Master of Science in Education – Education Policy

The master’s degree program in Education Policy prepares education leaders of the 21st century with wide-ranging skills necessary to shape effective, evidence-based education policies. Students gain knowledge and skills touching on state and federal policy, effective interventions, diversity, research, and school finance that complement learning traditional understandings of today’s educational inequities and various international models to correct them.

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Contact Us

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Faculty Lead
Dennis Kramer II, PhD
[email protected]


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Academic Program Coordinator
Jennifer Fordham
[email protected]

Master of Science in Education – Education Policy

At A Glance*

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Start Term


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Completion Time

1-2 Years

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Application Deadline

APRIL 15, 2023

Application requirements and deadlines
Master of Science in Education: Education Policy
Prerequisite Requirements:Applicants to this master’s program must have a earned a four-year bachelor’s degree by the time of their matriculation.
Applicants are required to hold a minimum cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 (on a 4.0 scale) in all previous undergraduate and graduate coursework (including for incomplete programs of study and for programs still in progress).
Start Terms:Summer
Delivery/Format:This program is delivered online, except for a one-course residency offered for five days in Baltimore, MD, in the summer term (July), after which all courses required in the program will be offered online. An online option will be available by request for those who cannot attend the residency week in person. Additional information about the residency course is available on the academic program page.
International Applicants and Visa Eligibility for Low Residency: Because of the structure of the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) which is designed only for traditional full-time residential programs, international students are not eligible to apply for an I-20 and F-1 study visa for the limited-residency, Education Policy course offered in Washington, D.C., summer term II.

If you hold a different type of nonimmigrant visa, please contact the Johns Hopkins University Office of International Services at [email protected] to verify whether you are eligible to participate in the in-person residency course. Arrangements will be made for international students residing outside the United States to participate in this course using a virtual platform.
Application Completion Deadline: The application for the summer 2023 start term is closed, and is no longer accepting applications for this term. Please complete our Request For Information form to receive updates on the application opening.
Admissions Offer Response/Enrollment Deposit Deadline ($250): Enrollment deposits will be accepted on a rolling basis until the program reaches capacity or the start of classes for the first term.
Application Requirements:
Online application form
$80.00 application fee
To be uploaded to your online application form.

An 800-word essay in which you discuss the reasons you wish to pursue this degree program at Johns Hopkins School of Education, focusing on your long-term goals and how your academic program will complement those goals.
Three Letters of Recommendation:
Applicants are required to submit three recommendations using the online application system.

After entering the contact information for three recommenders on your application, each will receive an email with instructions about logging onto our system. At that time, they will have the opportunity to fill out the Recommendation Form and upload a recommendation letter.

Applicants should request recommendation letters that directly address their candidacy for admission to SOE and the MS in Education Policy program. Ideally, individuals selected to provide letters should include those from both academic and professional settings. For candidates who have not been enrolled post-secondary level courses for many years, it is acceptable to substitute letters from professional contexts.
Official transcripts from all post-secondary institutions attended.
GRE Admissions Test:
The GRE admissions test is not required for admission to this program.
International Applicants and Internationally Educated Applicants:Academic transcripts for degrees conferred by institutions outside the U.S. or Canada are required to be evaluated for their equivalence to similar degrees earned in the U.S. Please visit the International Student Admissions webpage for additional application requirements.
Interview:No structured interview is required as part of the admissions process.
Tuition and fees

Click here for more information on tuition and fees. Tuition and fees are subject to change for ensuing academic years, and will be updated on the School of Education website accordingly.


Shayla Heavner

Every hope and challenge of a nation is delivered to its schools. To them rests the core responsibility to support the life options of tomorrow’s citizens.

David Steiner, PhD
Professor, Executive Director of the Institute for Education Policy

Master of Science in Education – Education Policy

Program Description

This 33 to 36 credit master’s degree program is focused on the changing landscape of education policy in the 21st century in the wake of No Child Left Behind. The field is looking for leaders with sophisticated skill sets who are able to understand complex federal and state statutes and regulations, to research and report on initiatives, to draft policy and regulatory language; to conduct financial analyses; and to possess a deep understanding of the inequities in education. They must then combine it all with a knowledge of the strongest educational models to shape effective, evidence-based education policies. This program comprises 11 or 12 three-credit courses delivered online, except for the first-semester hybrid course: Introduction to Education Policy, which includes an in-person, five-day residency in Washington, D.C. Students can also opt to include a three-credit internship for an experiential learning opportunity.

Master of Science in Education – Education Policy


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David Steiner

Dennis Kramer Headshot

Dennis Kramer

Alanna Bjorklund-Young

Alanna Bjorklund-Young

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Jonathan Plucker

Christine Eith

Christine Eith

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Angela Watson

Master of Science in Education – Education Policy


A strong emphasis is placed on the provision of opportunities for students to develop the skills and competencies necessary to be successful in the field of education policy. Students have the opportunity to gain an in-depth understanding of the policy world and its complexities. This will include a weeklong residency during the introductory course where students will be introduced to various professionals in the policy world. This program will culminate in a capstone course, which will offer students real-world work scenarios in which they will apply knowledge and skills gained during the program.

Program requirements

Applicants who have not successfully completed a college-level, introductory statistics course as part of their previous college coursework will be required to enroll in Introduction to Statistics in the first term enrolled.

For applicants who have completed an Introduction to Statistics course with an earned grade of B or better in the past five years, enrolling in the program’s Introduction to Statistics course will be optional.

For applicants who have completed a statistics course more than five years ago or who never completed an introductory-level statistics course, the JHU Ed Policy Introduction to Statistics course is required.


Number of Credits Required: 33-36
One-week residency in Washington, D.C., required

Foundational Introductory Course (3 credit hours)

820.602 Introduction to Education Policy

Core Courses (30 credit hours)

820.600 Introduction to Statistics

820.601 Intermediate Statistics

820.603 Federal Education Policy

820.604 Diversity

820.605 International Education Policy

820.606 State and Local Education Policy

820.607 Understanding Education Research

820.608 Education Finance

820.609 Outside the Schoolhouse

820.610 Capstone Course

Elective (3 credit hours)

820.611 Experiential Learning (optional)

Note: The Foundational Introductory Course will be taken first, outside of the statistics courses

Course Information

Course descriptions, locations, and availability

Master of Science in Education – Education Policy



The goal of our program is to provide the comprehensive, research-based, real-world, and work environment-ready skills and knowledge for students and professionals interested in the field of K-12 education policy.

Student outcomes

The primary educational outcomes of the program is to prepare graduates to analyze and evaluate education research, translate research into policies, and contribute effectively to governmental agencies, legislative offices, mayor’s offices, think tanks, and nonprofits that focus on education.

Upon successful completion of the program, we expect students to be prepared to:

  • Analyze and evaluate education research.
  • Analyze the structures that comprise public education in different states within the U.S. and in peer nations around the world.
  • Analyze national and international educational assessment data.
  • Translate research into policy recommendations for different stakeholders (i.e. states, local education bodies, city governments, or non-profits/think tanks).
  • Analyze current or proposed federal and state legislation and regulatory language for their potential impact.
  • Analyze existing education budgets and funding streams.
  • Evaluate proposed policies in terms of their potential impact on underserved or marginalized populations.
  • Compose reports, policy memos, op-eds, and policy briefings on educational issues in strong, clear, and empirically based language.

Master of Science in Education – Education Policy


How long will it take if I choose to take my courses in the program part-time, two courses per term, if I am unable to take three courses in fall, and spring? Will I need to wait a full year to take the courses I missed?

The one-year option, requiring full-time enrollment in fall and spring, is recommended. For students who are unable to enroll full-time for fall/spring, a part-time enrollment option is available. The part-time two-year option requires a student to be enrolled in at least two courses for all three semesters (i.e., summer, fall, and spring) in the first year. Students selecting this option will need to take the remaining courses in the second year as the courses are offered in rotation. The capstone may not be taken until all other coursework in the program has been successfully completed.

Note: Students selecting the two-year option who are applying for federal financial aid are strongly encouraged develop a course plan with a faculty advisor prior to the start of the program. (Note: For federal financial aid eligibility, candidates must enroll for at least 4.5 credits [effectively, two courses or 6 credits] each semester.)

What sets JHU’s MS in Education Policy apart from other programs of its kind?

This program features a high-level, real-world-experienced faculty working in the field of education policy. You will uniquely benefit from the know-how, and potentially the network, of these faculty program leaders, while pursuing an on-line program that gives you considerable control of how to manage your study time. 

What kind of professional opportunities does this program prepare a graduate for?

The program’s coursework and research training are grounded in the study of education, reform, and policy and prepare candidates to develop careers in school districts, state and federal departments of education, education policy research institutes, and education-related nonprofit organizations.

What is the required residency for this program? If I live outside the U.S. and am unable to travel to D.C. for the residency, will I be able to participate in the residency through a virtual platform?

The five-day residency will be held in Baltimore, MD, in the summer of 2023 from July 31-August 4, 2023. During the weeklong experience, in-person courses are scheduled daily from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm. An online option will be available by request for those who cannot attend the residency week in person. A full itinerary will be made available to admitted students in early spring.

Master of Science in Education – Education Policy


Students should be aware of additional state-specific information for online programs.