In our Ph.D. program we address pressing problems of U.S. education practice that are essential to equitable learning opportunities and results for students in and out of school, from early childhood through K-12 and transitions to post-secondary education. Our program emphasizes the importance of addressing disparities by race, class, language, ability and other social identities.

Coursework for this program clusters around three interrelated core strands:

  • Policy: The formulation, implementation and impact of educational policy.
  • Organizations: The nature, design and dynamics of educational and organizational change.
  • Leadership: The exercise of significant, responsible influence in educational organizations.

Newly entering students explore one or more of these strands through introductory sequences that build a solid foundation of ideas and skills.

As you advance, you will pursue further coursework in seminars that dig deeper into particular areas within these strands, such as:

  • Instructional Improvement, Policy & Instructional Leadership
  • School Redesign
  • The Achievement Gap & Educational Equity
  • The Connections Between Leadership & Learning
  • School Finance
  • Data/Evidence-Informed Practice & Policy
  • Educational Innovation & Entrepreneurship
  • Community-Based Reform
  • Urban Education
  • Organizational Learning

Other courses, offered elsewhere in the College of Education and the University of Washington, round out individualized programs of study, which are built to maximize your ability to pursue your individual passions and professional goals.

Ph.D. students work closely with their advisers to create highly tailored programs of study that include intermediate and advanced coursework in Educational Policy, Organizations and Leadership Studies as well as outside coursework to gain broader perspective and deeper insight into specialized topics. Learn more about specific requirements and milestones for Ph.D. students.

Prospective students holding relevant master’s degrees should apply to the College of Education’s Ph.D. program.

To apply for this program, select "Organizational and Policy Studies" in the Graduate School's online application.

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