Education Policy Graduate Certificate
The graduate certificate in education policy is designed to meet the needs of students with an interest in improving educational opportunities and outcomes through federal, state, and local policy.
Our 15-credit program teaches students how decisions are made at various levels of government, how decision makers use evidence, and how to influence the decision-making process. It examines pressing challenges facing our education system and prepares students to effectively engage with policymakers and stakeholders to help shape and influence education policy.
More About This Program
Whether interested in pursuing a career in government, the education sector, think tanks, or nonprofit organizations, the education policy graduate certificate is meant to set students on the path to impacting education policy. Students who complete this certificate will learn to:
- examine, discuss, and address education policy challenges confronting policymakers today;
- navigate the public education policy process in federal, state, and local settings;
- identify and apply relevant research to inform and impact education policy;
- facilitate collaboration across sectors in improving public education outcomes;
- engage with policymakers and stakeholders to help shape and influence education policy.
Classes are held in the evenings at Mason's Arlington Campus.
- EDPO 600: History of Education Reform (3 credits) OR EDPO 885: History of Education in the United States (3 credits)
- EDPO 601: P-12 Policy Challenges (3 credits) OR EDPO 870: Education Policy: Process, Context, and Politics (3 credits)
- EDPO 602: Higher Education Policy (3 credits)
- EDPO 603: Conflict and Consensus: Education, Interest Groups and Advocacy (3 credits) OR EDPO 886: School Reform in the United States: Politics and Policies (3 credits)
- EDPO 604: Education Policy Implementation (3 credits)
(classes starting in August)
(classes starting in January)
(classes starting in May, June, or July)
Priority*: April 1
Space Available: August 15
Priority*: November 1
Space Available: January 5
Priority*: February 1
Space Available: May 15
For more information and to apply, visit the admissions website.
* Priority deadline ensures consideration for the intended semester as well as financial aid options for students. Programs will continue to review applications until at capacity. Some programs do not review applications past the priority deadline.
All application materials must be submitted through Mason’s online graduate application. In addition to meeting general university admissions requirements, applicants will need to provide the requirements below.
To be considered for graduate studies, the following items are evaluated during the admission review process:
- Graduate application and fee
- 750- to 1,000-word written statement of your goals and interest in the program
- Current resume
- Two letters of recommendation: Applicants should follow the instructions included in the online application to submit the recommendation forms directly to their recommenders. Mason does not accept paper recommendations. Recommendations should be professional or academic in nature.
- Transcripts from all previous institutions attended in the United States. Please refer to the Office of Graduate Admissions information page for specific requirements regarding uploading unofficial transcripts.
- Applicants with transcripts from institutions outside of the United States could have additional requirements. Please refer to the How To Apply page for specific requirements about submitting international transcripts, evaluations, and English language proficiency.
- An earned baccalaureate and/or graduate degree from a regionally accredited institution of higher education, or international equivalent, verified from official transcripts. Expectation of an earned baccalaureate and/or graduate degree prior to the first day of classes for the term for which the student is applying will also meet this requirement. See the admissions policy here for information.
- A minimum 3.00 GPA on a 4.00 scale in baccalaureate study. The GPA requirement may be higher for some graduate programs. The university, at its discretion, may, in evaluating the meeting of this requirement, additionally consider the difficulty of the baccalaureate degree, relevant work experience, any/or other evidence of ability to succeed in graduate study.
- International students should reference Admission of International Students for additional requirements.
- Admissions Interview
|TUITION CLASSIFICATION||COST PER CREDIT|
(includes MSF*; discounted from $1,641.50)
|VA Resident and PK-12 VA Educator enrolled in a CEHD graduate program**||$617.95
|CEHD Course Fee||$25.00 - $84.00|
|Total Cost for Virginia Residents per Credit||$752.00 - $811.00|
|Total Cost for Non-Virginia Residents per Credit||$952.00 - $1,011.00|
|Total cost for VA Resident and PK-12 VA Educator enrolled in a CEHD graduate program*||$642.95 - $701.95|
|Graduate New Student Fee
(non-refundable, one-time fee)
Please Note: Refer to the Students Accounts Office website for more information on tuition and fees. Internship courses will incur a higher course fee to fund on-site assistance involving intensive clinical training/supervision.
*Mandatory Student Fee (MSF): $155.00
**VA state residents who are eligible must apply for the 15% PreK-16 VA Educators Discount in order to take advantage of the lower tuition. Eligible students receive 15% off the total tuition and mandatory student fee.
For information on loans and scholarships, visit the Office of Student Financial Aid. For information regarding grants, tuition waivers, and other merit aid, please inquire with your graduate department. Also, many school districts offer tuition reimbursement options. Speak to your employer for more information.
Each student is responsible for knowing Mason’s rules, regulations, requirements, administrative policies, and academic policies. The University Catalog, your program advisors, and the staff in the Student and Academic Affairs Office are key resources to assist you as you work toward completion of your degree requirements. It is highly recommended that you meet with your advisor at least once per semester to review degree progress and plan for future semesters.
You Have the Keys to Success:
Be an Informed Student
It is your responsibility to monitor your progress in completing your requirements. Your advisor is a resource to assist you. If you choose not to meet with your advisor, you may miss key information and opportunities to make your experience at Mason a more valuable one.
Read your Mason Email
Students are responsible for reading university communications sent to their Mason email account (@gmu.edu) and are required to activate that account and check it regularly. If you wish to forward your @gmu.edu emails to a personal account, please do so as soon as possible once admitted to avoid missing key communications from various university offices.
Know and Use your Resources
Friends and other CEHD students are great, but they are not reliable sources of information for your individual degree requirements and progress. A reliable resource is the paid Mason employee who is the subject matter expert on the question at hand (e.g. licensure, endorsements, advising, career services, admissions, registrar, and IT support). When in doubt, ask your advisor!
Current students should visit MyMason for important forms and documents.