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Master of Arts
Education and Social Policy

Application Extended: Still Accepting Applications

Rooted in economics and sociology, this master’s teaches you how to use statistics, data sets, and research results to formulate, implement, and evaluate educational policies for grades K-12 and higher education. Gain in-demand skills and experience to craft reforms and improve the quality of education, working for educational agencies, think tanks, and nonprofit organizations.

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Degree Details

Official Degree Title

Master of Arts in Education and Social Policy

Full-time or Part-time
Start Date
Application Deadline
Start Date
Application Deadline

As a student in this program, you will work closely with faculty from NYU Steinhardt and NYU’s Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service to learn: 

  • How to use principles of economics and sociology to analyze K–12 and higher education policies
  • How to conduct descriptive and inferential statistical analyses using large longitudinal education databases
  • How to interpret and identify causal effects of programs and policies and apply conclusions to make policy recommendations
  • An understanding of the policies already implemented as well as the need for additional policies in your chosen area of focus; you will be able to participate in quantitative studies to further evaluate existing policies and to provide evidence on the possible effects of new policies
  • Principles of management, planning, and policy-making in the public and nonprofit sectors


You'll begin your studies with a course in statistics and progress through more rigorous analytical courses, including regression and econometrics. You will also complete course work in economics, policy, and sociology of education. No prior knowledge of statistics or education policy is required.

You'll have the opportunity to specialize in one of the following policy areas: higher education, race and class, international education, or K–12 education.

Your program of study will culminate with a group research project that provides you with professional-level research experience. 

Research Opportunities

Opportunities provided by the department's placement within a large research university in New York City, one of the best urban laboratories in the nation, include our Education and Social Policy Fellows program, which offers five incoming students a $5,000 stipend to participate in faculty-led research teams.

Where can you work with a master's in Education and Social Policy? 

  • School systems, reform organizations, foundations, and nonprofit organizations such as New Visions for Public Schools or Teach for America
  • Government education policy agencies like state or city departments of education
  • Research organizations such as MDRC, Urban Institute, or Mathematica
  • Advocacy or single-interest organizations such as the Annenberg Institute for School Reform, the New Teacher Project, or the Center for Education Reform


If you have any additional questions about our degree, please feel free to contact us at

Education and Social Policy student Sophie Nguyen

I was looking for a program in education policy evaluation with a strong focus on data analysis. I was also interested in learning more about different education policies in the US…from both economics and sociology lenses. The Education and Social Policy program provided all of that.

Sophie Nguyen '16, Research Associate at the National Center for Children in Poverty at Columbia University


Leanna Stiefel

Professor of Economics; co-Director Education and Social Policy Masters Program

Joseph Cimpian

Professor of Economics and Education Policy; Co-Director of the Education and Social Policy Masters Program

Meryle Weinstein

Research Professor of Education Policy

Dominic Brewer

Dean Emeritus and Professor of Education, Economics, and Policy

Affiliated Faculty Members

Alejandro J. Ganimian

Assistant Professor of Applied Psychology and Economics

Jennifer Hill

Professor of Applied Statistics; Co-Department Chair; Co-Director of PRIISM

James Kemple

Senior Fellow; Research Professor of Teaching and Learning

L'Heureux Lewis-Mccoy

Associate Professor of Sociology of Education

Luis A. Rodriguez

Assistant Professor of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies

Liang Zhang

Professor of Higher Education

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