Graduate Program

Education Policy and Leadership (EPoL) Master of Science

EPoL is a flagship program within the Education Studies 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 Education Studies 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 advisor 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 I 3
EDUC 641 Applied Statistics in Education and Human Services I 3
EDLD 642 Survey of U.S. Education Policy 3
Elective 3

Winter term – Total credits: 12

title credits
EDUC 643 Applied Statistics in Education and Human Services II 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 and programs 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 Education Studies department). You can identify these courses because they have either the EDST or the EDLD prefix. 

EPoL partial list of electives:

EDLD 610: Applied mentorships 
EDLD 610: Higher education policy 
EDLD 610: Comparative and international education 
EDLD 610: Higher education leadership 
EDLD 610: Education law 
EDLD 624: Leading for equity 
EDLD 631: Education policy for multilingual students 
EDLD 625: Survey and questionnaire design 
EDLD 626 Social and cultural foundations of education 
EDLD 643: Evidence-based decision making 
EDLD 644: Learning organizations 
EDLD 651: Introduction to educational data science 
EDLD 652: Data visualization for educational data science 
EDLD 653: Functional programming for educational data science 
EDLD 655: Analysis of teaching and learning 
EDST 663: Education and immigration
SPED 510: Disrupting the school-to-prison pipeline 
EDUC 645: Applied statistics in education and the human services III 
EDUC 620: Program evaluation I 
EDUC 632: Program evaluation II 
PPPM 525: Project management 
SOC 551: Social stratification 
EC 523: Econometrics

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 641: Applied Statistics in Education and Human Services I  EDLD 696 Professional Writing I EDLD 610 State and Local Policy





EDUC 643: Applied Statistics in Education and Human Services II 


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