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Classroom discussion

Education Policy Drives Social Change

Students in DC

Our M.Ed in Education Policy and Leadership give students the tools to shape the future of education. The EPL Med program prepares educators and other professionals to serve as leaders in education organizations. Students gain the knowledge and skills in leadership, policy, law, economics, and research to effectively administer education programs and policies at all levels.

  • 30-unit master's degree that can be completed in four or five semesters
  • Cohort model for full-time teachers and other education professionals
  • Full-time faculty and expert practitioners who bring policy, research, and school experience
  • Practical consultancy projects with schools and DC education policy organizations
  • Special emphasis on implementation and on connecting policy to education practice
  • Support for identifying career pathways

See full Admissions & Degree Requirements.

You are bound to benefit from our location in the heart of Washington, DC. We arrange structured field experiences with partner organizations all around the Nation's capital, such as Education Trust, the DC Public Charter School Board, the Center for American Progress, the Council of the Chief State School Officers, and the Office of the State Superintendent of Education. Through these experiences, students help the partner organizations advance their work, while gaining valuable real-world experience and applying the skills and knowledge learned through their study. Check out our field experience.

The EPL program's full-time faculty are leaders in the field of education policy and leadership. Professor Jason Snyder, who teaches education law, served in senior roles in the U.S. Department of Education. Associate Professor Jennifer Steele is an accomplished quantitative researcher who teaches statistics and program evaluation courses in the program. Another full-time professor, Kaili Baucum, has extensive experience collaborating with school districts across the country. In addition, Assistant Professor, Robert Shand is currently looking at teacher improvement and how to hold systems accountable. The program's instructors also include experienced practitioners like leadership instructor Pete Weber, who recently served as chief of staff to the DC Public Schools Chancellor, and Eugene Pinkard who works on strategic planning and innovative initiatives for DCPS. Whether you enroll in our online or on-campus format, you can look forward to developing important and lasting mentor relationships with the professors you'll meet here.

See Faculty profiles.

The EPL program offers its students dedicated support in identifying career pathways and job opportunities. We host career panels and networking events so that students can make connections and better understand the career options available. The career center provides tons of opportunities for our student's including an annual networking reception for education and policy professionals.

CNN's John King with AU students

Students with Education Secretary John King

Dr. King and EPL students discussed education policy at the US Department of Education.

More Program Information


EPL New Leaders

Making a Difference in the Field

EPL students complete 2018 consultancy projects for DC-based education organizations.


More About Field Projects

Leading from the field article

Speaking from the Field

Panelists speak about the education field and their experiences helping to improve K-12 education.

More About Career Panel

Frequently Asked Questions

For our next on-campus cohort that begins in Fall 2019, application deadlines are as follows:

February 1: First Priority Deadline (to be considered for merit scholarships)

March 1: Second Priority Deadline

The program admits on a rolling basis after March 1 until the cohort is filled.

If you are interested in our online program, please visit our online MA page.


Students who complete the Policy Studies track are prepared to join a wide array of education organizations, like school district central offices, state educational organizations, education nonprofits, and the US Department of Education. Graduates of the Teacher Leadership track are prepared to become coaches, department chairs, team leaders, and reading specialists, and to fill other teacher-leader positions within schools. Program alumni have worked at DC Public Schools central office, New America, KIPP, The New Teacher Project, Education Counsel, EL Haynes Public Charter Schools, RAND, the US Department of Education, and many other organizations both locally and around the country.

The program is 30 credit hours. 

No. We require a statement of purpose, resume, transcript(s), and two letters of recommendation. 
*For students with one of our partnership programs, one or more letters may be waived, as well as the application fee.

The program's proseminar course is designed specifically to give students hands-on practical experiences in the field. Small groups of students work as consultants to education organizations in the DC area, conducting research and creating work products that meet the organizations' needs. 

We have worked with the following organizations in the past:

  • Center for American Progress
  • Council of Chief State School Officers
  • DC Public Charter School Board
  • DC's Office of the State Superintendent of Education
  • Ed Counsel
  • Education Forward DC
  • Education Trust
  • Jumpstart
  • My School DC/ Deputy Mayor of Education
  • National Governor's Association
  • New Leaders
  • Office of the State Super. Education

Yes, the program was designed to accommodate students who work full-time. Classes are held in the evening from 5:30-8:00 pm.

Partnership programs are available for corps members, alumni, and staff of the following organizations. Check out the benefits by clicking the links below:

City Year
Teach for America
The New Teacher Project

Still have questions? Send us an email: