship, and Learning (fall)
    • A011D The Arts of Communication for Educators (spring)
    • A027 Managing Financial Resources in Nonprofit Organizations (fall)
    • A011B Evaluation for Continuous Improvement (spring)
    • A035 The Teacher Workforce: Management and Policy (spring)
    • A122 The Why, What, and How of School, Family, and Community Partnerships* (spring)
    • A135 Education Entrepreneurship (spring)
    • A214 The Role of Philanthropy in Education (spring)
    • A310Q Turnaround Schools: Challenges and Possibilities (spring)
    • A320 Building a Democratic School: School Design Workshop (spring)
    • A362 Institutional Change in School Organizations, Systems, and Sectors (spring)
    • A612 Organizing: People, Power, Change (spring)
    • A770 Reflecting on Leadership, Management, and Governance (spring)
    • A111R Elements of Effective Family-School Partnerships* (January)
    • A310G Data Wise: Using Data to Improve Teaching and Learning (January)

View all courses and information on cross-registration.

  • Research and Evaluation
  • S011E Understanding Today's Educational Testing (january)
  • S012 Empirical Methods: Introduction to Statistics for Research (fall)
  • S040 Introduction to Applied Data Analysis (fall)
  • S010B Designing Surveys and Questionnaires: Principles and Methods (fall)
  • A164 Program Evaluation (spring)
  • S030 Intermediate Statistics: Applied Regression and Data Analysis (spring)
  • S052 Applied Data Analysis (spring)
  • S428 Research Practicum: Instructional Change: Examining the Work of State Ed Agencies (spring)
  • S513 Introduction to Qualitative Program and Policy Evaluation (spring)

View all courses and information on cross-registration.

  • Diversity, Culture, and Identity
    • H310M Establishing Loving Spaces for Learning: Preventing Bullying and Discrimination in U.S. Schools (fall)
    • H382 The Challenges Kids Face: Developmental, Cultural, and Contextual Perspectives on Risk and Resilience (fall)
    • H392 Childhood Trauma: Dynamics, Interventions, and Cross-Cultural Perspectives (fall)
    • H608 Ethnic-Racial Identity Development (fall)
    • H813 Bilingual Learners: Literacy Development and Instruction (fall)
    • T002 Critical Race Theory in Education (fall)
    • T003 Can't Stop, Won't Stop: Understanding and Embracing Hip Hop in Education (fall)
    • T004 Ethnic Studies in Education (fall)
    • T012 Critical Theory: Identity, Politics and Practice (fall)
    • T015A Equity in Practice: Exploring Race and Identity in Education (fall)
    • T410B Educating Incarcerated Youth: Practice, Research and Policy (fall)
    • A203 Educational Justice (spring)
    • A206 Understanding Educational Inequality through the Lens of Economics and Race (spring)
    • A404 Black Education from Slavery to Freedom (spring)
    • A406 The American School and Racial Formation (spring)
    • S501 Partnering with Youth in Educational Research and Practice (spring)
    • A610G Strategic Diversity and Inclusion Interventions in Education (spring)
    • A705 C.R.E.A.M.: Class and Culture at U.S. Colleges and Universities (spring)
    • T008 Power and Pedagogy: Self, Society, and Transformation (spring)
    • T014 Educating to Transform Society: Preparing Students to Disrupt and Dismantle Racism (spring)
    • T416 Transformative Justice: From Classroom to Cellblock to Community(spring)
    • A101 Native Americans in the 21st Century: Nation-Building I (January)
    • H110G Learning in a Globalizing World: Language Acquisition, Cultural Awareness, and Cognitive Justice (January)

View all courses and information on cross-registration.

Program Faculty

Members of the faculty associated with the EPM Program are actively engaged in the world of education policy. They are pioneering researchers in family engagement and community organizing for school reform. They testify before Congress on the state of education research in America. One of our faculty members recently served as the secretary of education for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. As an EPM student, you will personally benefit from our faculty’s experience, insights, and professional mentorship.

Alumni & Student Profiles

EPM alumni are making an impact in the lives of children through meaningful education reform on the local, state, and national levels. Our graduates work for state and federal departments of education, they launch and lead nonprofit organizations and school-community partnerships, they conduct research and data analysis for policy think tanks, and they lead progressive schools and school districts.

Samantha Pratt

Supporting Student Wellbeing Every Day

With a new app — and an appearance at this weekend’s Alumni of Color Conference — alum Samantha Pratt brings urgency to conversations about mental health and trauma in schools.

Rachel Eisner

Recess: Rachel Eisner, Succulentist

A look at the unique student group run by Rachel Eisner, Ed.M.'19.

Connect with Admissions

More information about our admissions application requirements and instructions, tuition and financial aid, and answers to frequently asked questions is available on our website. If you have additional admissions-related questions, please contact Leah Belcher or call 617.495.3414.

Introduce Yourself

Receive tailored admissions information about upcoming programs, events, and opportunities to connect with us.

Connect with Program Staff

If you have specific questions about the EPM program requirements or experience, please contact program administrator Andrew Hall or call 617-495-4845.

Virtual Information Sessions

View the Education Policy and Management recorded virtual information session to learn more about the program from faculty, students, and staff.