Education Policy


Our Education Policy program provides a theoretical foundation and appropriate, research-based methods. Our graduates know how to prove their recommendations will work, which empowers them to make broader changes in education policy.

The Curry Impact

School policy decisions effect the entire community, but most of these policies are decided by politicians who have not had formal teaching or school administration experience. They are responsible for making decisions about the way schools are organized, how teachers are prepared and who is held accountable for student outcomes, but they lack good evidence on which to base their decisions. That’s where you come in, providing evidence-based research results and proven-effective methods that educates politicians and the public so the best policy decisions can be made to build strong communities. In this program, you will:

  • Employ research methods that permit causal inference
  • Be grounded in a social science discipline
  • Understand the workings of schools
  • Gain in-depth knowledge of the existing educational policy landscape and literature
  • Serve as an apprentice to faculty members on research projects and examine the impact of a variety of educational policies on student outcomes

The end goal, as always, is improving the educational outcomes of children and young adults by using evidence-based research to support policy changes.

Should prospective students wish to engage with our community, we hold regularly scheduled Internal Policy Labs throughout the academic year where students and faculty present their work to receive constructive feedback. Please email EdPolicyWorks@virginia.edu if you wish to attend one of these sessions to get a feel for our work and our community. Stay up to date with the Education Policy community by subscribing to our quarterly newsletter.

“The close mentorship and early immersion into research opportunities drew me to the Education Policy PhD program. The alumni I spoke to before deciding all underscored how well the faculty supported them as scholars and on the job market. To date, I've gotten involved in two research projects and I've enjoyed facetime with both faculty members and academics giving virtual talks amid the pandemic.”

– Todd Hall, Ph.D Student

VEST 2018_0.jpg

Careers

Following graduation, Curry alumni often take positions in academia as postdoctoral fellows or as education researchers in research organizations.

Explore Our Degrees

Effect sound policies that improve the educational outcomes of children and young adults. Learn more about earning a Ph.D. in Education—Educational Policy Studies from Curry.

  • Ph.D.


    The Ph.D. in Education—Educational Policy provides students with preparation that draws on a theoretical foundation and employs appropriate methods to offer evidence on important education policy questions. While coursework is important to student preparation, a close mentoring relationship with faculty is crucial to the design of the program. Students work closely with faculty on research projects to examine the impact of a variety of educational policies on student outcomes. Graduates are prepared to take positions in academia or research organizations.  All PhD students are fully funded (tuition and a graduate stipend) for four years.

    Learn More
  • Ph.D./MPP (Dual Degree)


    The Curry School of Education and Human Development and the Frank Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy offer a dual degree program that leads to the completion of a Ph.D. in Education Policy and MPP degrees in five to six years. The joint collaboration between the schools enables you to focus on important questions of educational policy and implications for the workforce. You will have plenty of opportunities to work with other students and faculty in research projects, and in classes within and across cohorts.

    Learn More

Our Success Will be Your Success


10 th

BEST EDUCATION POLICY PROGRAM IN THE UNITED STATES by U.S. News & World Report

Program Details