MS Educational Policy & Leadership

Gain an understanding of education from cradle-to-career with a focus in school leadership, education policy, or global comparative education policy.

Overview of the Program
The Master of Science in Educational Policy & Leadership, a 36-credit graduate program, prepares aspiring, early-career, and mid-career individuals with the knowledge and skills to take on leadership and policy analyst roles in schools, colleges and universities as well as governmental, non-governmental, and non-profit organizations that shape the policy contexts in which education operates. Students are exposed to a comprehensive curriculum that prepares them through an academic experience guided by a global vision of education, rigorous inquiry, and transformative practice.

Students who enter the MS degree will be exposed to an engaged intellectual community, interdisciplinary perspectives on educational leadership and policy that capture the complexities of the sector, and a faculty comprised of leading scholars and seasoned professionals that provide a unique learning experience that prepares you to be a leader of tomorrow in New York, across the United States or around the world. More about the global engagements of the department can be found here.

Students can pursue their degree program either part-time or full-time through a combination of face-to-face and online courses. Many courses are offered in a hybrid format that uses combination of face-to-face and web-enabled learning that allows students to develop personal connections with classmates and pursue their education in a more flexible format.

Special note to students seeking New York State certification in school leadership: The MS degree program delineated here 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 School Leadership Certification programs offered by EPL.

For more information about the program, please contact Dr. Gina Giuliano, the Departmental Advisor at General inquiries about the department can be directed to Ms. Maria Moon, Department Coordinator, at

Applying for the Program
Formal application to the program can be made here:

Applications for the MS in Educational Policy & Leadership are considered on a rolling basis and students may start in the summer, fall, or spring term. All applications are reviewed by the departmental admissions committee and students are notified by the University of all official decisions. The Chair of the EPL Admissions Committee is Dr. Gilbert Valverde and he can be contacted at

Requirements for admission to the program include the following:

Bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university.

Official transcripts from all schools attended.

Resume or CV detailing professional and educational experience, as well as other relevant activities such as student leadership positions, community service, and/or presentations.

• Statement of Goals: Provide a 1-2 page statement of professional goals, including a brief description of your field of interest, related background, desired area of study, and research emphasis or career goals.

Three letters of reference from faculty, supervisors, and or/colleagues. It is encouraged that letters come from those that can speak to your ability to be successful in graduate school and it pursuing a career in educational policy and/or leadership.

Educational Leadership Essay: Submit one typed essay of no more than 800 words responding to your choice of the two possible topics below:

1. Summarize the leadership activities in which you have been involved in recent years and explain how these experiences reflect your vision of and capacity for leadership in education.

2. Identify a problem or challenge in a school, college, university, or other organization related to education and write an analysis in which you assess the issues(s), describe effective strategies for addressing the issue(s), and make clear the implications for the exercise of effective leadership in the situation.

Additional information about application process and requirements can be found here:

Concurrent Enrollment
Students currently enrolled in MS in Educational Policy & Leadership can apply to complete the Certificate of Graduate Study in International Education Management at the same time as their other degree. All courses can apply toward the MS degree (with consent of Advisor). Application for the certificate can be done through the MyUAlbany portal.

Program Requirements
Detailed information about the degree program and requirements can be found in the program’s student guide.

The 36 credit-hour Master of Science degree is comprised of courses in five areas:

1) Educational Policy & Leadership Core (9 credits): The educational policy and leadership core is designed to provide student with a solid foundational in analytical, theoretical, and quantitative understandings of higher education management and leadership within the broader educational ecosystem.

EAPS 600: Introduction to Organizational Leadership
• EAPS 601: Introduction to Social Analysis
• EAPS 614: Quantitative Methods in Educational Leadership

2) Concentration Courses (9 credits): Students take a minimum of 9 credits in their concentration area: School Leadership (Pre-K-12), Education Policy, or Global Comparative Education Policy.

3) Support Disciplines (6 credits): The support discipline courses allow students to strengthen their understanding of higher education from a particular disciplinary perspective. Popular disciplines include political science, history, economics, sociology, and organizational theory.

4) Electives (9 credits): Student can select 9 credits of coursework from EPL or other departments that support their career and scholarly goals within the educational policy and leadership context. Students may take EAPS 895 (internship) to acquire credit for applied learning experiences. Advisor permission is needed for the elective courses to count toward the degree program.

5) Capstone Experience (3 credits):
• EAPS 680: Seminar in Educational Policy &Leadership

Students in any of the three EPL degree programs can pursue one of three concentrations, which focus on different levels or aspects of education. While all students take the same core courses, the concentrations allow students to explore in more depth issues related to specific aspects of educational leadership or policy. In consultation with their advisor, students should select a concentration that reflects their career goals and interests.

-School Leadership
The "School Leadership" concentration prepares students for leadership positions in all levels and types of schools and school districts as well as governmental and non-governmental organizations that deal with this level education, within NY, across the U.S. and around the globe. In also provides a solid foundation for those students interested in pursuing doctoral study in school leadership at the University at Albany or other leading universities. NOTE: this degree does not lead to educational leadership certification in NYS.

-Educational Policy Analysis
The concentration "Educational Policy Analysis" is designed to prepare students for leadership and administrative positions in state, national and international organizations. This concentration focuses on approaches to educational policy formation and implementation that originate in the social sciences and philosophy. Graduates in this program work in wide range of policy venues, including state agencies, legislative offices, the executive chamber, non-profit organizations, and foundations. This concentration also prepares students to pursue doctoral study in educational policy at the University at Albany or other leading universities.

-Global Comparative Education Policy
The Global Comparative Education Policy concentration prepares students to focus on global education policy from pre-primary to graduate education and beyond. The emphasis is on comparative and international education as applied to the study of educational and related policies at all stages: from agenda-setting to implementation, including adoption, monitoring and evaluation. Graduates will be prepared to become educational leaders, academics or analysts in governments, universities and schools, international banks, development assistance agencies, non-governmental organizations, think tanks and private sector companies. EPL alumni work for foreign ministries of education as well as non-governmental organizations such as the World Bank, Asian Development Bank, UNESCO and others