Education Policy and Management
To be a transformative leader in education reform, you need to merge an in-depth knowledge of education policy with proven best practices in organizational management. The mission of the Education Policy and Management (EPM) Program is to produce graduates who not only understand the strengths and challenges of current public education policy, but are prepared to lead the organizations and initiatives that will create 21st-century systems of education that work for all students.
American education needs strong, reform-minded, idealistic leaders who are committed to equity and excellence in our schools. In the 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. Through a flexible curriculum that balances policy, management, and research, you will dive deeply into issues like:
- The racial and economic achievement gap
- The role of charter schools in education reform
- Leadership in social-change organizations
- Entrepreneurship in education
- The use of data to improve teaching and learning
As an EPM master’s student, you will not only have access to the extraordinary faculty and resources at HGSE, but you can take classes at all Harvard schools — including the Harvard Kennedy School and the Harvard Business School — and participate in for-credit internships with education reform organizations across Cambridge and Boston.
Program Director Karen Mapp on the EPM Program:
Welcome to the Education Policy and Management Program (EPM). Our program provides students with rich opportunities to explore the complex, exhilarating, challenging, and sometimes troubling world of education policy and management. I would like to take this opportunity to tell you what is special about this program and the Harvard Graduate School of Education (HGSE).
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. Walk into the office of any number of our faculty and you might find them in conversation with someone from the US Department of Education as they prepare testimony for the reauthorization of No Child Left Behind. Perhaps they are working with a school district or state education office on developing policy for engaging families in their children's education. 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. Given the many resources of Harvard University, Cambridge, and the Greater Boston community, we can engage our students in local, state, and national work in educational policy and management. Our emphasis on the nexus of research, policy, and practice provides EPM students with a rich and multi-dimensional learning experience.
In addition to our top-notch faculty, our students — with their diverse and varied backgrounds — are second to none. From the former classroom teacher who wants to explore policy as a way to improve the experiences of his/her students, to the former business executive looking make a difference by starting an educational not-for-profit venture, our students come to HGSE with a dedication to and a passion for learning.
These are exciting times in the world of educational policy and management. I invite you to join our EPM community of scholars. Please address your inquiries about our program to our coordinator, Andrew Hall at 617-495-4845 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Karen L. Mapp, Ed.D
Program Director, Education Policy and Management
Senior Lecturer on Education
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. Here are some of the greatest strengths of the EPM program:
- Focus on social justice – Effective education reform closes achievement gaps, promotes inclusiveness, and enables all children to acquire the knowledge and skills to thrive in the 21st century. The program 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.
- Flexible and balanced curriculum – In the EPM program, 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.
- Diverse and supportive cohort – 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.
- Cambridge and Boston internships – 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 Internship Program, you can earn four credits under the supervision of a faculty mentor.
- Harvard resources – There are tremendous benefits to studying education policy and management at Harvard, home to some of the sharpest minds and most influential voices in organizational management, public policy, and education reform. You can take classes at other Harvard graduate schools, attend weekly lectures and panel discussions, and even work as a research assistant with University-wide collaborations like the Achievement Gap Initiative and Project Zero.
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.
Students must complete eight courses (32 credits) and meet the following requirements:
- One course in each of the four EPM core areas listed below. Courses marked with an asterisk (*) also count towards the Diversity, Culture, and Identity category.
- At least five courses must be taken at HGSE, including modules.
- The following two policy courses are recommended:
- A024 Politics and Education Policy in the United States (fall 2016)
- A129 The Federal Government in the Schools (spring 2017)
- A110C Educational Inequality in the Era of Mass Incarceration* (fall 2016)
- A710P The Economics of Higher Education: Access, Outcomes, and Competition (fall 2016)
- A024 Politics and Education Policy in the United States (fall 2016)
- A112 Critical Issues in Special Education Policy and Practice* (fall 2016)
- A117 Implementing Inclusive Education* (fall 2016)
- A123 Teacher and Teaching Quality (fall 2016)
- A125 State Education Policy: A Practicum (fall 2016)
- A205 Microeconomics: A Policy Tool for Educators (fall 2016)
- A305 Deeper Learning for All: Designing a 21st-Century School System (fall 2016)
- A801 Education Policy Analysis and Research in Comparative Perspective (fall 2016)
- A111C Politics and Education Change: A Case Study (spring 2017)
- A102 Native Americans in the 21st Century: Nation-Building II* (spring 2017)
- A108 Strategies and Policies for Narrowing Racial Achievement Gaps* (spring 2017)
- A129 The Federal Government in the Schools* (spring 2017)
- A318 New Pathways for College and Career Readiness: Increasing Opportunity and Equity through Education (spring 2017)
- A822 The Consequences of Educational Policy Interventions in Developing Countries: Evidence from Recent (spring 2017)
- H517 Contemporary Immigration Policy and Educational Practice* (spring 2017)
- A111G Debating Education Policy (January 2017)
- A111P Public Narrative: Self, Us, Now* (fall 2016)
- A111Q Public Narrative: Conflict, Continuity, Change* (fall 2016)
- A019 Education Sector Nonprofits (fall 2016)
- A021 Leadership in Social-Change Organizations (fall 2016)
- A027 Managing Financial Resources in Nonprofit Organizations (fall 2016)
- A029 An Introduction to Education Finance and Budgeting (fall 2016)
- A312 Systemic Reform in Urban School Districts and Schools (fall 2016)
- A371Y Practicum in Coaching for Equity and Diversity in Schools and Systems* (fall 2016)
- A397Y Leading for Equity and Diversity in Integrated Schools: A Field Course* (fall 2016)
- A501 Negotiation Workshop (fall 2016)
- A608 Leadership, Entrepreneurship, and Learning (fall 2016)
- T131 Teachers, Leadership, and Power: School Reform from the Classroom (fall 2016)
- A011D The Arts of Communication for Educators (spring 2017)
- A027 Managing Financial Resources in Nonprofit Organizations (fall 2016)
- A011B Learning from Practice: Evaluation and Improvement Science (spring 2017)
- A011M Leading Through Difference* (spring 2017)
- A035 Economics of Human Resources in the Education Sector (spring 2017)
- A122 The Why, What, and How of School, Family, and Community Partnerships* (spring 2017)
- A320 Building a Democratic School: School Design Workshop (spring 2017)
- A325 Improving Systems of Learning: Instructional Leadership at the System Level* (spring 2017)
- A362 Institutional Change in School Organizations, Systems, and Sectors (spring 2017)
- A372Y Practicum in Coaching for Equity and Diversity in Schools and Systems* (spring 2017)
- A398Y Leading for Equity and Diversity in Integrated Schools: A Field Course* (spring 2017)
- A607 Organizational Leadership and Management in K-12 Schools and Systems (spring 2017)
- A612 Organizing: People, Power, Change (spring 2017)
- A618 Adaptive Leadership, Power, and Difference* (spring 2017)
- A770 Reflecting on Leadership, Management, and Governance (spring 2017)
- T409 Teams in Schools and School Districts: The Potential and the Challenge (spring 2017)
- T565 Entrepreneurship in the Education Marketplace (spring 2017)
- A111R Elements of Effective Family-School Partnerships* (January 2017)
- A310G Data Wise: Using Data to Improve Teaching and Learning (January 2017)
- S005 Introduction to Educational Research (fall 2016)
- S011 Understanding Today's Educational Testing (fall 2016)
- S012 Empirical Methods: Introduction to Statistics for Research (fall 2016)
- S040 Introduction to Applied Data Analysis (fall 2016)
- A164 Program Evaluation (spring 2017)
- A201 Education Reform in America (spring 2017)
- A804 Monitoring and Evaluation for Improving Education Systems (spring 2017)
- S030 Intermediate Statistics: Applied Regression and Data Analysis (spring 2017)
- S052 Applied Data Analysis (spring 2017)
- S522 Analyzing Culture: Dialogue, Discourse, and Theme* (spring 2017)
- A011L Educating Across the Aisle (fall 2016)
- A133 Cultural Explanations for Ethnic and Racial Inequality in Education (fall 2016)
- A210E Law and Educational Opportunity: Race, Money, and Choice (fall 2016)
- H307 Institutional and Community-Based Strategies to Support Children and Strengthen Families (fall 2017)
- H310M Establishing Loving Spaces for Learning: Preventing Bullying and Discrimination in U.S. Schools (fall 2017)
- H331Y Risk and Resilience in Social Contexts from Birth to Young Adulthood: Strategies of Prevention and Intervention (fall 2016)
- H382 The Challenges Kids Face: Developmental, Cultural, and Contextual Perspectives on Risk and Resilience (fall 2016)
- H392 Childhood Trauma: Dynamics, Interventions, and Cross-Cultural Perspectives (fall 2016)
- H607 Ethnicity, Context, and Family Dynamics (fall 2016)
- H611 Moral Adults: Moral Children (fall 2016)
- H813 Bilingual Learners: Literacy Development and Instruction (fall 2016)
- T002 Critical Race Theory in Education (fall 2016)
- T004 Ethnic Studies and Education (fall 2016)
- T016y Equity in Practice I: Exploring the Self in Relation to Race, Power, and Education (fall 2016)
- T311A Establishing Safe Spaces for Learning: Gender and Sexuality in U.S. Schools (fall 2016)
- T410B Educating Incarcerated Youth: Practice, Research and Policy (fall 2016)
- A110A Con Ganas y Educacion: Latina/os' Educational Experiences in the United States (spring 2017)
- A118 The 21st-Century Demographic Transformation: Opportunities and Implications for U.S. Schools (spring 2017)
- A166 Civic Education and Civic Action: Theory, Research, and Practice (spring 2017)
- A203 Educational Justice (spring 2017)
- A224 Race in America (spring 2017)
- A719 Diversity and Equity in American Higher Education (spring 2017)
- AH113 Muslim Youth in Schools: U.S. and Comparative Perspectives (spring 2017)
- H304 Legal and Ethical Issues in Child Advocacy (spring 2017)
- S501 Partnering with Youth in Educational Research and Practice (spring 2017)
- T008 Power and Pedagogy: Self, Society, and Transformation (spring 2017)
- T014 Educating to Transform Society: Preparing Students to Disrupt and Dismantle Racism (spring 2017)
- T016Y Equity in Practice II: Addressing Race and Power in Education Settings (spring 2017)
- T211R Teaching and Learning Race: Exploring and Transforming the Relationship between Race and Education (spring 2017)
- T904 Black Education from Slavery to Freedom (spring 2017)
- A011P The Promise of Diversity: Emerging-Research Seminar (January 2017)
- A101 Native Americans in the 21st Century: Nation-Building I (January 2017)
- H110G Learning in a Globalizing World: Language Acquisition, Cultural Awareness, and Cognitive Justice (January 2017)
You are free to cross-register in courses outside of HGSE. Learn more about course offerings at other Harvard schools, including:
- Members of faculty associated with the EPM 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.
EPM students are motivated — not deterred — by the complex challenges facing public education in America. As experienced educators and reform activists, they know the problems firsthand: racial and economic achievement gaps, sharp budget cuts to public education, misinformed policy decisions, and more. EPM students are here because they believe in innovative, research-driven education reform, and want to assume a strong leadership role in the movement toward equity and excellence in our schools. Most have significant professional experience as teachers, school administrators, non-profit workers, political consultants, and policy analysts. We also welcome those who are passionate about making a difference in education and are interested in changing their careers. If you have an ambitious vision for the future of American educational systems and reforms, you will be right at home in the EPM community.
EPM alumni are making an impact in the lives of children through meaningful education reform on the local, state, and national level. Our graduates work for state and federal departments of education, they launch and lead non-profit organizations and school-community partnerships, they conduct research and data analysis for policy think tanks, and they lead progressive schools and school districts.
Recent EPM graduates are working in the following organizations:
We’re excited to hear your story and learn how you will apply the insights and experience of your EPM degree to improve America’s schools. Visit HGSE admissions to learn more about application requirements and deadlines, and to get important information about financial aid. Applications are due in January of the academic year you plan to enroll.
If you have questions about the admissions process or want to learn more about the benefits of EPM, please contact our admissions liaison Emily Mendes at email@example.com or 617-495-3414. If you have specific questions about the EPM program requirements or experience, please contact program administrator Andrew Hall at firstname.lastname@example.org or 617-495-4845.