Educational Policy and Planning

Master’s Program

Department of Educational Leadership and Policy

The Educational Policy and Planning (EPP) program prepares the next generation of leaders and analysts who will significantly and positively change public education. The EPP Master’s in Education program prepares leaders for careers in policy analysis, with a critical focus on anti-racist education policy, equity, and social justice. Students gain a theoretical foundation in policy development, implementation and evaluation, school law, poverty and educational policy, and critical policy analysis. Upon completion, students will be prepared to work in the legislature, public and private research entities, community-based organizations, civil and human rights groups, nonprofits, school districts, state and local government, or consulting agencies. 

The multidisciplinary master’s program provides students with both an academic and applied understanding of the public policy process. Coursework includes core classes in foundations of policy analysis, policy implementation, qualitative and quantitative research methods, and policy seminars. 

In some cases, students elect to pursue a doctorate in educational policy after completion of their master’s program. Admitted students will have the opportunity to work alongside a professor to pursue research interests. 

Classes are typically held on weekdays from 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.

Program Features

  • Cohort model 
  • Full-time study 
  • Multidisciplinary 
  • Policy/research internship 

Program Details

Semester Start: Fall

Deadline to Apply: December 1

GRE Required? No

Location: On Campus

Schedule: Full time or part time permitted per discussion with program head

Length of Program: 15 months, 36 hours 

All graduate students are required to apply to the state application system ApplyTexas. We strongly encourage you to start this process well in advance of the deadline to allow us time to process your information.

The GRE is no longer required for those applying for admission to the EPP M.Ed. program. If applicants choose to submit GRE scores, they will not be reviewed or considered by the admissions committee.

Your Statement of Purpose should describe:

  • why you are interested in pursuing a master’s degree in Educational Policy and Planning (EPP) at UT Austin;
  • any life experiences that have contributed to your decision to apply to pursue an M.Ed. in EPP;
  • any personal experiences, achievements, or accomplishments that would help you contribute to the program and the University’s mission for diversity and inclusiveness, and
  • your career aspirations once you complete your degree.
  • Current and historical understanding of the foundations of education law, policy, and research across marginalized groups
  • Knowledge of various social science theoretical frameworks 
  • Acquiring cutting-edge, interdisciplinary, and intersectional knowledge in the fields of educational policy and research
  • Critically consume, synthesize, and produce education policy research via the application of research methodologies
  • Practical experience through legislative and other internships in education leadership, policy, and research

Minimum Total: 36 hours

Departmental Core (15 hours)

  • ELP 384F / EDA 395F Foundations of Educational Policy
  • ELP 384M / EDA 395G Policy Implementation Seminar
  • ELP 394L / EDA 388L School Law
  • ELP 384C / EDA 395M Critical Policy Analysis
  • ELP 384V / EDA 395J  Poverty and Educational Policy

Research Core (6 hours)

  • ELP 381C / EDA 381L Ed Research I
  • ELP 381D / EDA 381M Ed Research II   

Advanced EPP Policy Seminars (6  hours)

EPP Policy seminars focus on current education issues such as accountability, race/ethnicity in schools, school choice, and educational equity and opportunity.

  • ELP 394K.1 Seminar in Latinx Education  
  • ELP 394K.2  Market-Based Reforms in Education
  • ELP 394K.3 Place, Opportunity, and Education 
  • ELP 394K.4 Schools and Gentrification  
  • ELP 394K.6  Language Policy in Education
  • ELP 394K.7 Immigration Theory in Education 
  • ELP 394K.5  Law, Leadership and Discipline Policy 
  • ELP 394K  Accountability & School Reform
  • ELP 394K  Race and Ethnic Relations in Schools
  • ELP 394K  Contemporary Education Policy Issues

Internship (3 hours)

In addition, students participate in an internship program as part of their coursework, which is a unique opportunity to gain real-life policy experience under the supervision of a faculty adviser.

  • ELP 383N / EDA 397PGraduate Internship

Out-of-Department electives (6 hours)

Electives can be taken from different departments within the College of Education or other colleges within the University

Program Plan Worksheet 

Photo of faculty member Christopher P Brown

Researches how early childhood stakeholders respond to and conceptualize policies affecting the the complex educational, cultural, and individual goals and aspirations of teachers, children, and their families.

Photo of faculty member Norma V Cantu
Ken McIntyre Professor for Excellence in School Leadership

Teaches topics in civil rights and the intersection of law and policy in education; served as assistant secretary of education for Civil Rights during the Clinton administration.

Photo of faculty member Joshua  Childs
Assistant Professor

Examines collaborative approaches involving community organizations and stakeholders that improve academic achievement and reduce opportunity gaps for students. Also studies chronic absenteeism, the role of high school athletics in school settings, a...

Photo of faculty member David E DeMatthews
Associate Professor

Focuses on urban school and district leadership, inclusive practices for students with disabilities, and school improvement with an emphasis on addressing inequities in classrooms, schools, and communities.

Photo of faculty member Stella M Flores
Associate Professor

Examines the effects of state and federal policies on college access and completion outcomes for low-income and underrepresented populations including immigrant and English Learner students.

Photo of faculty member Barbara H Gideon
Assistant Professor of Practice

Develops school leaders with the knowledge, skill, and disposition to foster collaborative instructional systems to produce high levels of adult engagement in their unique school environments to assure every student learns well and thrives, with a fo...

Photo of faculty member Terrance L Green
Associate Professor

Examines principals and school-community engagement/community development and issues of educational equity and opportunity.

Photo of faculty member Jennifer J Holme

Focuses on the politics and implementation of educational policy with an emphasis on school reform, equity and diversity in schools.

Photo of faculty member Sofia R Malik
Assistant Professor of Practice

Photo of faculty member Charles  Martinez
Dean, College of Education

Focuses on identifying factors that hinder or promote the success of children and families from vulnerable and underserved populations.

Photo of faculty member Pedro  Reyes
Department Chair, Educational Leadership and Policy, Education - Office of the Dean

I study student success for children experiencing poverty. I analyze how school leadership and state policy facilitate student success across the education pipeline.

Photo of faculty member Angela  Valenzuela

Specializes in urban education from a sociological and multicultural perspective, with a focus on minority youth in schools, particularly at the K-12 level.

Photo of faculty member Sarah L Woulfin
Associate Professor

Uses lenses from organizational sociology to study how district leaders, principals, coaches, and teachers implement policy

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    Virginia Snodgrass Rangel

    Assistant Professor, Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies at The University of Houston

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    Brendan D. Maxcy

    Associate Professor of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies, Chair of Graduate and Professional Program Indiana University, Purdue University Indianapolis

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    Lance D. Fusarelli

    Professor, Department of Educational Leadership, Policy and Human Development at North Carolina State University

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    William R. Black

    Doctoral and Educational Specialist Program Coordinator, Educational Leadership and Policy Studies at the University of South Florida

  • DongMei Li

    Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Houston Education Research Consortium (HERC), Dept. of Sociology, Rice University

  • Joanna D. Sánchez

    Postdoctoral Research Associate, Department of Curriculum and Instruction at Howard University

  • Michael C. Barnes

    Co-Founder / CEO, TeacherTalent

  • Katey Arrington

    Manager, K–12 Services, The Dana Center

Photo of Christopher Brown

Program Co-coordinator
Christopher Brown

Ph.D. and M.Ed. Program Co-coordinator
Sofia Malik

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