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Master's Degree Program

Education Policy and Management

The program information below is for academic year 2020-2021. We are 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 encourage you learn more about our reimagined Master's in Education.

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

  • Cohort and Community – During your time at HGSE, you will have the opportunity to learn alongside a diverse group of peers who have a shared passion for education and an intellectual curiosity that will help transform the field. You will develop strong bonds and a supportive learning community through participation in various cohort and community-building, virtual activities hosted by your program, student organizations, and HGSE faculty and staff.

Curriculum Information

HGSE and its faculty are launching a series of schoolwide courses, designed to take advantage of active learning and the latest research findings about how to nurture powerful learning experiences online. These schoolwide courses address a range of critical topics that respond to today’s societal circumstances, including leadership and organizations, inclusive and effective teaching, education policy, and more. Your courses are being redesigned to provide the best that digital learning has to offer, combining asynchronous and synchronous learning experiences and an unparalleled curriculum. Program-specific courses will be offered in a variety of formats: seminars, tutorials, classes of varying sizes and models for collaboration and learning, field-based experiences, and more.

The EPM curriculum provides a framework within which you have freedom to choose the classes that best match your interests, experience, and goals and we remain committed to that design principle. 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, including the new set of schoolwide courses, and other Harvard schools — you will receive a comprehensive immersion in education leadership and policy reform. You will complete 32 credits in total.

Program Faculty

HGSE consists of a faculty of the whole and students can work with and take courses with faculty throughout HGSE and Harvard. 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.

Constance Gist

An Inspiring Force: Constance Gist, EPM'21

The Intellectual Contribution Award recipient for Education Policy and Management reflects on her time at HGSE and looks toward the future.

Kwame Adams

A Voice for Students: Kwame Adams, EPM'20

The Intellectual Contribution Award recipient for Education Policy Management reflects on his time at HGSE and looks toward the future.

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