Degrees & Programs

Education Policy Studies

Help shape the future of education. What can we do to boost high school graduation rates? How can we help individual schools cope with budget shortfalls at local school districts? How do we evaluate student and teacher performance? These are just a few of the challenges that education policymakers face in the 21st century.

Creating and implementing effective education policies requires a close examination of the social and historical foundations of education in the United States and beyond. It also requires a deep understanding of sociology and economics, history and anthropology, and morality and culture.

Overview

At the IU School of Education, you’ll get a solid foundation in the theories that have influenced policy decisions over the decades. You’ll also take an intensely practical look at policy implementation and the organizational and cultural factors that affect it.

Degree options include both the Ph.D. in Education Policy Studies or a 12-hour doctoral minor in Education Policy.

Degrees

The IU School of Education offers the following degrees in Education Policy:

Ph.D. in Education Policy Studies

The program permits students to choose a concentration in comparative/international policy, U.S. higher education policy, or U.S. elementary and secondary education policy.

The program is limited to approximately 10 students per year. To be admitted, you must:

  • Have an undergraduate average of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale
  • A combined score of 1100 and an essay of 4.5 on the GRE
  • Appropriate experience in schools or other policymaking entities

Degree Requirements

Complete course descriptions and detailed degree requirements may be found in the IU Bloomington School of Education Graduate Bulletin.

You will also find these resources helpful in planning your program. 

Guidelines of Early Inquiry or Professional Development

Guidelines of Qualifying Exams and Candidacy

Options for Qualifying Examination

Major (36 cr.)

Policy Core (18 cr.)

Policy core courses are designed to provide knowledge of the basic concepts and methods of policy study.

  • H620 Seminar in Education Policy Studies
  • H622 Seminar: Issues in Education Policy
  • H623 Education Policy Research Seminar (taken three semesters)
  • A630 Economic Dimensions of Education or A631 Microeconomic Applications to Education

and two of the following:

  • A560 Political Perspectives of Education 
  • H504 History of American Education 
  • H510 Methodology of Educational Inquiry
  • H525 Anthropology of Education 
  • H540 Sociology of Education
  • H560 Education and Change in Societies
  • H631 Social and Political Philosophy and Education
  • H637 Topical Seminar

Policy Context (12 cr.)

A concentration in comparative/international education, U.S. higher education, educational leadership, or U.S. elementary and secondary education, consisting of four courses approved by your committee.

Educational Leadership Concentration

  • A653 Org. Context of Education
  • A672 Moral Dimensions of Leadership
  • A720 Foundations of Research

and one of the following:

  • A560 Political Perspectives
  • A608 Legal Perspectives or A615 Advanced School Law
  • A670 Topical Seminar (with advisor approval)
  • A671 Planning and Change
  • A754 Seminar in Research 

Higher Education Concentration

  • A653 Organizational Context of Education
  • C654 Higher Education in the US
  • C665 Higher Education Administration
  • C670 Problems in Financing Higher Education
  • C695 Academic Problems in Higher Education
  • C705 Legal Aspects of Higher Education
  • C750 Topical Seminar
  • C760 Internship in Administration 

International and Comparative Education

  • H551 Comparative Education I
  • H552 Comparative Education II
  • H590 Individual Inquiry
  • H637 Topical Seminar

The following courses may be taken for credit in any of the concentration areas:

  • A653 Organizational Context of Education
  • C655 Higher Education and Public Policy
  • H551 Comparative Education I

Inquiry in the Major (6 cr.)

Directed Research - Choose one of the following:

  • A/C/H590 Individual Inquiry
  • A695 Practicum in School Administration
  • C760 Internship in Administration

Linkage Course - Choose one of the following:

  • A608 Legal Perspectives on Education
  • C788 Seminar in Research in Higher Education
  • H504 History of American Education
  • H525 Anthropology of Education
  • H530 Philosophy of Education
  • H540 Sociology of Education
  • H552 International/Comparative Education II
  • H601 Historical Inquiry in Education

Inquiry (12 cr.)

  • Y520 Strategies for Educational Inquiry or H510 Foundations of Educational Inquiry or Y521 Methodological Approaches to Educational Inquiry
  • Y502 Intermediate Statistics Applied to Education
  • Y611 Qualitative Inquiry in Education or Y612 Critical Qualitative Inquiry I or other approved course in qualitative analysis
  • Intermediate/advanced methods course, with the approval of your committee

Minor (12 cr.)

The minor must have integrity in its own right and must complement the major. The minor field must demonstrate wholeness within itself and contribute to the student's overall doctoral program. Minors are typically formulated within a single program area. Major area courses may not be used in the minor.

An interdepartmental minor is also possible. If courses in the minor are from more than one program area, a written description of the minor's underlying theme must be provided, along with a rationale for each course's contribution to that theme.

Electives or Second Minor (6 cr. minimum)

The minimum of six elective credit hours is intended to ensure that students have flexibility in their programs, and to restrict academic programs from stipulating all of the minimum 90 credit hours of the doctoral program. It is expected that most students will have more than six elective credit hours. Elective courses must be relevant to the student's program of studies.

Dissertation (15 cr. minimum)

  • H795 Dissertation Proposal Preparation (3 cr.)
  • H799 Doctoral Thesis in Education Policy (12 cr.)
Ph.D. Minor in Education Policy

The Minor in Education Policy Studies permits doctoral students majoring in other education fields or academic fields outside the School of Education to learn basic concepts, analytic techniques, and issues in the study of contemporary education policy at the state, national, and international levels.

Required Coursework
This minor contains two required core offerings, and two electives.

The two core courses are:

  • H620 - Seminar in Educational Policy Studies
  • H622 - Seminar: Issues in Education Policy

In addition to these two core courses, students pursuing the minor select two additional courses that help to acquaint them with fundamental areas relevant to policy studies: the context of policy, the politics of the policy process, the legal and financial aspects of policy, and topical issues courses.

These courses include:

  • A560 Political Perspectives on Education
  • A608 - Legal Perspectives on Education
  • A630 Economic Dimensions of Education
  • C670 Problems in Financing Higher Education
  • C705 Legal Aspects of Higher Education
  • H504 History of American Education
  • H525 Anthropology of Education
  • H540 Sociology of Education
  • H560 Education and Social Change
  • H631 Social and Political Philosophy and Education
  • H637 Topical Seminar - Appropriate Topic

Courses selected for the minor may not be used to meet substantive core requirements, and may not be from the student’s primary field of specialization.

Advisement

Please contact a member of the Education Policy Studies faculty for assistance in planning a program of studies to meet the requirements of the minor.

Faculty

In keeping with the broad scope of our course offerings and research specialties, our faculty comes from a wide range of backgrounds. They are law, sociology, economics, and education scholars. They also bring real-world experience in developing education policy as school and university administrators, institutional researchers, and state and federal education officials.

Students

Careers

Prepare for a career as a policy leader, faculty member, university or school administrator. We boast an excellent placement rate for graduates of our program.

Contact

For detailed program information, please contact:

Sandy Strain
W.W. Wright Education Building, Room 4228
Bloomington, Indiana 47405
Phone: (812) 856-8370
Fax: (812) 856-8374
Email: strain@indiana.edu