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Master's Degree Program

Program: Education Leadership, Organizations, and Entrepreneurship

Whether you seek to manage a complex learning organization or team, launch an entrepreneurial venture, or drive an initiative that sparks new possibilities within an existing school, district, or network, the Education Leadership, Organizations, and Entrepreneurship (ELOE) Program at the Harvard Graduate School of Education will help you become an effective, strategic, and innovative leader within the field. Our program prepares you with the knowledge, skills, and dispositions to lead with impact in diverse roles, including preK–12, higher education, the nonprofit sector, government, and philanthropy. With a focus on change management, organizational leadership, and entrepreneurial principles, this program equips you to envision, enact, scale, and transform. The application for fall 2022 admission to HGSE’s Ed.M. programs is open.


“So many people hear the word ‘organization’ and think ‘business.’ But students who want to improve education and become education leaders – either at the school level, state level, or national level – have to understand how schools work. Recognizing the importance of organizational dynamics, the role of leaders, and the potential impact of entrepreneurship, is critical, and these concepts are at the heart of our program.”

Ebony Bridwell-Mitchell, Faculty Co-Chair

The ELOE Program will help students prepare to lead for impact — to bring greater access, equity, agency, and excellence to education. The program's curriculum is anchored in the following competencies:  

  • Lead change and think strategically 
  • Foster productive organizational conditions 
  • Navigate politics and practice political inclusion   
  • Communicate effectively 
  • Develop self and others 

Curriculum Information

The ELOE Program is designed to provide a set of scaffolded learning experiences helping students to grow along the five ELOE core competencies, gaining the knowledge, skills, and dispositions needed to have impact in professional roles as education leaders, organizational innovators, and entrepreneurs. A minimum of 42 credits are required to graduate with an Ed.M. degree from HGSE.

The main elements of the 2022–23 academic year curriculum are: 

  • The summer Foundation courses (12 credits), including How People Learn, Leading Change, Evidence, and Equity and Opportunity, in which students gain core skills central to the profession of education.
  • To fulfill the program requirement, students must take a minimum of 12 credits specific to ELOE, including the following:
    • The ELOE Program Core Experience (4 credits) is a yearlong set of experiences, including field-oriented panels, case discussions, simulations, skills-based workshops, and peer-supported professional development opportunities in micro-learning communities. This also includes the ELOE Self-Assessment and Individual Development Plan, which allows you to reflect on and track your development over time, across key indicators for each of the ELOE core competencies. Students must enroll in their first fall semester.  
    • ELOE Course Distribution List (a minimum of 8 credits), which is a curated set of courses specializing in one or more of the ELOE core competencies. At least one selected course must fall on the ELOE continuum of field-based learning. There are over 80 distribution courses to choose from, which cover subject matter including leading organizations; education sector nonprofits; educational innovation, social entrepreneurship; and race, equity, and leadership.
  • The remaining credits are taken via elective coursework, which includes the opportunity to specialize in a Concentration

Explore our course catalog.
Note, all information and courses are subject to change.

Program Faculty

Students will work closely with faculty associated with their area of study, but students can also work with and take courses with faculty throughout HGSE and Harvard. The faculty co-chairs for ELOE are Ebony Bridwell-Mitchell and Jen CheathamView our faculty directory for a full list of HGSE faculty.

Career Pathways

The ELOE Program prepares you for a variety of career pathways, including:

  • Education nonprofit CEO/COO
  • Entrepreneur/organization founder
  • College or university administrator
  • Principal or head of school
  • School district or network leader
  • School designer and developer
  • Educational advocate and organizer
  • Public official or administrator
  • Education consultant


Today’s complex education landscape calls for innovative leaders who not only have the ability to design a vision for their learning context, but also deliver it so it becomes a reality. Our Education Leadership, Organizations, and Entrepreneurship Program will provide the skills, knowledge, and dispositions you need to make a transformative impact. Here are profiles of several recent graduates who have studied education leadership:

Thank you note

Harvard EdCast: Giving Thanks in the Classroom

How bringing gratitude into the classroom can have a positive impact on student learning.

Richa Gupta with students

Tools Help Schools in India With SEL During COVID

How one nonprofit is helping students and teachers cope using text, voicemail, and apps.

Cohort and Community

The ELOE experience is not only about strengthening knowledge, skills and dispositions but also about building a community of colleagues who can provide support during the program and for years afterwards as you work together to transform the field. The ELOE Program purposefully works to honor and build on the diverse backgrounds and experiences of students — from countries and regions around the world – by providing a varied set of cohort-based, community-building experiences. The aim of these experiences is to build a network of current students and future alumni united by a shared commitment to leading for excellence, equity, and impact in the field of education. 

The application for admission to HGSE’s Ed.M. programs for the 2022-2023 academic year is open.

Admissions Information

Learn more about our admissions application requirements and instructionstuition and financial aid, recorded webinarsdownload a brochure, and find answers to frequently asked questions

Connect with Admissions

If you have additional admissions-related questions, please contact Paola Muñoz.

Additional ELOE Resources 

Connect with Program Staff

If you have remaining program-specific questions, please contact ELOE Assistant Director Karen Bottari.