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Education Policy

The educational experiences of young people are shaped by education and social policy decisions made at the national, state, local, and school-building levels. Moreover, these policy choices impact not only the educational opportunities available to young people, but also the distribution of cognitive and other skills in the labor force. A thorough understanding of current education policy debates and their consequences requires knowledge of the structure and history of the education system, the politics of education policy-making, the relationships among educational systems and other social policies, the distribution of resources—including teachers—within an educational system, and methods of policy analysis and evaluation. The concentration in education policy prepares students to participate both in the analysis of education policy and in broader political debates about the aims and structure of the educational systems. Students completing this concentration have employment opportunities with local, state, federal, and international education agencies and organizations. 


Core courses and electives will be selected from the listing below, as appropriate for the goals of individual students. All students in the concentration will take two gateway courses in Education Policy; two courses in Foundations of Education; and one course in Organizational Studies and Education; and at least two additional elective courses.  

The list of graduate level gateway and elective concentration courses may also be found in the Stanford Bulletin. Note that this is not an exhaustive list; students may select other courses for their concentration with the approval of their faculty adviser. 

Gateway Courses for Education Policy Concentration*

EDUC 222. Resource Allocation in Education
EDUC 271/GSBGEN 347. Education Policy in the United States (not offered in 2018-19)
EDUC 306A. Economics of Education in the Global Economy
EDUC 347. The Economics of Higher Education

Foundations of Education must take at least 2 courses from this list

EDUC 201. History of Education in the United States (not offered in 2018-19)
EDUC 212. Urban Education (not offered in 2018-19)
EDUC 216. Education, Race, and Inequality in African American History, 1880-1990 (not offered in 2018-19)
EDUC 220C. Education and Society
EDUC 220D. History of School Reform in the US: Origins, Policies, Outcomes, and Explanations
EDUC 276. Educational Assessment (not offered in 2017-18)
EDUC 253SOC 353X. Inequality, Society and Education. 

Organizational Studies must take at least 1 course from this list

EDUC 288. Organization Studies: Theory and Analysis
EDUC 316/SOC 369. Social Network Analysis

Remaining units can be taken from the course lists below

Policy Analysis Courses 

EDUC 221A. Policy Analysis in Education 

Higher Education Policy Courses

EDUC 117/417. Research and Policy on Postsecondary Access
EDUC 265. History of Higher Education in the U.S.
EDUC 347. Economics of Higher Education
EDUC 355. Higher Education & Society 

International and Comparative Education Policy Courses

EDUC 202. Introduction to Comparative and International Education
EDUC 202I. Education Policy Workshop in International and Comparative Education
EDUC 273/SOC 273. Gender and Higher Education: National and International Perspectives (not offered in 2017-18)
EDUC 306A. Economics of Education in the Global Economy
EDUC 306B. Global Education Policy and Organization (PUBLPOL 316)
EDUC 306D. World, Societal, and Educational Change: Comparative Perspectives
EDUC 306Y. Economic Support Seminar for Education and Economic Development
EDUC 376. Higher Education Leadership Colloquium (not offered in 2018-19)

US Education Policy Courses

POLISCI 326T. The Politics of Education (not offered in 2018-19)

*Gateway courses may vary year to year based on availability.