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Master's Program
in Education Policy

A Catalyst
for Change.
A Commitment
to the Future.
Are you inspired to be a catalyst for education change? Then a Warner degree in education policy should be in your future.
At the Warner School of Education, our master’s degree in education policy will help you serve as a catalyst for change, preparing you to be successful in influencing and leading policy creation and implementation across diverse educational settings.

Warner’s innovative education policy program provides students the opportunity to examine and understand contemporary policy issues impacting the educational spectrum. It delivers students the in-depth knowledge and strategic skills and tools to design, implement, and evaluate educational policies at the local, state, federal, and even international levels. Students learn to apply a variety of conceptual, theoretical, and analytic frameworks - including ones from sociology, politics, economics, finance, and law – and how they can impact education policy.

This ensures our graduates are well prepared to apply their deep and diverse understanding, knowledge, and skills in educational policy to support any number of research, governmental, non-profit, community, school district, and higher education organizations.
For current students: INFORMATION AND RESOURCES
Complete in Just One Year of Full-Time Study

Program Quickview

The master's program in education policy is for students interested in having an impact on preschool, K-12, and/or higher education at a systems level, as well as for current educators who want to understand better how policies impact their work and ways they can impact policy.

If you are interested in other educational leadership programs, check our Related Programs.
Prerequisites:
  • A bachelor’s degree in any field.
Key Program Features:
  • Minimum Credits: 30 graduate credits.
  • Customizable: Includes a mix of rigorous core/specialization courses and elective courses to enable you to tailor the program to your career interests and needs. You also can add an Advanced Certificate in Program Evaluation for only three credits.
  • Culminating Experience: You can take the form of a master’s thesis or a field-based internship or research experience, enabling you to prepare for the next step in your career and/or advanced education.
  • Flexible: Program can be completed full-time or part-time, allowing you to start any semester and go at your own pace. Full-time students complete the program in only three semesters.
  • Hybrid-Online Offerings: Option to take some required and elective courses fully online or hybrid-online.
  • Supportive Environment: Engage with full-time faculty and peers at the master’s and doctoral levels, both inside and outside the classroom. Work with a dedicated faculty advisor to tailor the program to suit your academic and career goals.

Warner Master's Programs in Education Policy

M.S. in Education Policy (AT2)
Warner’s 30-credit master’s in education policy provides an interdisciplinary program that equips students with the knowledge and tools to influence, design, implement, and/or evaluate local, state, national, and/or international policies.                                            
Opportunities for Additional Specialization (requiring as little as 3 additional credits, depending on choices made for electives) 
  • Advanced Certificate in Program Evaluation: To strengthen your research and skills in planning and conducting evaluations of existing programs.
  • Advanced Certificate in Urban Teaching and Leadership: To to better understand racially, ethnically, and socioeconomically diverse urban settings.
  • Advanced Certificate in Online Teaching: To be more competitive for positions that may involve teaching online.
Contact Admissions  if you wish to speak with a faculty member in your area to better understand which option and enhancements will best meet your career goals.
professor and three students in caps and gowns at graduation

Our Approach

Creating Educational Leaders Who Can Make a Broad Impact

The Warner School's master’s program in education policy brings together students from a variety of academic disciplines and backgrounds who share a common goal of making a broad impact on education. The program combines rigorous, core research and interdisciplinary policy courses with elective options during the coursework and culminating project stages to enable students to design a program of study to meet their unique academic and career goals.
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Learn More About Warner's Approach to Education Policy

The Warner School's master's in education policy has been designed to provide students with the opportunity to examine contemporary educational issues at multiple levels (i.e., pre-kindergarten, elementary/secondary, higher education) and equips students with the knowledge and tools to design, implement, and evaluate local, state, federal, and/or international policies.

This innovative 30-credit-hour graduate program is structured to impart a set of core skills and competencies that are necessary for successful careers in educational policy. The interdisciplinary nature of the program allows students to consider and apply a variety of conceptual, theoretical, and analytic frameworks (i.e., sociology, politics, economics, finance, law) to educational issues. It also provides students with the opportunity to gain important analytic skills through coursework in quantitative and/or qualitative research methods.
 
A distinguishing feature of the program is the culminating master’s project, which can take the form of a master’s essay/thesis or a field-based internship or research project, depending on each student’s interests and career goals. The field-based options enable students to apply what they have learned in the classroom to current issues in local settings. Recent graduates have completed field projects with Warner faculty members and in Rochester-area school districts, higher education institutions, and advocacy, policy, and non-profit organizations. Students who pursue a field-based option are required to submit a final portfolio of their work.

The Warner Advantage

Preparing Graduates to Innovate, Advocate, and Elevate.

Warner will give you the highest-quality preparation for a career in education policy.
  • Be challenged to become an innovator and a thought leader by learning the necessary skills to effect change at the local, state, national, and/or international levels.
  • Leverage the reputation of a leading research university to give your degree even more recognition.
  • Take advantage of options associated with the culminating master’s project to develop and demonstrate your skills to prospective employers and/or doctoral-level programs.
  • Network with the best and the brightest peers at the master’s and doctoral levels.
  • Learn from an accessible, supportive faculty of researchers and accomplished practitioners who will prepare you to think critically, promote inclusivity, and utilize theory and evidence to adapt to and address ever-changing challenges in preschool, K-12, and/or higher education.
  • Leverage Warner’s relationships with a rich array of policy, advocacy, and educational organizations in the Rochester region to find opportunities for a field-based internship.
  • Shorten your path to a doctoral degree by earning transferable credits.
Our affordable and flexible programs are designed to meet the diverse needs of our students.
  • Program can be completed in as little as two years of part-time study while working or three semesters of full-time study.
  • Start the program in any semester and go at your own pace.
  • Take advantage of online learning options to reduce trips to campus.
  • Customize your program by choosing elective courses that align with your academic and career goals or enable you to add an advanced certificate to your degree program.
  • Are you a University of Rochester employee? Make sure you make full use of your tuition benefits.

Career Opportunities

Advancing Education. And Your Career to the Next Level.

Students enter the program with varied backgrounds and interests and pursue different opportunities following graduation.

Warner’s master’s degree in education policy prepares students for entry- and mid-level positions as policy analysts, research analysts, policy researchers, program analysts, policy/program evaluators, policy advocates, and institutional researchers in a variety of institutions – including policy, advocacy, research, governmental, non-profit, consulting, and educational organizations in the United States and abroad.

The program also prepares students to pursue a doctoral degree in education policy, public policy, law, or a related field.

Some of our graduates have entered or continued teaching in K-12 schools (Note, however, that this degree does not lead to NYS teaching certification so teaching options will depend on certification requirements associated with the position of interest).

Recent graduates have been hired in a variety of organizations, including the American Institutes for Research, WestEd, Office of the State Superintendent of Education (Washington, D.C.), National Human Resource Association, Child Trends, Inc., Cesar Chavez Charter School for Public Policy, EnCompass: Resources for Learning, the Rochester City School District, and the University of Rochester.
Graduation cap that reads Nevertheless I Persist 2017

Faculty

An Accessible, Supportive Faculty of Researchers and Accomplished Practitioners.

Kara Finnigan, PhD
Education Policy Program Director
LeChase Hall 414
(585) 275-9942
kfinnigan@warner.rochester.edu

Scholarships

Making Warner Affordable.

Many of our education policy students benefit from merit-based scholarships that significantly decrease tuition costs.

Contact admissions for more information about merit-based scholarships.

Are you a UR Employee? Inquire about your tuition benefits. If eligible, up to 95% of your tuition costs can be covered depending on your position. Contact the UR Benefits Office at benefitoffice@rochester.edu.
meliora flag pole

Try Us Out

A Warner Degree Opens Doors. Open Ours to See Why.

Do you want to have a taste of what Warner can offer, before committing to one of our programs?

We invite you to come and observe one of our education policy courses. Or even better, take one of the required policy courses for a highly discounted price.

Contact admissions to arrange for a visit or learn more about opportunities for non-matriculated students.
two students laughing in class

Testimonials

Meliora Means 'Ever Better.' To Our Graduates, It Means Making a World of Difference.

  • Laura Van Laeken, Teacher, Midlakes, NY

    "The growth I’ve realized in myself is something I will be forever grateful for. I’ve learned to question, analyze, think and create in ways I never considered. I’ve changed as an educator and as a person."

    Laura Van Laeken, Teacher, Midlakes, NY

  • Dawn Santiago-Marullo, Superintendent, Victor, NY

    "The most important thing I received there was the opportunity to be immersed in the study of education and leadership with very talented people, that think-tank mentality of being surrounded by the best of the best. The intellectual stimulation from both the staff and fellow classmates really did allow me to think about things differently."

    Dawn Santiago-Marullo, Superintendent, Victor, NY

  • Jeremy Friedman, Research Associate, Harlem Children's Zone, New York, NY

    “When it came time to interview for jobs, it was very easy for me to talk about anything in the field, and that set me apart,” he says. “You name it, and I had at least one experience in it—largely due to Warner.”

    Jeremy Friedman, Research Associate, Harlem Children's Zone, New York, NY

  • Shannon Walton, Sports Performance Counselor, Rochester, NY

    “I had a very unique situation. I wasn’t going down the typical path of a Warner student, and the school was just so flexible and supportive.”

    Shannon Walton, Sports Performance Counselor, Rochester, NY

  • Jody Goodman, Program Director, UMass Amherst

    “As educators, it’s our job to make sure we’re giving students the knowledge to be successful when they move on in their life….Warner was the best grad school experience I’ve ever had because it prepared me extremely well to jump into my career, and I will forever be grateful for that.”

    Jody Goodman, Program Director, UMass Amherst

  • Beatriz M. Folch-Torres, MD, Rochester, NY

    “It was more than I expected. Not only what I learned in the program, which I’ve been able to put into practice every day since, but also the connections I was able to make and the relationships I was able to form."

    Beatriz M. Folch-Torres, MD, Rochester, NY

Contact Admissions

The admissions team looks forward to assisting you as you explore graduate education at the Warner School. Please feel free to use the form below to contact us with any questions. You can also email us at admissions@warner.rochester.edu or call (585) 275-3950.


Application Deadlines

January 15
March 15
June 15
October 15


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