Master of Science Program
Student Guide to the Master of Science Degree Program
Special note to students seeking New York State certification in school leadership: The MS degree program delineated in this guide is not designed to lead to New York State certification as a School Building Leader, School District Business Leader, or School District Leader. Students seeking New York State school leadership certification should refer to the guide on the Advanced Graduate Certificate programs offered by EPL.
This page serves as a guide for students in the 36 credit hour master's degree program in the Department of Educational Policy and Leadership (EPL) at UAlbany. Students must meet certain requirements as they proceed through the program. These requirements are as follows:
- Core Courses
The core requirements consist of three courses which must be completed by all MS degree students in EAPS:
- EAPS 600 Introduction to Organizational Analysis
- EAPS 601 Introduction to Social Analysis
- EAPS 614 Quantitative Methods
Students must satisfy the department's statistics requirement by passing EAPS 614, by completing an approved equivalent quantitative research methods course with a grade of "B" or better, or by passing a research methods qualifying examination based upon the cumulative final examination of EAPS 614. >>CLOSE
- Concentration Courses
At least 9 credits of course work in the MS degree program must be completed in a concentration area. The Department offers three concentrations of study:
This concentration provides students with a working knowledge of social science and philosophical approaches to policy adoption and implementation. It is suitable for students preparing for education policy and leadership roles in government, policy positions in research and advocacy organizations, and university faculty positions.
Higher Education Leadership
This concentration prepares students for leadership, policy and faculty positions in post-secondary and related institutions. It may also be used to prepare for leadership and staff positions in adult and continuing education programs in other educational, business, industrial, and labor organizations.
This concentration prepares students for leadership positions in preschool, elementary, and secondary schools, and university faculty appointments in the area of school leadership. As noted above, the MS degree is not designed for students who seek New York State certification in school leadership. The EAPS Advanced Graduate Certificate programs (see separate guide) are designed for students who seek New York State school leadership certification. >>CLOSE
- Support Disciplines
The study of educational administration and policy requires the use of many concepts drawn from the social and behavioral sciences. In order to ensure that students understand social science concepts and insights, the Department requires a minimum of 6 credits in appropriate course work. Examples of courses that satisfy this requirement are listed below. This is not an exclusive or exhaustive list.
- EAPS 500 US Educational Governance, Policy, and Administration
- EAPS 570 Introduction to Law and Education
- EAPS 602 Economics of Education
- EAPS 604 Macro-Sociology of Education and Administration
- EAPS 605 Micro-Sociology of Education and Administration
- EAPS 606 Ethics and Education
- EAPS 608 Politics of Education
- EAPS 609 Leadership for Cradle to Career Education Systems
- EAPS 618 Family and Community Partnerships
- EAPS 631 Public School Finance
- EAPS 656 Sociology of Higher Education
- EAPS 657 History of Higher Education
- EAPS 658 Politics of Higher Education
- EAPS 674 Educational Administration in Federal and State Governments
- EAPS 718 Interprofessional Leadership for School, Family, and Community Partnerships
- EAPS 750 Higher Education Finance
- EAPS 770 Educational Policy and Law
- EPHL 601 Philosophy of Education
Other appropriate social science courses offered by EPL, other departments, or other institutions may also fulfill the support disciplines requirement. All courses on the student’s MS program plan must be approved by the student’s advisor and the EPL Curriculum Committee. >>CLOSE
Elective courses should support the student’s concentration and are not unrestricted choices; electives should be selected in consultation with the academic advisor. The student must complete a minimum of 9 credits in this category. >>CLOSE
- Internship (optional)
Note : Note: The internship requirements for the MS degree delineated below do not apply to students seeking New York State school leadership certification. Students who seek such certification should be enrolled in one of the EAPS Advanced Graduate Certificate (AGC) programs and participate in the year-long internship course sequence of the AGC program (see separate AGC guide). While not required, an internship may be included in the MS degree program for the purposes of enhancing the student’s academic and professional development. Upon approval of the advisor and Curriculum Committee, the internship typically qualifies as a course in the electives category of the MS degree program plan. The student, advisor, and Coordinator of Field Experiences determine the specific internship experience that would be beneficial for the student’s program of study. The student then produces an internship plan which is submitted for approval by the advisor, Coordinator of Field Experiences, and Curriculum Committee. The plan must specify the roles and responsibilities of the intern,dates and hours to be devoted to the internship, and projects to be completed by the intern. The plan must show a minimum of 300 hours.
The student should apply to the Coordinator of Field Experiences at least two months before the start of the semester during which the internship experience is anticipated. The required internship forms (an application and an internship agreement) are available on the EAPS website or from the Department. The Department Coordinator of Field Experiences works with the student and internship site personnel to finalize an appropriate internship experience.
The internship is typically arranged after the student has completed at least 27 credits of his or her program, of which a minimum of 15 credits must have been completed in the EAPS department. Students must have a grade point average of “B” or better in the MS degree program in order to complete the internship. >>CLOSE
- Research Requirement
The fulfillment of the research requirement is the culmination of the MS degree program. Students may select a non-thesis or thesis option to meet the requirement. Students must have a grade point average of “B” or better in the MS degree program in order to complete the research requirement.
Non-thesis option. Students who select this option must complete EAPS 680 Seminar in Educational Administration. Each student is expected to complete a major research paper on a topic in educational leadership and policy. The project should demonstrate the student’s ability to utilize one or more research tools.
Thesis option. Students who select the thesis option must complete EAPS 699, Master’s Thesis, for 3 to 6 credits. Regulations concerning the preparation and submission of a Master’s thesis are in the U-Albany Graduate Bulletin.
Research Involving Human Participants Federal, state, and university regulations require prior approval of all plans for research involving human participants. All research involving human participants (including class projects and theses) must be approved by the U-Albany Institutional Review Board (IRB) prior to conducting the research. Further information and requirements are available from the U-Albany Office for Research. >>CLOSE
- Transfer Credit and Advanced Standing
Applicants who have completed graduate coursework elsewhere, may apply for admission with advanced standing or transfer credit. A maximum of 12 credits may be transferred into the MS program with no more than 10 credits in advanced standing.
Upon recommendation of the student's advisor and concurrence of the Curriculum Committee, courses completed outside the Department in which the student receives a grade of “B” or better and which are comparable to Department graduate courses, may be accepted for credit toward the MS degree. Courses completed more than 10 years prior to the semester in which the student is admitted to the MS degree program undergo special scrutiny by the advisor and Curriculum Committee.
Students who wish to apply for credit for graduate courses completed prior to the EAPS MS degree program must submit the Advanced Standing or Transfer Credit form to the advisor and Curriculum Committee for approval. “Advanced Standing” refers to graduate courses completed as part of a prior degree that has been received by the student. “Transfer Credit” is awarded for graduate courses completed elsewhere that did not culminate in a degree. Additional information on advanced standing and transfer credit policies and the requisite forms are available on the EAPS website or from the Department. >>CLOSE
- Academic Standards
As noted above, students must have a grade point average of “B” or better in the MS degree program in order to be eligible to complete the research requirement (EAPS 680 or EAPS 699) and the internship (EAPS 895). Students must also have a grade point average of “B” or better in the MS degree program in order to receive the MS degree.
The candidacy of a student who receives a grade of “U” (Unsatisfactory) in EAPS 680, EAPS 699, or EAPS 895 is terminated unless an exception is recommended by the Department. Such students may not register for further study unless reinstated. >>CLOSE
- Statute of Limitations
All requirements for the MS degree must be completed within six calendar years from the date of initial registration in the program, unless an extension is granted. This provision applies equally to students who enter with or without advanced standing or transfer credit. >>CLOSE