In this program option, faculty and students seek to understand how K-12 organizations, leadership,and policies operate and how they can be reinvented and marshaled to improve learning for all students. We examine how to:

  • Exercise leadership that is focused on learning and social justice.
  • Formulate and implement policies that support powerful, equitable teaching and learning.
  • Design and reform organizations — both within and outside formal K-12 educational systems — to provide consistently rich learning environments for students as well as adult educators.

You may specialize in Leadership, Policy, or Organizations, or you can design a program that cuts across all three interrelated areas. Key common emphases within each include: equity, innovation, data-informed decision-making, as well as systems, adult, and student learning and what makes for high-quality research in these areas.

Learn more about courses and program requirements»

Graduates of this program are prepared to be scholars, analysts, and leaders who exercise significant and responsible influence on the quality of teaching and learning in and out of schools. Graduates often work in government agencies, including schools and districts, and in nonprofit organizations at the local, state, and national levels.

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

This program is not intended for those who want to become certified school or district administrators. You should check with the Danforth Educational Leadership Program or the Leadership for Learning Program if you are interested in administrative preparation.