Graduate Program

Education Policy and Leadership (EPoL) Master of Science

EPoL is a flagship program within the Educational Methodology, Policy, and Leadership department. A one year (12-month), cohort-based program located in beautiful Eugene, Oregon, EPoL combines:

  • Theoretical grounding in education policy and leadership studies
  • Advanced methodological and analytic training with a focus on quantitative methods
  • Applied and practical knowledge in US education policy, evidence-based decision-making, organizational leadership, and policy-making processes
  • And space for students to carve out their own unique areas of substantive and methodological expertise

While the program is designed to be completed in one year, students can select to spread it out over two years, for example if they want to continue working in their current jobs while pursuing the master’s degree. Presence on campus will be required though students will have options for some on-line coursework should they choose to do so. 

The EPoL program starts in summer term and ends in spring term, running from June to June. 

Rigorous methodological and analytic training. EPoL students develop quantitative research methods and policy analysis skills. Students do not need to have any background in quantitative methods before joining the program. Students with little background in quantitative methods will learn about research design in education and the social sciences, and statistical analyses up through regression analysis. Students who enter the program with quantitative or statistical backgrounds can bypass introductory courses and go straight into our more advanced courses to develop skills in experimental and quasi-experimental methods, hierarchical linear modeling, etc.

Advanced topics in education policy or education leadership. Based on students’ individual interests and career goals, students will enroll in more advanced topics in either education policy, education leadership, or both. Advanced policy classes include classes on policy analysis, state and local policy, and topic areas of education policy such as policy for multilingual students or higher education policy. Advanced leadership classes include classes on learning organizations, equity-focused leadership, and nonprofit leadership.

Self-selected elective courses for a deep dive into your area of interest. Students in the EPoL MS take a set of elective courses based on their individual areas of focus in the program. While we have a wide range of elective courses within the Educational Methodology, Policy, and Leadership department, students can also take classes from other departments across the university. Many students will choose to take classes in political science, economics, sociology, and ethnic studies. Students will work with their advisory to craft a coherent plan for their elective courses.

Optional data science specialization. Students who are interested in data science can opt into an optional 5-course sequence in data science and receive a specialization in addition to their master’s degree. These courses include courses on educational data science, data visualization, functional programming, machine learning, and a data science capstone class. Currently, because students can only take one data science class per term, students who wish to pursue the data science specialization should plan to extend their program across 1.5 to two years.

If you are interested in becoming a public school principal, or a similar position that requires an administrative licensure, you may want to pair this master’s degree program with an administrative licensure program. The EPoL graduate program does not award an administrative licensure.

EPoL Program Requirements

The master’s degree requires a minimum total of 45 credits.

Summer term – Total credits: 9

Title credits
EDLD 684 Education Policy and Leadership Master of Science Seminar 3
EDUC 612 Social Science Research Design 3
EDUC 607 Seminar in Governance and Ethics 3

Fall term – Total credits: 12

title credits
EDLD 696 Professional Writing 1 3
EDUC 641 Intro to Data Analysis in Education and the Social Sciences 3
EDUC 642 Survey of U.S. Education Policy 3
Elective* 3

Winter term – Total credits: 12

title credits
EDUC 643 General Linear Model I 3
Elective 3
Elective 3
Elective 3

 Spring term – Total credits: 12

title credit
EDLD 685 Education Policy and Leadership Master’s Project 3
Elective 3
Elective 3
Elective 3


Students will select electives that meet their unique interests and career goals. Working with their advisor, students can select electives from within the EPoL program, within other departments in the College of Education, or anywhere across the University of Oregon. The following is a partial list of electives just to give you a sense of the kinds of classes we offer in EPoL and the College of Education. Keep in mind that at least 30 of EPoL’s 45 credits must be taken in the EPoL major (i.e. the Educational Methodology, Policy and Leadership (EMPL) department). You can identify these courses because they have the EDLD prefix. 

EPoL partial list of electives:

EDLD 626 Social and cultural foundations of education
EDLD 655 Analysis of teaching and learning
EDLD 610 State and local policy
EDUC 610 General Linear Model II
EDLD 651 Introductory Educational Data Science
EDLD 643 Evidence-based decision-making
EDLD 644 Learning Organizations
EDLD 624 Leading for Equity
EDUC 620 Program Evaluation I
EDLD 625 Surveys, interviews, focus groups
EDLD 652 Data Visualization
EDLD 631 Education, Immigration, & Language
EDUC 621 Program Evaluation II (note prerequisite)
EDLD 632 Educational Policy Analysis
EDUC 642: Multiple Regression
EDLD 653 Functional Programming for Educational Data Science

Sample Curriculum Outline

  Foundations in Education Policy and Leadership Research methods Professional Development Electives



EDLD 684 Seminar in Education Policy and Leadership

EDLD 607 Seminar in Governance and Ethics
EDUC 612 Social Science Research Design



Fall EDLD 642 Survey of U.S. Education Policy EDUC 614 Educational Statistics EDLD 696 Professional Writing I EDLD 610 State and Local Policy





EDUC 640: Applied Statistical Design and Analysis


EDLD 624 Leading for Equity

EDLD 620 Program Eval I

SOC 644 Race and Ethnicity

EDLD 685 Masters’ in Educational Policy and Leadership Capstone Project 










EDLD 631 Education, Immigration, and Language

EDLD 621 Program Eval II

ANTH 527 Latino Roots