Education Policy and Planning Program

Graduate students collaborate on a project.

Photo of Hurij\ya Jabbar

Ph.D. Program Coordinator
Huriya Jabbar

Photo of Christopher Brown

Master's Program Coordinator
Christopher Brown

The Educational Policy and Planning (EPP) Program, ranked 6th among publics and 11th overall by U.S. News & World Report, prepares the next generation of scholars, researchers, and analysts who will significantly and positively change public education. Our programs prepare students to be anti-racist education policy scholars and analysts, with a critical focus on issues of equity.

Our master’s program (M.Ed.), designed for working professions by offering late afternoon and evening courses, trains students in education policy analysis. Students gain a theoretical foundation in policy implementation, politics, school law, poverty and educational policy, and critical policy analysis. Students gain a theoretical foundation in educational policy implementation and policy analysis, both traditional and critical approaches, as well as politics, law, and poverty in educational systems. Our program prepares students for careers as policy analysts, researchers in the public and private sectors, and for entry into a doctoral program in educational policy.

The doctoral program (Ph.D.) prepares future faculty members, policy analysts, and researchers to be thoughtful scholars with a critical focus on issues of equity. Students receive rigorous training in education politics, policy implementation, organizations, race and ethnicity, gender, poverty, social and cultural contexts of education, and the economics of education. This is a full-time program of graduate study; we do not have the capacity to accept part-time students.

Our cohort model provides built-in peer support as students move through the program, while also providing opportunities for inter-generational learning and research collaborations with faculty. In addition, students work closely with faculty mentors to develop a research focus, culminating in the dissertation.

Our faculty members are nationally-recognized experts in high-stakes testing, market-based reforms, equity-minded reforms, issues of linguistic and cultural diversity, and school improvement.

Both programs employ a cohort model and start in the fall semester.

The GRE is not required for those applying for admission in the Fall of 2023 to the Education Policy and Planning program. This temporary change is due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Please note that some university-wide fellowship programs may consider GRE scores. Applicants who want to be eligible for all possible fellowships and scholarships might want to take the GRE.


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Christopher P. Brown

Professor, EPP Master's Program Coordinator

*Advising new doctoral students

Researches how early childhood stakeholders respond to and conceptualize policies affecting the education of children.

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Norma Cantú, J.D.

Ken McIntyre Professor for Excellence in School Leadership

With a background as assistant secretary of education for Civil Rights in the Clinton Administration, she teaches topics in civil rights and the intersection of law and policy in education.

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Joshua Childs

Assistant Professor

*Advising new doctoral students

Examines collaborative approaches involving community organizations and stakeholders that improve academic achievement and reduce opportunity gaps for students.

Photo of David E. DeMatthews

David E. DeMatthews

Associate Professor

*Advising new doctoral students

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.

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Terrance Green

Associate Professor

*Advising new doctoral students

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

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Jennifer Jellison Holme

Professor, Graduate Advisor

*Advising new doctoral students

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

Photo of Huriya Jabbar

Huriya Jabbar

Associate Professor, EPP Doctoral Program Coordinator

*Advising new doctoral students

Examines the social and political dimensions of market-based reforms and privatization in education, including school choice and decision-making in K-12 and higher education contexts.

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Charles Martinez, Jr.


Lee Hage Jamail Regents Chair in Education, Sid W. Richardson Regents Chair

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

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Pedro Reyes

Ashbel Smith Professor of Education Policy

*Advising new doctoral students

Focuses on school conditions that foster high academic success for children of poverty, stratification of learning opportunities for children of color, and on state policy that facilitates student success across the education pipeline.

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Angela Valenzuela


*Advising new doctoral students

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

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Sarah Woulfin

Associate Professor

*Advising new doctoral students

Uses lenses from organizational sociology to study how district administrators, school leaders, and teachers implement educational reform.

*Faculty available to advise new doctoral students.