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Education Policy Drives Social Change

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Our MEd in Education Policy and Leadership gives students the tools to shape the future of education. The EPL program has two tracks:

  • Policy Studies track prepares educators and other professionals to serve as leaders in education organizations. Students gain the knowledge and skills in leadership, policy, law, economics, and research to effectively administer education programs and policies at all levels.
  • Teacher Leadership track prepares current educators to provide support and shape school-improvement efforts in areas of literacy, dyslexia, or STEM. Students develop deeper knowledge about how to support teachers and school-wide change, including learning about coaching, data use, curriculum design, and research methodology.
  • 30-unit master's degree that can be completed in four or five semesters
  • Cohort model for full-time teachers and other education professionals
  • Full-time faculty and expert practitioners who bring policy, research, and school experience
  • Practical consultancy projects with schools and DC education policy organizations
  • Special emphasis on implementation and on connecting policy to education practice
  • Support for identifying career pathways

See full Admissions & Degree Requirements.

You are bound to benefit from our location in the heart of Washington, DC. We arrange structured field experiences with partner organizations all around the Nation's capital, such as Education Trust, the DC Public Charter School Board, the Center for American Progress, the Council of the Chief State School Officers, and the Office of the State Superintendent of Education. Through these experiences, students help the partner organizations advance their work, while gaining valuable real-world experience and applying the skills and knowledge learned through their study. Check out this article on our proseminar experience.

The EPL program’s full-time faculty are leaders in the field of education policy and leadership.  Program Director Jason Snyder, who teaches education law, served in senior roles in the U.S. Department of Education.  Associate Professor Dr. Jennifer Steele is an accomplished quantitative researcher who teaches statistics and program evaluation courses in the program. Another full-time professor, Kaili Baucum, has extensive experience collaborating with school districts across the country. The program’s instructors also include experienced practitioners like leadership-instructor Pete Weber, who recently served as chief of staff to the DC Public Schools Chancellor. Whether you enroll in our online or on-campus format, you can look forward to developing important and lasting mentor relationships with the professors you'll meet here.

See Faculty profiles.

The EPL program offers its students dedicated support in identifying career pathways and job opportunities.  We host career panels and networking events so that students can make connections and better understand the career options available.  In addition, faculty member Melissa Turner provides individual counseling to help students set professional goals, review resumes and covers letter, and talk through the job application process.


Partnership programs are available for corps members, alumni, and staff of the following organizations. Check out the benefits by clicking the links below:


Four students standing in front of the Capitol

Preparing Teachers to Lead

AU's MEd now offers tracks in policy and teacher leadership.

Learn More

Professor lecturing in a classroom

State of the Student

Jason Snyder and the reshaping of AU's Education Policy and Leadership Program

Read More

Students with Education Secretary John King

Students with Education Secretary John King

Dr. King and EPL students discussed education policy issues at the US Department of Education

More Program Information

students presenting their final project

Making a Difference in the Field

EPL students complete consultancy projects for DC-based education organizations.


More News

Alumni speaking at a career panel

Speaking from the Field

Panelists speak about the education field and their experiences helping to improve K-12 education.

More Information

Professor Steele

Inspiring Pathways to Education Policy

Researching how good data analysis leads to good education policy decisions.

Research News

Frequently Asked Questions

Students who complete the Policy Studies track are prepared to join a wide array of education organizations, like school district central offices, state educational organizations, education nonprofits, and the US Department of Education. Graduates of the Teacher Leadership track are prepared to become coaches, department chairs, team leaders, and reading specialists, and to fill other teacher-leader positions within schools. Program alumni have worked at DC Public Schools central office, New America, KIPP, The New Teacher Project, DC Board of Education, EL Haynes Public Charter Schools, RAND, the US Department of Education, and many other organizations both locally and around the country.

The program is 30 credit hours. 

 No. We require a statement of purpose, resume, transcript(s), and two letters of recommendation. 
*For students with one of our partnership programs, one or more letters may be waived, as well as the application fee.

 The proseminar course is designed specifically to give students hands-on practical experience. The course is structured so that small groups of students work as consultants with education-focused organizations in the DC area. Each group works directly with their organization to conduct research and create products which meet the specified needs of the organization.

Yes, the program was designed to accommodate students who work full-time. Classes are held in the evening from 5:30-8:00 pm.

For our on-campus Fall 2018 cohort, application deadlines are as follows:

February 1: Priority Deadline (to be considered for merit)

March 1: Second Priority Deadline

We admit on a rolling basis after March 1.

If you are interested in our online program please visit our online page.

Still have questions? Send us an email: