M.A. On Campus

Educational Theory and Policy

Pennsylvania State University

12 months
39248 USD/year
23082 USD/year
Tuition fee
Apply date
Start date


The Educational Theory and Policy program is located in the Department of Education Policy Studies within the College of Education at Pennsylvania State University. 


The program faculty in Educational Theory and Policy is comprised of specialists in history of education, philosophy of education, and sociology of education. Our faculty members, as well as faculty in related disciplines in the Colleges of Agricultural Sciences and the Liberal Arts, offer an interdisciplinary approach to the study of education and schooling leading to the Master of Arts and Doctor of Philosophy degrees.

The goals of this Educational Theory and Policy program at Pennsylvania State University are to understand the nature and context of educational ideas and educational processes, and to understand and evaluate policies. The master's and doctoral programs in Educational Theory and Policy are designed to prepare professionals in education research and policy development and analysis. The nature of studies to be undertaken will vary, depending upon their scholarly interests, career goals, and backgrounds.

In general, students will inquire into education and schooling from the perspectives of both cultural studies and social science disciplines. The synthesis of these modes of investigation will be developed in the core studies of Educational Theory and Policy. Concentrations can be pursued in the traditional cultural or social foundations fields, history, philosophy, and sociology. This multidisciplinary approach to Educational Theory and Policy is based on the belief that educational theorists and policymakers require integrated humanistic, social science, and educational studies.

Learning outcomes

  • Demonstrate mastery of the student’s specific program emphasis area, which includes knowledge of primary and secondary literature related to research methodologies, programmatic research priorities, and implications of that research for professional practice.
  • Students will design and carry out a research project that includes articulating an important and original question, analyzing appropriate literature, demonstrating conceptual and methodological creativity, and carrying out an original inquiry.
  • Demonstrate critical thinking about selected recent research in the program emphasis area through the description of an emerging scholarly theme/area, identification of specific publications that reflect it, and assessment of its strengths and weaknesses.
  • Demonstrate standards of field in written and oral communication by requiring research presentations in several courses.
  • Demonstrate knowledge and comprehension of research ethics issues including knowledge of ethical principles related to authorship, research reporting, data fabrication, plagiarism, conflicts of interest, peer review, data sharing and other areas of misconduct.
  • Participate in conducting research with faculty, working on the boards of professional journals, or other significant professional engagement as identified by the master’s adviser.

Programme Structure

Courses include:

  • Research Design: Implications for Decisions in Higher Education
  • Applied Statistical Inference for the Behavioral Sciences
  • Qualitative Methods in Educational Research
  • Ethnicity, National Identity, and Education
  • Education and Demographic Change
  • Analysis of U. S. Educational Policy
  • Perspectives on Contemporary School Reform
  • Data Analysis for Education Research
  • Economics of Education
  • Interpreting and Analyzing Quantitative Studies in Education Policy
  • Testing and Educational Equity

Key information


  • Full-time
    • 12 months

Start dates & application deadlines


36 alternative credits


On Campus

Academic requirements

GPA admission requirements GPA
GRE admission requirements GRE®

Other requirements

General requirements

  • Students with a 2.75 grade-point average will be considered for admission to the master's program.
  • Scores from the Graduate Record Examinations (GRE) are required for admission.
  • All international applicants must take and submit scores for the TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) or the IELTS 

Tuition Fee

To alway see correct tuition fees
  • International

    39248 USD/year
    Tuition Fee
    Based on the tuition of 39248 USD per year during 12 months.
  • National

    23082 USD/year
    Tuition Fee
    Based on the tuition of 23082 USD per year during 12 months.

Living costs for University Park

1000 - 1500 USD /month
Living costs

The living costs include the total expenses per month, covering accommodation, public transportation, utilities (electricity, internet), books and groceries.


Studyportals Tip: Students can search online for independent or external scholarships that can help fund their studies. Check the scholarships to see whether you are eligible to apply. Many scholarships are either merit-based or needs-based.

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Educational Theory and Policy
Pennsylvania State University


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