Education Policy, MSEd

The M.S.Ed. in Education Policy equips students with the knowledge and methodological tools to understand, evaluate, and implement programs and policies that impact students and communities across the country and around the world. Our graduates go on to take leading roles in such organizations as school districts, federal and state departments of education, education policy research institutes, and education-related non-profit organizations.


M.S.Ed. students in Education Policy must complete 10 course units, in accordance with the curriculum outlined below, including the Education Policy Research Practicum (which fulfills the Comprehensive Examination requirement) and the Distribution Requirement. All degree candidates must maintain a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0.

Master’s degree candidates must demonstrate thorough knowledge of the field of specialization by completing the Education Policy Research Practicum. The Practicum serves an educational and evaluative purpose through which students are expected to review, integrate, and apply what they have learned over the course of their degree.

Disciplinary Foundations Course2
Select two of the following:
Philosophical Aspects of Education Policy
American Education Reform: History, Policy, Practice
Sociology of Education
Economic Aspects of Educational Policy
The Social Organization of Schooling
Required Methods Courses2
Introductory Statistics for Educational Research
Select one of the following required courses:
Methods of Economic Evaluation in Education
Applied Policy Analysis
Education Policy Courses3
Select three of the following:
International Early Childhood Policies and Programs
Policy Planning in International Educational Development: Theory and Practice
Economics of Education in Developing Countries
School and Society in America
Applied Research Methods to Inform Policy and Practice
Politics of School Reform
Principles of Monitoring & Evaluation in International Education Development
Education Finance Policy
Risk, Resilience, and Prevention Science
Education Policy Research Practicum (fulfills MSEd Capstone Requirement) 11
Education Policy Research Practicum
Another practicum course can be taken with approval from faculty advisor
Distribution Requirement 2
Elective Courses2
Select 2 electives 3
Total Course Units10

Required Milestones:

Comprehensive Examination (or Portfolio or Thesis)  

Master’s degree candidates must demonstrate thorough knowledge of the field of specialization by passing a comprehensive examination in their area of study. The examination/portfolio/thesis serves an educational and evaluative purpose through which students are expected to review and integrate what they have learned in their coursework and fieldwork. Comprehensive formats vary. 


Fulfills MSEd Comprehensive examination. Must be B or better.


Candidates for the M.S.Ed. degree must demonstrate knowledge of the field of education beyond the area of specialization. This requirement is met by satisfying the distribution requirement. To meet the distribution requirement, students must complete one approved graduate level (5000 and above) GSE course outside the student’s area of specialization, earning a grade of “B” or  better. Students should check with their program manager for a list of courses approved to fulfill the distribution requirement. 


Elective courses may be taken at any school at Penn.  Any of courses listed  in #1, #3 and #4 can qualify as elective courses as long as they are not fulfilling other degree requirements. Courses must be at the 5000 level or above and taken for a letter grade (no pass/fail). Students must consult their academic advisor before enrolling in any course outside of the GSE.

The degree and major requirements displayed are intended as a guide for students entering in the Fall of 2023 and later. Students should consult with their academic program regarding final certifications and requirements for graduation.