MA in Education and Social Policy


Frequently Asked Questions

What is the deadline for applying to the MA program in Education and Social Policy?

Fall: February 1.  

Spring: October 1. Late applications will be accepted on a space available basis.

Students interested in full-time study will only be admitted for the Fall term.  Students interested in part-time study may apply for admission to either the Fall or Spring term.

What are essential differences between the MA in Education and Social Policy and the MPA degree?

The MA in Education and Social Policy at Steinhardt/NYU:

  • Focuses specifically on education and social policy, including school finance
  • Is three semesters full time or four or more semesters part time
  • Focuses on quantitative analysis of education and social policy, including required courses in social and behavioral statistics, regression and econometrics, and use of large data sets
  • Requires four core courses in sociology and economics of education
  • Offers a substantive focus in an education area and some work in qualitative methods
  • Intends to enroll 30-40 new students each year

The MPA at Wagner/NYU (from the Wagner School Website on programs):

  • "[is]... a mix of theory and practice ... The programs also take a multifaceted approach, one that crosses boundaries by design. ..."
  • Is four semesters full time or double that part time
  • Requires five core courses (Statistics, Microeconomics, Policy, Finance, Management)
  • Has a "... Public Policy specialization [that] prepares students to play a role in policy debate and deliberation by developing critical conceptual, analytical, and quantitative skills..." and alternative specializations in management, finance, international or health
  • Enrolls about 350 students each year
What are the qualifications for admissions?

In addition to a strong academic record, students must demonstrate math proficiency through Algebra II either by submitting GRE or GMAT scores or through recent college-level math coursework with grades of B+ or better.

Are there different admissions requirements for international students?

Applicants whose first language is not English are required to take one of the following English proficiency exams: TOEFL, IELTS, or PTE Academic. See more information on English proficiency testing.

Additionally, international students who are offered admission will be required to take the English Proficiency Exam at NYU's American Language Institute (ALI) prior to their arrival at NYU. Full-time enrollment in the program is conditional upon the results of the ALI examination. Detailed Special Instructions for International Applicants are available in the Graduate Admissions Guide.

Is the GRE required?

No, the GRE is not required for the MA program. Applicants must demonstrate math proficiency through Algebra II.  If you did not take college-level math through Algebra II, we recommend you take and submit GRE scores.

Do I need to submit letters of recommendation?

Yes, please submit two letters from professors or former employers from the last five years. These should speak to your potential interests and abilities in education policy, if possible.

Can I apply online?

Yes. See the Steinhardt Graduate Application Guide

What supplementary materials are required in the application?

Two letters of recommendation and a personal statement on why you want to study education policy.

Is an interview required for admission?

No, an interview is not required for admission.

Where do I send supplementary materials, such as letters of recommendation and transcripts?

Letters of recommendation are submitted through the online application.

Send all other materials directly to the admissions office.

Office of Graduate Admissions
NYU Steinhardt
82 Washington Square East, 3rd Floor
New York, NY 10003-6680

What are the TOEFL requirements?

Successful candidates have scored at or above 100 on the internet-based exam; 250 on the computer-based exam; or 600 on the paper-based exam.

What is the GPA requirement?

Successful candidates for admission will demonstrate a strong record of academic achievement either at the undergraduate level or from previous graduate level coursework from accredited institutions. 

What is the cost of tuition for this program?

Students may complete the 40-credit program on a full- or part-time basis. Tuition and fees are posted here on a per-credit basis and for typical full-time and part-time programs of study for the current or upcoming academic year. Expect tuition and fees to increase annually by 3-6%. You'll also find estimated expenses for housing, books and supplies, transportation, and health insurance. The Graduate Admissions site offers detailed information on applying for scholarships and other forms of financial aid.

Are scholarships available?

Yes. See Graduate Financial Aid.

All applicants who are interested in being considered for school-based scholarships MUST complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) by going to the FAFSA website and submitting it electronically to NYU. See more information

The deadline for submitting the form to NYU is February 1 for the Fall term and November 1 for the Spring term.  Please note that the earliest time you can access the form is January 1.

Do you offer scholarships for part-time students?

NYU Steinhardt is committed to assisting graduate applicants in the process of financing their education. One way we do this is by offering partial tuition scholarships (such as the Centennial Scholarship for new part-time master's students), fellowships, and assistantships that are based on merit and financial need. These types of aid are comparatively uncommon for part-time students, however. Other forms of aid, such as loans, college work-study, and student employment can help part-time students complete their advanced degrees. For more information, visit our financial aid website.

Is funding available for international students?

NYU Steinhardt encourages international applicants to investigate scholarship support offered by their home country to support their studies at NYU. Master's and advanced certificate applicants who are U.S. citizens or permanent residents and eligible for federal financial aid may receive consideration for school-based financial aid. Non-U.S. citizens may be eligible for non-NYU sources of funding. See more information.

Can I transfer credits from other institutions and have them count towards the required number of credits for this program/waive any course requirements/get credit for past coursework?

Course requirements may be waived based on the applicant's undergraduate coursework and at the discretion of advisors in the Education and Social Policy program. Waiving will allow students greater flexibility in pursuing coursework relevant to their specific interests. Six credits of advanced standing/transfer credit may be applied toward the MA degree. Any advanced standing/transfer credit is permitted at the discretion of program advisors. To receive approval for advanced standing/transfer credit, you need to submit a catalogue description of the course, including a syllabus, and have a grade of B or better. Coursework must have been completed no more than five years prior to the application for credit transferral. Only graduate-level courses may count towards the degree. No undergraduate credits may transfer (although some requirements may be waived based on the applicant's undergraduate coursework, with an advisor's approval, allowing other electives to be taken).

I do not have a background in education - am I still eligible to apply to this program?

Yes, absolutely. If you are interested in education policy issues, this program is for you. The program imparts methodological and theoretical knowledge, and gives students the opportunity to gain specialized knowledge in their area of interest. Undergraduates from a variety of backgrounds and majors are encouraged to apply, provided they meet the minimum math requirement.

Are you looking for students with life experience or for those who have recently completed an undergraduate degree?

We welcome students from both types of background, including those who may have experience working in education but wish to switch career paths and pursue policy work, as well as those with undergraduate degrees from a variety of academic disciplines, provided the minimum math requirement is met (that is math through the algebra II level).

What kind of housing do you provide?

On-campus housing at NYU is limited. Most graduate students live off-campus. On the bright side, rents in the New York City have experienced a downturn recently. Graduate Admissions serves as the liaison office to NYU Housing so general questions about the process may be directed to them. See more information on graduate student housing.

When will I receive a decision from NYU?

Decisions are typically mailed out from Graduate Admissions beginning in late March and early April for Fall applications and in early December for Spring applications. If you have not received a response within this time frame, please contact them directly at (212) 998-5030 or

I live overseas and snail mail is inconsistent. Can the admissions decision be emailed to me?

Contact the admissions office directly at (212) 998-5030 or to process this request.

I am planning to visit campus and would like to attend a class. when is the best time for me to do this?

We do not offer classes on Fridays and most of our classess are offered in the late afternoon or early evening. If you would like to attend a class, please email us at

When can I attend an information session?

Information sessions are hosted twice each semester. We do not host information sessions during the summer. See fall information session dates; for spring dates, check this website in December.

I cannot attend the information session. Can I still meet with an advisor or faculty member to discuss the program?

Yes, send an email to to request a phone or in-person appointment with an advisor or faculty member. 

I live far away and cannot meet with an advisor or faculty member in person. Can I make a phone appointment?

Yes, send an email to to request a phone or in-person appointment with an advisor or faculty member.

Can you mail an information packet on the program to my home address?

We do not send materials via mail. Detailed information about the MA degree can be found on this web site, including course requirements and faculty biographies. After reviewing the website, if you have additional questions, please email

To receive general updates about NYU Steinhardt, join our monthly eNewsletter mailing list using our online inquiry form. eNews provides you with the latest information on special events, program developments, faculty research, financial aid opportunities and deadlines.

How long does it take to complete the MA program?

The program can be completed in 3 semesters if you are enrolled full-time. Part-time enrollment is permitted and will, of course, take longer.

Are you accredited?

This MA program, like all academic programs at NYU, is approved by New York State. There is no accreditation body relevant to this program so accreditation is not available or required.

Will there be a PhD program?

We do not offer a doctoral degree in Education and Social Policy at this time. Please visit our list of academic programs to identify doctoral programs at Steinhardt in the field of education.

How many students are enrolled in the MA program?

We have approximately 25 students in each class.

Can I work full time and still take classes?

Yes, you may work full time and still take classes although some flexibility with hours of work will be necessary to fit in a few of the classes, which may be offered late in the afternoon. Many of the courses at the beginning of the curriculum have multiple sections, with choices of times to attend.

Are all courses offered each semester?

Not all courses will be offered each semester; however, courses are scheduled such that full-time and part-time students will be able to complete the program within three semesters for full-time students, and as few as four semesters for part-time students.

Are all of your courses offered in the evening?

Many of our academic year courses are offered in the late afternoon or early evening.

Do you offer online courses?

We do not currently or plan to offer courses online. We understand that this is an attractive option to many, and we may consider it in the future.

Do you offer summer courses?

We do not offer exclusively summer graduate programs, but some of the courses in Education and Social Policy, such as Microeconomics, Econometrics, and Statistics are often offered in summer. With careful planning in conjunction with their advisor, part-time students could fulfill certain program requirements.

Does the program provide opportunities for internships or other types of hands-on experience?

You can participate in an internship, although one is not required. An internship is most likely to fit student schedules during the summer. The final capstone project, a program requirement pursued during the student's last semester, is a professional education policy evaluation that serves as an introduction to doing actual policy work.

How much time will I have to focus on my specific area of interest?

The curriculum includes three electives that allow students to focus on their area of concentration, along with a capstone project in which students analyze a particular policy area in-depth. Students whose undergraduate coursework enables them to waive coursework will have further opportunities to pursue specialized coursework related to their interests.

Do any summer abroad courses relate directly to this program?

Steinhardt offers several study abroad programs in education that may interest students:

Do you offer job placement assistance after graduation?

NYU's Wasserman Career Center provides assistance to all graduate students and alumni from NYU Steinhardt. In addition, the Education and Social Policy program page will be periodically updated with relevant career-related resources, and students can consult with program advisors about career matters.