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 School of Education and Human Development 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
Following graduation, School of Education and Human Development 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 the School of Education and Human Development.
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.
Ph.D./MPP (Dual Degree)
The 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.
Our Success Will be Your Success
BEST EDUCATION POLICY PROGRAM IN THE UNITED STATES by U.S. News & World Report
- Brief: Peer Effects and Education Investments
- Working Paper: Peer Effects and Education Investments
- Working Paper: Nudging at a National Scale
- Working Paper: Intergenerational Benefits and Military Service
- Brief: Chronic Absenteeism in Virginia
- Report: Chronic Absenteeism in Virginia
- Report: Virginia Teacher Salaries 2015-16
- Working Paper: States Implementation Responses to NCLB
- Working Paper: Parental Influences on Postsecondary Decision-Making
- Working Paper: DCPS Teacher Turnover
- Working Paper: School Comparisons in Observational Designs
- Working Paper: Analysis of Within-Study Comparisons
- Working Paper: Covariate Performance in Observational Studies
- Working Paper: Design of Within-Study Comparisons
- Working Paper: West Virginia College Success Nudges
- Working Paper: Aid and Encouragement
- Report: Florida Voluntary Pre-K Program Accountability
- Working Paper: Gaps In Early Experiences
- Working Paper: Inequality in Preschool Quality
- Working Paper: Kids Today
- Education Policy Ph.D Program Informational Flyer
- Working Paper: Universal PreK and the Child Care Sector
- Working Paper: Foreign Student Demand
- Working Paper: Learning that Lasts, Unpacking Variation in Teachers’ Effects on Students’ Long-Term
- Working Paper: Challenges for the Postsecondary Information Rating System
- Working Paper: Is Kindergarten the New First Grade?
- Working Paper: Incentives, Selection, and Teacher Performance
- Ed Policy Guidelines for Prospective & Current PhD Students
- VEST Orientation Materials
Allison Atteberry Associate Professor of Education & Public Policy, Assistant Director, EdPolicyWorksBrendan Bartanen Assistant Professor of Education & Public PolicyDaphna Bassok Batten Bicentennial Associate Professor of Early Childhood Education, Associate Director, EdPolicyWorksBenjamin L. Castleman Newton and Rita Meyers Associate Professor in the Economics of Education, Director, Nudge4 Solutions LabJulia Jackson Cohen Associate Professor of EducationVeronica Katz Research Assistant ProfessorLuke C. Miller Research Associate ProfessorBeth Schueler Assistant Professor of Education & Public PolicySarah E. Turner University Professor, Economics & EducationVivian Wong Associate ProfessorJames H. Wyckoff Professor, Director, EdPolicyWorksPeter Youngs Professor of Education