MA in Education and Social Policy

MA in Education and Social Policy
Study Education Policy at NYU

Educational inequity is a worldwide concern, and professionals who can evaluate education policies and craft reforms are in high demand. Rooted in economics and sociology, this master of arts degree will give you the competitive skills and experience for a career in education policy analysis. Learn how to use tools of data science, statistics, large datasets, and rigorous research designs to formulate, evaluate, and analyze education policies, from the national No Child Left Behind Act to local or state policies like New York City's Children First initiative. 

What you'll learn

As a student in this program, you will work closely with faculty from NYU Steinhardt and NYU’s Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service to learn: 

  • How to use principles of economics and sociology to analyze K-12 and higher education policies
  • How to conduct descriptive and inferential statistical analyses using large longitudinal education databases
  • How to interpret and identify causal effects of programs and policies and apply conclusions to make policy recommendations
  • An understanding of the policies already implemented as well as the need for additional policies in your chosen area of focus. You will be able to participate in quantitative studies to further evaluate existing policies and to provide evidence on the possible effects of new policies.
  • Principles of management, planning, and policymaking in the public and nonprofit sectors

See the curriculum and requirements for the MA in Education and Social Policy and see sample course schedules

How you'll learn

Apply Tools of Data Science to Education Policy
The curriculum places a strong emphasis on using quantitative methods to ascertain causal effects of programs and policies. Dive deeper into tools that use the various sources of data available publicly and from administrative sources to craft and evaluate policies and programs.

Foundation Courses in Sociology, Economics, and Statistics 
You'll begin your studies with a course in statistics and progress through more rigorous analytical courses, including regression and econometrics. You will also complete coursework in economics, policy, and sociology of education. No prior knowledge of statistics or education policy is required.

Areas of Focus 
You'll have the opportunity to specialize in one of the following policy areas: higher education, race and class, international education or K-12 education.

Capstone-Practicum Course
Your program of study will culminate with a group research project that provides you with professional-level research experience. As an alternative to this capstone course, our program has partnered with Columbia University to offer selected students an opportunity to become a fellow in the Consortium for Public Research and Leadership(CPRL) during their final semester of full-time study. This interdisciplinary fellowship program focuses on K-12 education reform and consists of a comprehensive seminar, skills training, and inclusion in a professionally guided consulting project with a public agency, school district or non-profit organization.

Research Opportunities
Opportunities provided by the department's placement within a large research university in New York City, one of the best urban laboratories in the nation, include our Education and Social Policy Fellows program, which offers five incoming students a $5,000 stipend to participate in faculty-led research teams at the Institute for Education and Social Policy (IESP).

Complete Your Graduate Degree in as Few as Three Semesters
You can complete this degree in three semesters as a full-time student, or in two years as a part-time student. 

Where can I work with a master's in education and social policy? 
  • School systems, reform organizations, foundations, and nonprofit organizations such as New Visions for Public Schools or Teach for America
  • Government education policy agencies like state or city departments of education
  • Research organizations such as MDRC, Urban Institute, or Mathematica
  • Advocacy or single-interest organizations such as the Annenberg Institute for School Reform, the New Teacher Project, or the Center for Education Reform
What options do I have to study education policy at NYU?

In addition to the MA in Education and Social Policy, NYU Steinhardt offers students two other degrees in education policy and to prepare for a career in this field. We encourage you to explore these options further to find the program that best matches your personal interests and career goals.

Program benefits for international students

If you’re an international student, you may be able to work in the United States after graduation for an extended period of time. Most students studying on F-1 visas will be eligible for 12 months of Optional Practical Training (OPT) off-campus work authorization. F-1 students in this program may also be eligible for STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, or Mathematics) OPT extension, allowing you to extend your time in the United States to pursue degree-related work experience for a total of 36 months or 3 years. For more information on who can apply for this extension and how, see NYU’s Office of Global Services: STEM OPT.

For more information about the MA in Education and Social Policy, please contact