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 M.S. degree program does not lead to New York State certification as a School Building Leader (SBL), School District Business Leader (SDBL), or School District Leader (SDL). Students seeking New York State school leadership certification should refer to the guide on the Advanced Graduate Certificate programs offered by EAPS.

This document guides students in the M.S. degree program in the Department of Educational Administration and Policy Studies (EAPS) at U-Albany. Students must meet certain requirements as they proceed through the program. These requirements are as follows:

Core Courses

All M.S. degree students in EAPS must take these three core courses:

  • 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.

Concentration Courses

M.S. degree program students must complete at least 9 credits of course work in a concentration area. The Department offers three concentrations of study:

Higher Education Leadership

This concentration prepares students for administrative, policy and faculty positions in post-secondary and related institutions. In addition, it may be used to prepare for administrative and staff positions in adult and continuing education programs in other educational, business, industrial, and labor organizations.

Educational Policy

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 administrative roles in government, policy positions with research and advocacy organizations, and university faculty positions.

School Leadership

This concentration prepares students for (1) administrative positions in preschools, elementary schools, secondary schools, and other educational organizations, and (2) faculty positions in school administration at the university level. As noted above, the M.S. degree is not for students who seek New York State certification in school leadership. The EAPS Advanced Graduate Certificate programs (see separate guide) are for students who seek New York State school leadership certification.

Support Disciplines

The study of educational administration and policy requires the use of many concepts drawn from the social and behavioral sciences. To ensure that students are exposed to these disciplines, the Department requires a minimum of 6 credits in appropriate course work. The following EAPS courses satisfy this requirement:

  • EAPS 602 Economics of Education
  • EAPS 603 Political Economy of Educational Planning
  • 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 610 Organizational Development
  • EAPS 631 Public School Finance
  • EAPS 656 Sociology of Higher Education
  • EAPS 657 History of Education
  • EAPS 658 Politics of Higher Education
  • EAPS 674 Educational Administration in Federal and State Governments
  • EAPS 718 Interprofessional Leadership for School, Family, Community Partnerships
  • EAPS 750 Higher Education Finance
  • EAPS 751 Higher Education and the Law
  • EAPS 771 Educational Policy and Law
  • EAPS 727 Politics of Private and Independent School and College Administration
  • EAPS 745 Advanced Seminar in the Politics of Education
  • EPHL 601 Philosophy of Education

Appropriate courses from other departments or institutions may also fulfill the support disciplines requirement. These courses should support the student’s concentration and are not unrestricted choices. They are subject to the approval of the student’s advisor and the EAPS Curriculum Committee.


Elective courses should support the student’s concentration and are not unrestricted choices; students should select electives in consultation with his or her academic advisor. A M.S. degree student must complete a minimum of 9 credits in this category.


Note : The internship requirements for the M.S. 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).

After completing at least 27 credits of the program, with a minimum of 15 EAPS credits, a student may participate in an internship. Students must have a grade point average of “B” or better in the M.S. degree program in order to complete the internship.

While not required, M.S. degree students may include an internship in their program for the purposes of enhancing their academic and professional development. Upon approval of the advisor and Curriculum Committee, an internship typically qualifies as a course in the electives category of a student's M.S. degree program plan. A student, his or her advisor, and the Coordinator of Field Experiences determine the specific internship experience that would be most 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 opening 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 personnel at the internship site to finalize an appropriate internship experience.

Research Requirement

The culmination of the M.S. degree program is the fulfillment of the research requirement. Students may select a thesis or a non-thesis option to meet the requirement. Students must have a grade point average of “B” or better in the M.S. 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 within the student’s concentration area. The project should demonstrate the student’s ability to utilize one or more research tools.

Thesis option. Students who select the thesis option must take EAPS 699, Master’s Thesis, for 3 to 6 credits. Regulations concerning the preparation and submission of a Master’s thesis are found in the current Graduate Bulletin of SUNY Albany.

Prior to engaging in any research involving human participants, student’s research plans must be approved by the U-Albany Institutional Review Board (IRB). Federal, state, and university regulations require prior approval of all plans for research involving human participants. The IRB must review and approve all research involving human participants (including class projects and dissertations) prior to conducting research. The U-Albany Office for Research contains further information and requirements.

Transfer Credit and Advanced Standing

Applicants who have completed graduate coursework elsewhere, may apply for admission with advanced standing or transfer credit. The Department will award a maximum of 12 credits in the form of advanced standing or transfer credit.

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 above – and which are directly comparable to Department graduate courses in level, content, requirements, and credit – may be accepted for credit toward the M.S. degree. The Advisor and the Curriculum Committee will scrutinize courses completed more than 10 years prior to the semester in which the student is admitted to the M.S. degree.

Students who wish to apply for credit for graduate courses completed prior to the EAPS M.S. 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. Students may receive "Transfer Credit” for graduate courses completed elsewhere that did not culminate in a degree. The Department and the EAPS website contains additional information on the advanced standing and transfer credit policies, and the requisite forms.

Academic Standards

As noted above, students must have a grade point average of “B” or better in the M.S. degree program in order to be eligible to complete the research requirement (EAPS 680 or EAPS 699) and the internship (EAPS 895). Moreover, students must have a grade point average of “B” or better in the MS degree program in order to receive the MS degree.

Unless the Department recommends an exception, the candidacy of a student who receives a grade of “U” (Unsatisfactory) in EAPS 680, EAPS 699, or EAPS 895 is terminated; that student may not register for further study without reinstatement.

Statute of Limitations

M.S. degree students must complete all requirements for the degree within six calendar years from the date of initial registration in the program, unless the Department grants an extension. This provision applies equally to students who enter with or without advanced standing or transfer credit.