Capitol building illuminated during sunset

The Master of Education in Education Policy program is on hiatus and will not be offered for the 2024-25 academic year. Applications are not being accepted at this time.

Our 11-month, cohort-based program designed to prepare students for leadership positions working in education policy within schools/districts, government, philanthropy, advocacy/non-profit and post-secondary education. Education policy experts work at the forefront of change, tackling the most complex challenges facing education today.

This intensive Master of Education in Education Policy (MEP) program gives you the academic foundation and hands-on policy experience to bring positive change to education. We combine the latest theories and concepts in policy with real-world experience in the field, preparing you to make an immediate impact with nonprofits and advocacy agencies, philanthropies, school districts and government agencies. Highlights include:

  • Earn a Master’s in One Year: Take advantage of afternoon and evening classes and an intensive curriculum to complete your master’s degree at the UW in 12 months.
  • Gain Real-World Experience: Apply what you learn in the classroom out in the field through a two-quarter, 150-hour internship, working closely with an education policy mentor.
  • Make a Difference: Gain the knowledge and skills you need to make an impact on our P-20 public education systems and improve the outcomes for all students.
  • Learn From the Experts: Study with leading policy scholars and practitioners at the top-ranked UW College of Education and develop valuable professional connections.

Did you know? In 2021, the College of Education was ranked No. 13 by U.S. News & World Report.

Program details

  • What you'll earn: Masters of Education (M.Ed.)
  • Duration: 1 year
  • Credits: 44-45
  • Format: On-campus
  • Time commitment: Full-time
  • When to apply: We are on hiatus for the 2023-24 academic year

Academic experience

The program uses a cohort format, meaning that you will work closely with your classmates throughout the year and form tight bonds. Students complete the intensive program in one year, over four quarters. All classes are held on the scenic UW Seattle campus. The exception is the nine-credit internship, which you will complete on-site at an organization or government agency of your choosing. You will carry out your 150 hours of internship work during spring and summer quarters to complete your degree.


The program curriculum gives you a foundational understanding of educational policy design,  implementation and evaluation, applied qualitative and quantitative methods, education economics and school finance, the dynamics of educational organizations and the politics of policymaking.

Each quarter you will take a special integrative seminar course that applies your classroom learning to current issues facing education systems. Through case studies and group projects, you will unpack the theories and explore their practical application to policy design, implementation and evaluation.


The UW Master of Education in Education Policy (MEP) requires a minimum of 44 credits — 11 courses worth a total of 32 or 33 credits (depending on your choice of electives), along with internship and degree project work accounting for 12 credits.

  • Autumn quarter
    • EDLPS 560: Policy Studies & Practice
    • EDLPS 510: School Finance
    • EDPSY 490: Intro to Statistics
    • EDLPS 579: MEP Seminar
  • Winter quarter
    • EDLPS: Policy Implementation
    • EDLPS 558: Qualitative Methods
    • Focused elective
    • EDLPS 579: MEP Seminar
  • Spring quarter
    • EDLPS 561: Policitics of Policymaking
    • EDLPS 579 MEP Seminar
    • EDLPS 601: MEP Internship
    • Open elective
  • Summer quarter
    • EDLPS 599: MEP Degree Project
    • EDLPS 549: MEP Summer Summit
    • EDLPS 601: MEP Internship
    • EDLPS 579: MEP Seminar

All students in the Master of Education in Education Policy (MEP) program will complete a two-quarter, 150-hour internship with an independent organization. This on-site internship allows you to apply what you’ve learned in the classroom out in the field, gaining valuable experience and making professional connections that can help advance your career.

Placement process

Our small class cohort size allows for a personalized internship placement designed to match your skills and career objectives. We work closely with our students and partner organizations to find the best fit.

As part of the placement process, you will meet with program staff to discuss your professional goals and areas of interest. Each student applies for several internships of their choice, and we make the final match in consultation with the partner organization.

Internship sites

The MEP program provides internship opportunities with an array of organizations — nonprofits, advocacy groups, government agencies and other sectors of the profession. We have ongoing relationships with some of the region’s most influential education policy organizations, and new sites are added every year.


We welcome students with non-education academic and professional backgrounds. The key factor is a desire to produce positive change in the field of education.

  • Bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited college or university in the United States, or its equivalent from a foreign institution
  • A minimum 3.0 grade point average (on a 4.0 scale) for the last graded 60 semester credits or 90 graded quarter credits
  • Demonstrated English language proficiency for applicants whose native language is not English
Required materials
  • UW Graduate School online application and fee
  • Unofficial transcripts from every college or university attended
  • Resume or curriculum vitae
  • Statement of purpose that answers the following questions in no more than 1,000 words each.
    • What are two to three experiences (personal, academic or professional) that have prompted you to pursue a career in education policy? Briefly describe each experience and how it served as a catalyst for or helped confirm your interest in education policy.
    • What professional role do you hope to have in five years? Please describe two to three concrete ways you believe a master’s degree in education policy can help you achieve this goal.
  • Three letters of recommendation
    • Consider getting recommendations from current or former employers, supervisors, teachers or colleagues. At least one letter should be an academic reference. Make sure you choose people who can judge your capacity to undertake graduate studies in education policy. You'll need their email addresses for the Graduate School application.
  • Personal history statement. (Optional)
    • This statement gives you the chance to provide us with details about life experiences that have influenced your academic interests. This could be information that's not necessarily reflected in your academic statement, but that you feel could be helpful to the committee in evaluating your application.
  • Proof of English language proficiency (if English is not your native language)
Submission process
  • Start your online application to the UW Graduate School. You can save your application and come back at any time to continue working on it.
  • Select "Education - Seattle (MEd - Education Leadership & Policy Studies - Education Policy/MEP Cohort)" for the program name.
  • Upload all required documents.
  • Designate the people who have agreed to write your letters of recommendation. Each of these people will be sent an email directing them to a secure website where they will submit their letters.
  • Pay the nonrefundable application fee.

We use a holistic admissions process and takes into consideration all aspects of your application and background. In addition to reviewing all application materials, program staff members conduct interviews with all finalists in person or via video conference.

International students

International applicants are welcome to apply to the program. You are considered an international applicant if you are not a U.S. citizen, immigrant or permanent resident. These applicants must meet all admission requirements for the program.

International applicants whose native language is not English must demonstrate English language proficiency. The UW Graduate School’s Memo 8 describes several ways to do this. If you are submitting TOEFL scores, they must be sent directly to the UW by the Educational Testing Service using institution code 4854. Only scores less than two years old will be accepted.

Cost and funding

The Master of Education in Education Policy (MEP) is a self-sustaining, fee-based degree program. Course fees are charged on a per-credit basis and are the same for Washington state resident students and nonresident students. In addition to these fees, students pay other required fees each quarter, including registration, technology and U-PASS fees. There may be additional costs for textbooks and other course materials. Fees are due by the third Friday of the quarter.

The estimate below is based on 2022–2023 rates and is subject to change without notice.

  • Cost per credit: $710
  • Total number of credits required: 44–45
  • Estimated total course fees: $31,240–$31,950


The program offers a limited number of scholarships to eligible students. These scholarships are based on qualifications and experience, not financial need. Your abilities and professional background are evaluated based on your application materials and admission interview. The scholarship committee reviews all applicants for potential awards. Any scholarships awarded are offered upon admission to the program.

Financial aid

Students may be eligible for federal financial aid, scholarships and loans. You should also visit the fee-based programs page of the UW Student Financial Aid website. Fee-based students are not eligible for tuition exemptions or UW grants.

COE Featured Stories

Professor David Knight writes that cutting spending for school districts that don’t resume daily in-person instruction, as threatened by the White House, could harm vulnerable students and families.
UW alum Amber Banks’ doctoral research on trust set the stage for her current work at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, where Banks is a senior program officer.